The Pittsburgh Pirates have drafted high school right-handed pitcher Travis MacGregor in the second round of the 2016 draft. This is the second prep pitcher the Pirates have taken in their first three picks, following the same formula they had in 2014 when they took Mitch Keller and Trey Supak with early picks. MacGregor is from East Lake high school in Tarpon Springs, Florida, and has a commitment to Clemson. By drafting him early, the Pirates shouldn’t have any issues signing him.

He’s a 6′ 3″ pitcher who saw his fastball jump from the upper 80s to 90-92 MPH, touching 94. Baseball America had him rated 186th overall, while MLB.com and Keith Law didn’t have him in their rankings (ranking up to 200 and 100, respectively). BA did say that MacGregor was a “pop-up” prospect who got better the later scouts saw him. So it’s possible that the Pirates saw improvement throughout the year and had him much higher than the national rankings.

Aside from his fastball, which could still add some velocity as he fills out, MacGregor has a changeup that is potentially average and has feel for a curveball. Both of his secondary pitches need to be developed. He’s another project and a high upside guy, with the fastball giving him a lot of appeal right now at the new velocity.

We will have more on MacGregor and the rest of today’s picks later this evening.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. High school arms are always a crap shoot but if you have to draft a half dozen of them to end up with a Glasnow type or someone close you’ve done a pretty good job. I don’t know what the percentage of high school pitchers who make the majors is, but it has to be pretty low.

  2. I don’t anything about this kid, but it seems like we drafted him a lot earlier than the “experts” had him rated….I do like taking the two HS pitchers early – I’d like to see some potentially high upside HS position players taken as well..

  3. That’s the thing with these upside players, they are a gamble and it’s unlikely all of them come off all the time. But if we find just one more Glasnow among them it’ll have been worth it.
    I reckon we have pretty good coaching throughout the system, so the new guys get every chance to improve and hone their skills.
    The guys at the club compiling all those lists and scouting reports will have their reasons WHY they drafted those guys WHEN they did, they don’t just pick names out of a hat.
    I choose to trust them with their evaluations…

    • How about calling me when NH solves our bullpen issues. No one really has a clue what the prep pitchers will turn into . Craig seems to be interesting but again these players are like mustard seeds.

      • I don’t see any reasonable upside for all-star caliber players out of those first 3 picks…..you have one potential starting first baseman that has less upside than Bell (whom we would expect hopefully to man 1B for the next 5-7 years starting in 2017) and 2 pitchers whom might be projectable, but after the debacle with Heredia, I feel very unexcited about pitchers throwing 90-92 with no real secondary stuff…….how the hell are these guys #1 or #2 rounders?

          • If there were only 21 players in an entire draft with UPSIDE to be all-star caliber players, then this would have been the worst draft in history Tim.

    • The 2014 draft when they got Meadows, McGuire, Keller, and Supak in the first 2 rounds was the last draft where I was felt really upbeat on their selections. The last 2 years plus the start of this year pretty much leave me feeling blah. Based on the BA list, these are all overdrafts. But I don’t really know much about this stuff and the last 2 drafts seem OK so far, so maybe these players will turn out great. It would be nice if their selections aligned with the BA list once in a while though!

      • Meadows and McGuire were 1st round in 2013. Blake Taylor was 2nd round that year.

        Keller and Supak were 2nd round in 2014. Tucker and Joe were 1st round that year.

  4. Craig went about about where he should have. You might have been able to get Lodolo at 68 but who knows. A long time between 41 and 68 so if he was a guy they were high on I can see going with him there. MacGregor seems like a reach. Based on scouting reports and rankings he looks like a guy they could have waited another round, maybe even two on. Doesn’t mean he can’t/won’t turn into a quality pitcher, I’m more talking about the value where he is taken.

    • The issue is trying to stick to the slot allowance. Tim was saying before where you can’t take those high upside high schoolers in the later rounds (6+) anymore because of those price limitations.

      • I don’t disagree with that at all. However I’m not really talking about taking high upside pitching in the mid-late to later rounds. If you take someone else more apporpriate(based on scouting reports/rankings) at 68, you could likely still get a guy like MacGregor in the 3rd and maybe even 4th. 3rd or 4th round is still early-mid and should be enough slot money to sign a guy like MacGregor IMO. I don’t think you are taking full advantage of the draft if you consistently take guys higher than you should or need to.

  5. I was hoping the Pirates would go for some high school pitchers with upside this year. I will leave it to others to evaluate how good these particular selections are. They were certainly drafted higher than BA ranked them.

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