Rounds 16-20: Filling Out the Morgantown Roster

There weren’t any high upside guys taken in rounds 16-20, and that makes sense. The Pirates are going to be spending a lot on the prep pitchers they drafted to this point, which means they wouldn’t have much slot money remaining for high upside guys at this stage. The guys taken in these rounds look like guys who will fill out the Morgantown roster this summer. Some of them could play big roles, pitching in the rotation or getting some playing time on the field, but that will be determined when the draft is over and the rosters look a bit more clear. I think the best chance for playing time with that team is in the rotation. The Pirates skipped Mitch Keller and Gage Hinsz over Morgantown, sending them to West Virginia. They also moved Billy Roth to the bullpen and moved him up to West Virginia. That will leave a few rotation spots available, and there might have only been 2-3 guys on day two who were drafted to fill those roles. – Tim Williams

16th Round, 495th Overall: Matt Diorio, RF, UCF

Diorio had a good sophomore season, putting up a .308/.429/.476 line. He missed 23 games with a hand injury as a junior. The injury may have affected his hitting, as he batted only .279/.373/.397. Diorio had good walk rates, but also struck out a lot — 48 times in 143 at-bats as a sophomore and 28 in 136 at-bats as a junior — without producing very much power. He saw some time behind the plate, but the Pirates announced him as a right fielder. – Wilbur Miller

17th Round, 525th Overall: Matt Frawley, RHP, Purdue

Frawley was the best pitcher for Purdue this year, posting a 2.78 ERA in 74.1 innings, with a 58:27 K/BB ratio. That’s a big improvement over last year, when he had a 4.55 ERA in 55.1 innings, with a 33:23 K/BB ratio (which also happened to make him the best starter on the team). He can throw 94 MPH, although he doesn’t have a tall, projectable frame like most Pirates pitchers. He also throws a curveball for his strikeout pitch, but doesn’t get many of them. With so many younger guys skipping over Morgantown this year, Frawley could have a chance to pitch in that rotation, giving him plenty of innings to show what he can do in pro ball. – Tim Williams

18th Round, 555th Overall: Kevin Mahala, SS, George Washington U

Mahala has been a starting shortstop for all three seasons at George Washington. He pitched one game as a starter during his freshman season and allowed three runs over three innings. He also pitched in high school and posted a 1.91 ERA his senior season, so he has good arm strength. In 2016, he hit .286/.326/.461, leading his team in slugging, doubles and triples. Mahala has shown improvements with his hitting each season, going from a .559 OPS in 2014, to .659 last year, up to .787 this season. He has stolen 17 bases in his three seasons and he’s never walked more than ten times in a season, so there are some limitations to his offensive game. – John Dreker

19th Round, 585th Overall: Pearson Mcmahan, RHP, St Johns River State College

The Pirates drafted Mcmahan after his first year of JC ball. He pitched in relief, giving up 35 hits and 25 walks in 42.1 IP. He struck out 61, so he appears to be able to get swings and misses but needs to improve his control. He throws a slow curve, which may account for a lot of the strikeouts. – Wilbur Miller

20th Round, 615th Overall: Adam Oller, RHP, Northwestern State U

Oller has been the Friday night starter for Northwestern for three seasons and he won the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2016. He pitched over 300 innings total during his three seasons, including 109.2 as a junior this year. Oller posted a 1.23 ERA, with 32 walks, 79 strikeouts and he held opponents to a .207 BAA. He has never been a big strikeout pitcher and his 32 walks are a career high. According to D1 Baseball, he sits between 87-92 with his fastball, showing a plus curveball and a quality changeup, commanding all three pitches well. He should be an easy sign and will likely start for Morgantown. – John Dreker




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joe s

since these rounds go so fast and the players at some point are unknown, does any team really look at these players after the 20th round?

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