A little over a month ago, we began our 2018 amateur draft coverage with our preview article. Since then we have looked at a pair of potential draft pick for the Pirates each week. Heading into the final week of March, we continue with two more players today. They are pitchers Logan Gilbert and Ryan Weathers, who are both rated highly by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline. Overall, there is a strong group of pitching talent at the top of this year’s class. Neither of these pitchers are among the top ten prospects at this point, but they still have time to improve their draft stock.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have the tenth overall pick in the 2018 draft, which is now 72 days away. That’s their highest pick since taking Austin Meadows with the ninth overall pick in 2013. Every Saturday leading up to the draft, we will have an article looking at the players who are possibilities for that tenth overall pick. We will also have separate articles as we get closer to the draft whenever some of the top draft sources have updated rankings or post mock drafts.
Here is a summary of the previous articles:
We start this week with Logan Gilbert, who is a 6’5″, 195 pound right-handed pitcher from Stetson. He turns 21 years old in early May. He is currently ranked 16th in the draft class by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline.
Gilbert has four pitches that are all considered at least average, as is his control. His best pitch is his fastball, which touches 97 MPH. His slider has received some nice reviews this year and his changeup has a chance to be above average. He also throws a curve, which is his fourth best pitch and he throws a lot of strikes.
Gilbert obviously has room to fill out with that frame, though he may have done that some since last year, as I have seen his weight listed higher in places. MLB Pipeline notes that he is athletic, repeats his delivery well and also mentions that he was a position player in high school. That says a lot for how far he has come as a pitcher in under three full seasons of college. If you’re looking for a player who presently has tools and still has room for major improvements, this would be the guy.
Through his first five starts, Gilbert has a 2.67 ERA over 33.2 innings, with a .172 BAA and 50 strikeouts. Those numbers look outstanding, but except for the strikeouts, it’s fairly average for his team, which signifies some weak opposition this year. His team has a 1.89 ERA and a .162 BAA, while averaging just over 11 strikeouts per nine innings. A lot can get lost in college stats though, so the stuff on the mound is a much better indicator of the potential future success.
UPDATE: Gilbert went 8.1 innings last night against Maryland, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, with ten strikeouts. He was sitting 90-92 MPH, though he may have had trouble due to the mid-40s temperature. Curveball was playing well according to reports.
Here’s a recent video for Gilbert, posted by 2080 Baseball:
Ryan Weathers is an 18-year-old left-handed pitcher out of Loretto HS in Tennessee. He’s a much different frame than Gilbert, standing 6’2″, 210 pounds. Weathers was rated 15th by MLB Pipeline at the beginning of the season and 17th by Baseball America on their updated list. He has a commitment to Vanderbilt, but that shouldn’t be an issue unless his draft stock takes a big hit.
Weathers just got his season started, so we will see soon if he can improve his draft stock. He made his debut on Thursday and Vince Cervino from Perfect Game had him sitting 91-95 MPH, with a power curveball that was 79-80.
Coming into the season, the scouting report on Weathers had him 90-93, touching 95 MPH, so we are seeing early slight improvements. The curveball was highly rated coming into the season and that obviously hasn’t changed, although it appears to have improved a tick on the velocity just like his fastball. Weathers has an advanced changeup for a high school pitcher, so we are talking about a three-pitch starter who throws strikes.
Overall, he appears to be advanced for a high school pitcher in all facets, including athleticism and the ability to hit well enough that he could be a two-way player in college. Weathers is an accomplished basketball player as well, but his future is clearly as a pitcher.
Here’s a video of Weathers from the summer:
** Prep pitcher Ethan Hankins was rated second overall in this draft class by MLB Pipeline before the season and BA had him fourth overall in their updated rankings earlier this month. That #4 ranking was despite a shoulder injury that sidelined him until earlier this week when he returned to the mound. Here’s a quick video and report.
** Carlos Collazo held a draft chat for Baseball America on Thursday. Both Gilbert and Weathers are mentioned in the article, which is worth checking out. BA also had an article on Casey Mize and his rising draft stock.
** One final BA link. Their top five college shortstops, starring Jeremy Eierman, who was covered here last week.