The Pittsburgh Pirates have drafted Florida State third baseman Dylan Busby in the third round of the 2017 MLB draft. This was the first college player taken in the 2017 draft by the Pirates, and their third position player.
Busby is an athletic player who has the chance to stick at third base. He has an average arm and good enough hands to play the infield. If he doesn’t stick at the position, he has enough range and athleticism to move to a corner outfield spot, likely left field. First base would also be an option if all else fails. His bat is what drives his value, with a lot of raw power that will allow him to play any corner spot around the field.
At 6′ 3″, 190 pounds, Busby has a good frame, and has seen his power increase the last two years. He hit 14 homers last year for Florida State, 13 this year, and had a good showing in the Cape Cod League last summer, with a .567 slugging percentage and four homers in 90 at-bats. Baseball America described him as having “plus raw power”, ranking him the 129th best prospect in the draft.
The downside to Busby’s power is that he strikes out a lot. He had a 25% strikeout rate this year with Florida State, and all of the reports on him describe a swing that is long and a lack of control of the strike zone. The Pirates typically go for guys who can control the strike zone at the expense of some power, but they have been known to take guys who do the opposite, with 2015 third round pick Casey Hughston being a recent example of a guy with plus power and swing and miss issues.
The Pirates have also been known to make adjustments with players to shorten their swing and try to cut down on strikeouts. They probably won’t make any adjustments with Busby right away, allowing for some time to evaluate his game. But if the strikeouts are an issue during his debut with Morgantown, it will be interesting to see how they address his development over the offseason during instructs.