MLB.com has posted their list of the top 50 draft prospects for the 2015 amateur draft. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the 20th overall pick in the first round, which could still move up. They began the off-season with the 23rd overall pick, but that was before three teams ahead of them with unprotected picks signed a free agent that cost them their first round pick. The Pirates also have a compensation pick for losing Russell Martin and they will get another pick if they don’t re-sign Francisco Liriano, so they could have three picks within the top 50 by the time the draft rolls around.
Back in late October, we took a look an early look at the 2015 draft class after Baseball America posted their top 50 draft prospect list. Just like on the BA list, MLB.com has a lot of pitching on their list. While it’s obviously too early to match a player up to the Pirates picks, you can get a feel for the type of talent that is available around the 20th spot. The player MLB.com has 20th was profiled in the other link just above, Cal Poly Pomona right-hander Cody Ponce. He was ranked #24 by Baseball America. Ponce has a workhorse frame at 6’5″, 235 lb(slightly bigger according to BA) and he can get his fastball up to 96 MPH. He throws a nice cutter, but his control and his other pitches are average at best.
I’ve included a video of Ponce from his sophomore season courtesy of Big League Futures.