Today we look at a new mock draft and the players near the 22nd overall pick, as well as some names moving up or down the draft list. The Pittsburgh Pirates own the 22nd and 41st picks this year. The draft begins on June 9th and lasts three days, with the first two rounds selected on day one. You can view our draft preview here, which covers many of the names who fall in the range of the Pirates. It also focuses in on players who fit the team’s recent draft strategy. If you missed the last article, we went over the progress of many of the college players who have been mentioned here often these last couple months.
On Scout.com, they conducted their third mock draft, with all four of their draft contributors participating in the process. They have the Pirates taking catcher Zack Collins from the University of Miami. I’m not going to rule out the Pirates taking a catcher because they have a nice mix of them at the top two levels with Elias Diaz, Reese McGuire, Jin-De Jhang and Jacob Stallings all having varying degrees of Major League potential. I think Bradenton’s Taylor Gushue also has potential, but there aren’t any legit prospects below him at this point. It would still be considered a position of strength for the Pirates, it’s just top-heavy with talent.
So assuming they would go with Collins, what would you be getting? He has been mentioned in this range before and at least for Scout, he’s the first catcher going off the board. Collins is a big lefty bat, listed at 6’3″, 220 pounds. He has power, and patience at the plate. He runs like a catcher, and his defense is limited behind the plate, though he does have a strong arm. Collins is hitting .413/.578/.702 in 35 games this year, leading his team in all three categories. He has eight homers, which is nearly half of his team’s total. He also has a 44:24 BB/SO ratio in 154 plate appearances. Some teams might see him as a first baseman instead of a catcher, which would mean the bat would need to carry him. He’s certainly one of the better college bats in the draft regardless of future position.
Some other names are taken near the 22nd pick in that Scout mock draft that people here should find familiar. The pick right before the Pirates is 1B/OF Alex Kirilloff, who is a high school player in Pittsburgh. He has been mentioned as a possibility for the Pirates in other mock drafts. You can read more on him here. The two picks right before Kirilloff are Vanderbilt outfielder Bryan Reynolds and Florida RHP Logan Shore. Both of those players have either been rated 22nd at some point, or they went to the Pirates in a mock draft.
The 24th pick is Matt Krook out of Oregon, who we covered here early until command issues knocked him down the rankings. Early season success actually had him moving up draft charts, so he has been all over the first round since February.
Robert Tyler from Georgia goes 28th in the Scout draft. He has consistently been ranked in the 20’s by nearly everyone, twice going to the Pirates in early mock drafts. This link has a scouting report on Tyler. Stanford’s Cal Quantrill will be a very interesting name to watch on draft day, because he could go anywhere. Scout has him going 33rd, but before his Tommy John surgery, there was talk of him going first overall. The 34th pick is Nick Banks, who is another one who was rated much higher before an early season back injury and the slump that followed, dropped him down the rankings.
One final name to mention and that is a favorite of mine. Ian Anderson, a right-handed prep pitcher out of New York, went 16th in the Scout draft. He is a cold weather pitcher, which means scouts really don’t get a great chance to see him due to a shortened season. Anderson is 6’3″, 170 pounds, with a nice current mix of pitches and plenty of room to fill out. Anderson can hit 95 and throws on a downhill angle. He also has solid command and a slider that looks like a plus pitch at times. He throws an average change-up, plus he isn’t afraid to attack hitters. He recently suffered a side injury while warming up and was pulled from his last start, so scouts had one less chance to see him. Anderson has the current stuff and has enough projection, that I could see the Pirates take him if he happens to fall to them.
** For subscribers of D1 Baseball, they have an article about players creating some draft buzz. They mention Lucas Erceg and Anthony Kay, two college players we have covered recently. Also listed are two players worth noting. The first is Braxton Garrett and you might remember the article I did after watching him start a game during the National High School Invitational (NHSI). He was impressive to a point in that game, showing command of a strong curve, while getting excellent results with his change-up. The velocity wasn’t that impressive though, as he topped out at 89 MPH with the fastball, and was mostly 86-87 all game. It appears now that he has recently started sitting in the 90-93 range, which makes him a very intriguing lefty, with a very nice three-pitch mix and advanced command for a prep pitcher.
The other player named by D1 Baseball is high school pitcher Graham Ashcraft, who is now sitting 92-96, touching 97 MPH, after topping out at 95 MPH last year. He’s is 6’1″, 205 pounds, and throws righty. Ashcraft has some command issues, but the velocity is impressive and he has shown a feel for a nice change-up and a decent curve. He sounds like a project with huge upside, which would probably make him more appealing with the second pick in the 41st spot.