The draft is now exactly three weeks away and the Pittsburgh Pirates have the 19th and 32nd overall picks that first day. There have been a lot of mock drafts and rankings recently and we are hearing a lot of different names in the Pirates’ spots. Baseball America released their top 200 list today and it has an updated version of the top 100, which we took a look at 11 days ago.
In the original top 100, they had high school shortstop Cornelius Randolph rated #19 and he is someone that has gone to the Pirates in multiple mock drafts. Randolph has moved down one spot on the new list and now BA has UCLA right-hander James Kaprielian in the 19th spot. We talked about him two days ago after he threw nine no-hit innings against a strong Arizona team. Kaprielian has been ranked a little higher by most recently and I can’t imagine his spectacular performance this week did anything to hurt his rankings, so this seems a little low.
In the 32nd spot, BA had prep righty Dakota Chalmers in their original top 100. Like Randolph, he is another name that has been linked to the Pirates before in either rankings or mock drafts. Chalmers dropped two spots on the updated list and now #32 is TCU lefty Alex Young. He is someone we mentioned a lot early on, then stopped when he started slipping in the rankings.
Young is interesting for the reasons that BA points out in their scouting report. He was a reliever for his first two years, then switched to starting, where his coach has been very kind with the pitch counts. That means he has a very fresh arm compared to some of the other top starters. He is holding his velocity late in outings, so that is a good sign from someone that made the bullpen-to-starter switch. Young sits 89-92 MPH with his fastball, which is fine because he is a lefty with excellent control. He also has a change-up and a curve that could be average or better in the future, giving him a nice three pitch mix.
These are just rankings, not a mock draft, so they give you an idea of the talent that will be available when the Pirates make their early selections. Adding two top college starters to their system with the first two picks would give the Pirates a nice foundation for a solid draft. We posted a video/write-up of Young in our College Pitcher Draft Preview, which also has a write-up of Kaprielian.
For Baseball America’s latest mock draft, check out our write-up here. In it, you will see they have the Pirates taking Cincinnati outfielder Ian Happ at #19 and prep righty Beau Burrows 13 picks later. Happ is rated #24 and Burrows is #33 on the updated top 200 list.