Draft Prospect Watch: Latest Mock Draft Has Pirates Taking a Catcher

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.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Get a high ceiling HS prospect – preferably a SS or CF – with speed.


We don’t even have anywhere for a catcher to play at this point. If we draft a catcher, he has to be super atheltic and prep so that he can be moved somewhere else……


We have plenty of place for a catcher who would convert to 1B though.


True………or you could just pick a first baseman of equal talent 3 rounds later. Go figure they go and do something intelligent like that.


Who are the top LHP on the board and where do they rank? Any chance they might fall within the Pirates reach?
If they don’t take a LHP then I don’t mind them picking a position player with power potential. Got to love the power in Zack Collins bat. Every four years or so I’d like them break the pattern of picking an athletic player with a great OBP potential and pick someone who has significant power potential, a Willie Stargell type player. I hope that they don’t over react to the miss on Pedro Alvarez. His potential problem with OBP was there to see in college, they were just seduced by his power. Stargell had both power and decent OBP. There is always a place in the lineup for that.


Thanks John! Looks like some LHP are within reach on second pick. Should be interesting to see what the Bucs do.


Quantrill please. After rehab he will still be one of the 10 best players in this draft


I would rather avoid a Stanford pitcher like the plague. Not because of the recent history with Appel either. It is where scouting will come in.


Stanford rides their better pitchers a lot…but if he already has had TJ surgery…I am more than OK to take a pitcher with top 5 stuff in the 20s.


BPA….(Best Player Available)

I bet the Bucs surprise us with their pick.


lefty starter,or best player on the board.


Lefty starter or 3B or if there is a player CLEARLY better, not marginally- then go that route

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This is a head scracher, a catcher in the first round???? There is no glaring need for a catcher as a #1 . If he is any good he should be able to start at high A Bradenton and the following year is blocked. A SS is a high priority plus 3rd. base and pitching at #1 with a catcher a little later. Good pitching will always be 75% of the game. The Pirate cheerleaders will tell you that Locke is a good #5 pitcher in the NL. They don’t tell you is that teams like the Cards, Dodgers, S.F., and D-backs are not included in that number.


Joel…when Kyle Schwarber was drafted what position was he? Would you go back in time and take him if he were, somehow, available? I am not comparing the two as prospects…just making a point.


Glasnow was a 5th round pick. You don’t draft by positional need in baseball, even in the 1st round.


You don’t, but you should draft from a position of organizational depth and weakness. When you get to where the pirates are, you start running out of spots for prospects to develop properly- there are few opportunities for playing time, so you need to start drafting where you don’t have many prospects…..we see this problem already in our organization. Lack of forethought leads to shortstops being forced to play outfield, catchers being forced to DH which will never allow them to develop defensively, etc………you can always draft pitchers, but catchers, shortstops……..these guys need playing time, you have to be somwhat conscious of if you want to be succesful at the major league level.


Also, Walker was drafted as a catcher too. Doesn’t always work out behind the plate, but if you like the bat, you can usually find a position for them.


exactly……I don’t care if they draft a stupid position if the kid isn’t going to play that position…… but even though Walker was good, if he was hitting the way he did but as a catcher, he would have had a ton more value……….which is the point to some degree. If they were going to have drafted a 2nd baseman in the first round, they probably would have wanted him to be better than Walker was. Its a moot point, but a player’s draft position has an innate premium based on where he plays…..if you draft a catcher high…..keep in mind he doesn’t have as much value as a second baseman.


I get your point about organizational need, and I should rephrase my intended point. If all other things are equal I think you absolutely do consider your depth in various positions at the lower levels. I just meant, if there is clear cut most talented player I don’t think they would hesitate to take him, regardless of position.


I completely agree……..but when you are pickign 20 something, there isn’t GOING to be a large disparity of talent available there……which means picking for positional depth and intangibles like character and work ethic and even contract leverage all play an important point….. on a 1-100 scale……..you will probably have about 20 players on your board that you have scored within 2-3 points of eachother, so its completely stupid to pick the highest player on the board at that point without considering other more important factors.

Ian Rothermund

Let’s not start this conversation with what the Pirates “need.” That just immediately invalidates whatever argument you’re trying to make.


Its more a matter of “whom the pirates affiliates have a spot for” because drafting another catcher is like buying peanut butter BOGO when you have 24 of them in cabinet and no room to store anything else. Unless the kid is Buster Posey, you go in another direction with this pick. 3B is still a organizational position of weekness along with LHSP- Those are two areas where, talent being close to equal, you have to go in that direction. Trading from a position of extreme depth leads to lack of proper valuation by other teams, say what you want, but its a fact and you aren’t going to develop a catcher into a star when he is only playing half the time because there is another #1 or #2 that needs reps as well to develop.


Hey what do I know, you could be sitting in on the Pirate drafting room.

Joe S

Uh, it takes several years for any draft choice to make it into MLB, so no Major League team drafts for current need. By the time they would be ready for the majors no one really knows what the need will be. Consequently, the Pirates create a board with who they think are the most talented and simply mark people off the board as they are taken. They then take who is left at the top of the list.

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