Baseball America put out their latest mock draft on Friday evening and they had a name that should be very familiar if you’ve been following our draft coverage. Yesterday, Jim Callis put out his latest mock draft and had the Pirates taking right-handed prep pitcher Shane Baz with the 12th overall pick. We covered him twice before, so after a brief update on Baz, I focused the article on Kentucky first baseman Evan White.
The BA pick for the Pirates in their new mock draft just happens to be Evan White. They mention that the Pirates have been focused on hitters and White is one of the fast risers in this draft class. As a side note, White had a tough night in the SEC tournament yesterday, going 0-for-4 in a 3-1 loss to South Carolina. He’s still hitting .366/.439/.628 in 46 games this season.
As for the rest of the mock draft, BA has Baz going 13th overall. Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall, who was MLB Pipeline’s pick for the Pirates in last week’s mock draft, goes off the board with the 11th pick. Virginia outfielder Adam Haseley seems like a semi-popular choice among fans, but most recent mock drafts have him off the board before the Pirates pick. The other college bats supposedly garnering interest from the Pirates don’t last much longer in this mock draft. Keston Hiura goes 15th and Jake Burger goes 17th.
It’s interesting to note that once North Carolina shortstop Logan Warmoth goes off the mock board with the 19th pick, only one college position player is taken among the next 17 picks. Draft experts are predicting a run on high school players starting with the 20th pick and this mock draft certainly follows that thinking. I’ve never heard Warmoth’s named attached to the Pirates and he has never been rated within a few spots of them either, but he wouldn’t be a surprising pick based on their past. He’s an athletic shortstop, with defense, speed and some power in his bat, along with a solid approach at the plate.
The Pirates have used high picks on shortstops each of the last three drafts, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for an athletic shortstop. Warmoth could probably play multiple other spots to fill a possible need in the majors if he isn’t the best option for shortstop. That’s the one position where it doesn’t hurt to load up on players because they can usually play elsewhere since they have the athleticism and arm to play up the middle. If they have an advanced bat, then you’ll always be able to find a position for them.
** BA also has an interesting article to keep on the side for draft day. It’s five high school players on the rise. None of them profile as a possible first round pick for the Pirates, but those other four picks of the Pirates in the top 88 could be interesting landing spots. Check out the article, then remember the names for draft day just in case. The last one is a 6’8″ right-handed pitcher who just screams projection.