Earlier today we took a look at recent mock drafts from both Keith Law and Baseball America. There seems to be an opinion shared by everyone that the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to go with high school pitching early in the draft. Even though they are picking at #19 and #32, there are a lot of good prep pitching options in that range, so while the players don’t match up between the mock drafts, the specific group of players is the same.

Jim Callis put out his own mock draft this afternoon and he has the Pirates taking lefty Kolby Allard with the #19 pick and righty Donnie Everett with the #32 pick. Both of these players have been mentioned for the Pirates with those picks before and Allard is getting mentions more often recently.

If the consensus is correct, and part of it is based on what they are hearing around the industry(not just guesswork), then the Pirates’ picks will rely more on who is available when they pick, not just who they are looking at in that spot. They probably have a list of names in order already and they will just go with the best prep pitcher available when their spots come up.

Mike Nikorak has been mentioned often for the Pirates, but Callis has him going one spot earlier to the Giants. The Giants also pick right in front of the Pirates at #31 and he has them going with pitcher Nolan Watson. He has been connected to the Giants due his father being good friends with the Giants’ area scout, so they know Nolan well. He is usually rated just a little lower, so that could be a misread by the draft experts, or if it’s true, it could open up a spot for a currently higher ranked pitcher to slide to the Pirates.

While most teams have already gathered all their data for the draft and they are now spending the weekend sorting it out, a match-up in California tomorrow could change things. Big lefty Justin Hooper is taking on righty Joe Demers. Hooper could be an option for that #32 pick if he looks good and it’s a potential steal, because some had him as a top 5-10 pick in the preseason. Demers would be more likely for the second round pick, but a strong performance on the big stage will sure to help his cause. You can read more on all of the pitchers mentioned here in our prep pitchers draft preview. Demers was an honorable mention back then, but we covered him here.

Draft starts in four days with the first two rounds and we will cover every pick through round 40 here, with player profiles and recaps of all three days. Stay tuned for our tiered ranking article, which should be out this weekend, or early Monday.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. John: Any chance the Pirates have a shot at Garrett Whitley? Ian Happ? Still like HS LHSP Justin Hooper, and for a “sleeper”, LHSP/RP Phillip Pfeifer from Vanderbilt. BA has him rated 195. Not overpowering but has an arsenal and knows how to pitch – 70+ IP this year and over 100 K’s.

  2. One of the best times to be a baseball fan, young players starting the journey to the big leagues, who will make it, who will fail, are there any future hof’s in this group? It all makes us old farts feel young again.

  3. what happened to Matuella?? he’s fallen completely out of the first round including compensatory picks?? Injury ( I know the TJ but Aiken makes most of the Mock Drafts) or bonus demands?? Wasn’t he rated #1 for a while?? I wonder if he’d last to the Bucs 2nd round pick?

    • He is usually in the 20-30 range, but Callis might be hearing that no team is willing to take a chance on him. Not only did he have TJ surgery, which puts him out through the beginning of next year, he also had a forearm injury back in March that caused him to miss time and a major back injury that caused him to miss time. He could be too fragile for some teams to gamble on with a high pick and a lot of money

  4. The upper levels of the farm system is stocked with starters so the Pirates want to take high school pitchers [maybe two] for the lower levels. I prefer college players as they should move a faster to the majors. I hope the Eastern Pa. pitcher falls onto the laps of the Pirates.

  5. In this mock, I’d be disappointed if they took Allard over Randolph at #19 – Everett at #32 looks okay…

    • There’s a decent chance that choice wouldn’t even exist for the Bucs to have to make. Randolph’s bat has a good chance of going well before the Bucs would have a shot at him. Given the choice between the two, though, I, too, would probably prefer Randolph, just because of the injury history Allard has.

      • Braves could take him I’ve heard and makes a ton of sense since they love drafting from their own backyard

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