The Pittsburgh Pirates have drafted UCLA shortstop Kevin Kramer in the second round of the 2015 draft. This continues the very strong trend of selecting players with Seinfeld themed last names, after taking Kevin Newman in the first round. The Pirates announced him as a shortstop, although there are questions as to whether he can stick there long-term after having a torn labrum. Furthermore, with the selection of Kevin Newman in the first round, Kramer will have a challenge getting playing time.
He has played third base in the past, and the reports said he would fit better defensively at third. The Pirates wouldn’t have a lot of competition at that spot in Morgantown this year, and probably wouldn’t have a lot of competition next year in West Virginia. I could see Newman making the jump to Bradenton, as I noted earlier, although I think Kramer takes a more conservative path, especially with Jordan Luplow ahead of him. The interesting connection there is that Luplow also had labrum surgery in college, yet the Pirates have been comfortable moving him back to third.
Kramer lacks power, so that might prevent him from playing third base in the future, and might make second base a more likely destination. He does have good hitting skills. Keith Law rated his bat speed above-average and said he has good hand-eye coordination. His biggest value would be at shortstop, and there’s a chance he could stick there, although it’s going to be difficult with the growing competition the Pirates have at that spot in the lower levels.