Baseball America started posting their Draft Report Cards on Monday, beginning with the AL East. Prior to that, they had an overview of the entire draft class, ranking the teams and players in numerous categories. The Pittsburgh Pirates got two mentions in the article, one good and one bad.
Shortstop Stephen Alemais was named the fourth best defensive player and we saw those skills on display with Morgantown and West Virginia after he was promoted in August, and then in the Fall Instructional League. That last link also talks about the adjustments he made and the improvements he saw on offense down at Pirate City last month. His bat is questionable at this point, but the plus defense will give him every opportunity to see if the hitting eventually comes around. Drafted in the third round, Alemais hit .249/.286/.306 in 50 games this season.
BA has a section for “the ones that got away”, highlighting the top players who didn’t sign. Among high school players, 41st overall pick Nick Lodolo ranked third. That’s not surprising, as he was the highest draft pick not to sign in the entire draft. The good part here is that the Pirates get a compensation pick, while the other nine “ones that got away” mentioned in the article do not receive compensation. The Pirates will pick 42nd overall in the 2017 draft. The Pirates offered Lodolo well over his slot amount to sign, then when he turned them down, they were able to sign a high upside high school arm in Austin Shields to an over-slot deal.