With their sixth round pick in the 2018 MLB amateur draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected right-handed pitcher Michael Flynn out of Arizona.
Stop me if you’ve heard this four times already in this draft. Michael Flynn made a late move up the draft charts this year. It’s a common theme now with five of the seven picks so far by the Pirates. Flynn, who turns 22 years old in August, was rated 257th in this draft class not long ago by Baseball America. They had him all the way up to 193rd in their final updated top 500, while MLB Pipeline debuted him in the 188th spot. That basically makes him a sixth round pick for both of them.
Flynn was a reliever during his first two years at Arizona. He became a starter this year after missing last fall with elbow soreness. Any concerns over a possible injury have gone away due to his performance this year, along with the amount of work he put in on the mound. Flynn posted a 4.89 ERA in 73.2 innings, with a 72:29 SO/BB ratio and a .242 BAA. That ERA is high for his team, but it’s the pitch arsenal that got him selected this high.
Flynn throws four pitches that are considered to be at least average and he throws them for strikes. Pipeline has him with a 90-94 MPH fastball, a 79-82 MPH curve and his slider and changeup are both in the mid-80s. Baseball America seems to have a more recent update which indicates that he has hit 95 MPH and he’s showing better separation between his curve and slider, which has helped his performance.
At this point in the draft with college players, the upside will be a back-end starter if all goes well and Flynn fits that mold. At 6’3″, 210 pounds, he isn’t likely to have much more projection, but he already has control of a nice four-pitch mix. The stats might not impress, but it does seem to be a solid sixth round selection.