Baseball America posted their fourth mock draft on Friday afternoon and they have the Pirates selecting high school outfielder Taylor Trammell. This is an interesting choice because we have heard word recently that a lot of teams ahead of the Pirates have shown interest in Trammell, holding private workouts with him. I mentioned him here two weeks ago, noting that he started off ranked much lower and shot to the top of the draft class before I could even focus on him. The reason I brought Trammell up is because he was the selection for the Pirates in Baseball America’s last mock draft. You can read a lot more about him here, which includes a video.
BA also mentions some other names we have covered recently. When I did the top tools article earlier this week, I focused on Josh Lowe as a potential 41st overall pick of the Pirates if he drops that far. BA also mentions prep pitcher Forrest Whitley and Kyle Muller. Whitley has been ranked around the first round for awhile, though he’s never been matched up to the Pirates. Muller on the other hand is a fast (and late) riser in the draft class.
I actually didn’t know anything about Muller until yesterday. In the mock draft for Jonathan Mayo covered below, he went 32nd overall. He’s a huge kid at 6’6″, 225 pounds (he’s listed as big as 6’7″, 245 elsewhere), but late last year he was sitting high 80’s with his fastball. That’s not bad for a high school junior, but not what you look for with the 22nd overall pick. You like to see some results to go along with the projection. This year he is sitting 90-91 with the fastball and hitting 94 MPH, so that’s quite and jump and something that puts you on the first round map. You can take high school record with a grain of salt, since the range of competition is HUGE, but Muller had 140 strikeouts in 74 innings this season.
Jonathan Mayo posted his second mock draft on Friday morning and he has the Pittsburgh Pirates going with Pennsylvania prep shortstop Nolan Jones. This is a name we have heard about a lot recently, with Kendall Rogers over at D1 Baseball recently saying that the Pirates were very interested in Jones. In Baseball America’s draft, they have Jones going 27th.
Most mock drafts and rankings have him in the 15-20 range, so there is a chance the Pirates won’t be able to select Jones, which makes the 23rd selection on Mayo’s mock draft interesting. He had Pitt right-handed pitcher T.J. Zeuch going 23rd, but also notes in the brief write-up for the Pirates that there was “some talk that they were leaning arm”. At 6’7″, with a fastball that shows great sink at occasionally touch 96-97 MPH, Zeuch would surely be an arm they would be interested in selecting.
Sticking with Jones for now, he currently plays shortstop, but most feel he will end up at third base. He is 6’3″, bats lefty, and has average tools across the board, rating a little bit higher in hitting. MLB Pipeline notes that he has good bat speed and raw power. I’ve included a video below from Baseball America, which ends with a match-up against hard-throwing Zach Hess.
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.
Would love for Burdi to be there at 41.
I like the idea of the Pirates going high ceiling, high risk with their first couple of picks this year – meaning, HS players – preferably position players with strong bats. A corner infielder type, a shortstop, and/or outfielder would be good. The Jones kid at SS looks good, as does the Plum HS kid…who is an OFer?
Who is the last Pitt player to play in the majors? I remember when we had Jim Negrych in our system, but that is it.
I just did a BRef search.
Josh Lowe is much more interesting to me, and Mayo has him on the board at 22.
Unlike Tucker Cole, he looks like he’s got the build to bulk up as he gets older. I can see why they say he’ll end up at third.
long swing, but he is young.
Looks good in the ready position, but then wants to wrap the bat back around his head. Even so, he uses some very quick hands to offset the length of the swing.
I like Trammell who shows up a few times on BA’s Best Tools List, but I had hoped that Burdi would be available at No. 22.
On the other hand, his lower half is very involved. He’ll hit for some authority that way.