Keith Law posted his list of the top 100 draft prospects on Wednesday morning for ESPN Insiders. While this isn’t a mock draft (we have a new one below), it does give you a look at the talent available in the draft from Law’s perspective, along with the thoughts of scouts he talks to over the year.
Law has Virginia first baseman Pavin Smith rated as the 12th best player. That’s a name we have mentioned here multiple times because sources have said that the Pirates have been scouting him. The big issue with Smith is that every mock draft I’ve seen has him going in the top ten spots, so no one thinks he will get to the Pirates. His teammate Adam Haseley is also said to be a draft target for the Pirates. Law has him rated sixth overall and says that the center fielder has really improved his draft stock. Again, most people have been putting Haseley in their top ten recently, showing an uptick of a few spots from earlier in the year.
One interesting, although not surprising rating by Law is North Carolina shortstop Logan Warmoth, who he ranks as the seventh best player. I’ve mentioned Warmoth as a player who fits the profile of the Pirates. He’s an athletic shortstop with the hit tool. He has similarities to Kevin Newman, although Newman is more of a contact hitter and Warmoth offers some power.
An athletic shortstop is going to have the ability to move to other positions if he’s blocked at shortstop. As we have seen with injuries to Cole Tucker, Adrian Valerio and Stephen Alemais in the last month, even a position of depth can change in a hurry. The part that makes Warmoth’s high rating, not surprising, is that Law was very high on Kevin Newman and there are a lot of similarities between the two players with defense, speed, size, position and a strong bat.
As for other names we have covered a lot recently, here are their rankings:
8. DL Hall
10. Jeren Kendall
11. Shane Baz
13. Nick Pratto
15. Trevor Rogers
19. Keston Hiura
21. Jake Burger
Two other players on his list I need to mention because they usually aren’t rated this high. He has Brendon Little rated 18th overall. He’s a 6’0″ left-hander, who has hit 96 MPH this year and Law believes he has the best curveball in the class. He goes to the State College of Florida, aka the former hated Manatee Community College team that the Pirates destroyed every season at the beginning of Spring Training. So that means it wouldn’t take much effort for anyone from the Pirates to go see him play often across town in Bradenton. A familiar target with two plus pitches could entice the team, especially if they like what they see.
Law also has Blayne Enlow as the 14th best player. He’s another one who fits the Pirates as far as profile, but seems like a big stretch with the 12th pick. He’s more about projection in his 6’4″ frame, as he usually works 88-92 MPH with a plus curve and above average control, but most feel there is more left in the velocity for the 18-year-old righty from Louisiana. I have not mentioned him this year because his name hasn’t popped up this high.
Both of these players seem like stretches with the 12th pick, but highly unlikely they will be around at the 42nd overall pick, when the Pirates make their second selection.
Fangraphs’ Mock Draft
Eric Longenhagen over at Fangraphs posted his own mock draft this week. He has been covering the draft for numerous years, including work at MLB.com. He has the Pirates taking Texas prep pitcher Shane Baz with the 12th overall pick. He also mentions the Pirates possibly reaching for Logan Warmoth.
Longenhagen’s #13-17 players basically reads like a list of players who have been linked to the Pirates, with DL Hall, Keston Hiura, Jake Burger, Trevor Rogers and Nick Pratto all going to the Pirates in a mock draft over the last month or so. See the link for more details.