Rounds 36-40: Pirates Wrap Up the 2015 Draft

I’d spend some time breaking down these picks, but the reality is that most guys in these rounds don’t sign, especially when you have a situation like the Pirates’ draft where a high number of guys project to sign in the early rounds due to all of the college picks. The one exception is Conor Costello, who is a senior, meaning he will most likely sign and serve as an organizational guy with one of the short-season teams. The other guys might be more interested in returning to college to try and improve their value, especially in cases like James Marvel’s, who is returning from major surgery and is at a low point with his value. – Tim Williams

36th Round, 1087th Overall: James Marvel, RHP, Duke

Marvel was drafted by the Twins in 2012, but ended up going to Duke. He didn’t pitch much, undergoing Tommy John surgery late in his sophomore year, and missing all of the 2015 season. In his two years pitching for Duke, he combined for a 2.94 ERA in 67.1 innings, with a 38:24 K/BB ratio. He’s no guarantee to sign with the Pirates, since he has options to return to Duke and try to raise his value. If he does sign, he’d be unlikely to pitch in 2015, as the Pirates would most likely give him some time to build up after such a long layoff. He was working in the 89-91 MPH range out of high school, but it’s unknown where he’s at after his injury. -Tim Williams

37th Round, 1117th Overall: Eli White, SS, Clemson

White is a draft-eligible sophomore, who was selected in 26th round in 2013 by the Cincinnati Reds. As a freshman, he saw very limited playing time, then took over at shortstop in 2015 and hit .297/.380/.405 in 61 games. He began the year hitting at the bottom of the batting order, but worked his way to the lead-off spot by mid-season. White is athletic in the field, has plus range and a strong arm. He is known for his glove, but the bat played well this season, so he could be hard to sign unless the Pirates are willing to go over his $100,000 slot. Baseball America ranked him 241st in their top 500 and they believe he could develop into a serviceable bat, with an above-average glove. -John Dreker

38th Round, 1147th Overall: Conor Costello, RHP, Oklahoma State

Costello is an interesting pick, simply because the Pirates announced him as a starting pitcher, despite the fact that he spent more time in his career with Oklahoma State as a position player. He pitched just 32.1 innings this past season, with a 1.67 ERA and an 18:6 K/BB ratio. Prior to that, he only pitched seven innings with Oklahoma State in 2014. Meanwhile, he had 392 at-bats in his college career, totaling a .735 OPS. Despite the lack of pitching, he has had Tommy John surgery, so he doesn’t exactly have a fresh arm. He also had a freak injury this year involving a piece of steak getting lodged in his esophagus, almost causing the need for surgery. He eventually went on a liquid diet. He should sign quickly, and will likely provide bullpen depth in Morgantown or Bristol. -Tim Williams

39th Round, 1177th Overall: Tate Scioneaux, RHP, Southeastern Louisiana

Scioneaux has been a starter for three seasons at Southeastern Louisiana U. He turns 23 later this year, but he is still a junior. In 2015, he made 15 starts and threw three shutouts. He had a 2.53 ERA and a strong 18:96 BB/SO ratio in 110.1 innings. Scioneaux also held the opposition to a .228 BAA. He has actually put up excellent stats all three years in college, with a low WHIP and a decent strikeout rate each season. That is impressive because he hasn’t been a pitcher that long. During high school, he spent most of his time catching until his senior year, when he showed an increase in velocity and has been on the mound since then. Coming into the season, Baseball America rated him as the tenth best prospect in the Southland Conference, although he didn’t make their top 500 list. -John Dreker

40th Round, 1207th Overall: Daniel Zamora, LHP, SUNY Stony Brook

Zamora is a draft-eligible sophomore, who redshirted last season due to a torn labrum that cost him the entire 2014 season. In 2015, he made 13 starts and two relief appearances, pitching a total of 81 innings. He had a 3.00 ERA and a 35:80 BB/SO ratio, to go along with a .251 BAA. As a freshman before his injury, he made 15 starts and had a 4.95 ERA in 83.2 innings, with 77 strikeouts. He lacks velocity, sitting 86-89 MPH, but he throws strikes, has good movement on his fastball. He also has a sharp curve and a change-up that rates at least average. Zamora was teammates for two years with Kevin Krause, who was drafted in the ninth round by the Pirates last year. Zamora was drafted out of high school by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 27th round in 2012. -John Dreker