For ESPN Insiders, Keith Law posted his first attempt at a mock draft over the weekend. With the 2018 amateur draft starting just four weeks from today, we are beginning to get a better idea of what certain teams might be looking to get with their early picks.
Law has heard that the Pittsburgh Pirates are interested in right-handed prep pitcher Carter Stewart and left-handed prep pitcher Matthew Liberatore. He has Stewart going to the San Diego Padres with the seventh overall pick, while Liberatore is his choice for the Pirates with the tenth overall pick. We have also heard twice that the Pirates are interested in Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart, but he seems to be rising up the draft charts. Law has Bart going fourth overall.
Liberatore was featured here just two days ago in our Saturday draft column. That was actually posted after Law’s mock draft, but I didn’t notice this mock draft until last night. I wrote up Liberatore because Jonathan Mayo had him going seventh overall in his latest mock draft and we had not featured the 18-year-old, 6’5″ southpaw yet.
You can check out the Saturday article for much more information, but the quick summary of Liberatore is that he has four above average pitches and solid control. None of his pitches would be considered plus offerings right now, but scouts believe that he could easily develop 2-3 of them into a plus pitch. There is potential for a top of the rotation starter.
I’ll quickly note that Law has prep outfielder Jarred Kelenic going 15th overall. He’s already been the choice of the Pirates in a previous mock draft and seems to be a heavy favorite among fans for his overall tools and quick lefty power bat.
Here’s a video of Liberatore that is different from the one that I posted on Saturday.