The Pittsburgh Pirates finished with the seventh worst record in MLB this year, which gives them the seventh overall pick in the 2020 draft. Baseball America posted a postseason mock draft yesterday for the top ten picks.
BA knows that it’s too early for a mock draft and a lot can change in ten months, but they do it anyway to give you a better understanding of the strength of the upcoming draft class. After all, we were getting mock drafts within days of the June draft ending, so at least this mock draft takes into consideration the summer performances of the top players. Plus it makes sense to update after the draft order is finally set. You probably won’t see another mock draft from them until the college season begins for some teams in mid-February.
According to BA, the strengths of this class are college pitching, college shortstops, high school outfielders and the overall depth of the class. This current mock starts with six college players and it has a nice mix of positions/pitchers.
BA has the Pirates taking Jared Kelley, a right-handed pitcher from Refugio HS in Texas. He’s 6’3″, 215 pounds and has a fastball that gets up to 98 MPH, along with a changeup that flashes plus potential and a clean delivery that leads to solid command of his pitches.
I’ve included this video from Prospect Pipeline that includes velocity for every pitch
The most interesting part of this mock draft is that it has the Pirates passing on prep outfielder Austin Hendrick, who will no doubt get a lot of looks from Pirates scouts. He plays at West Allegheny HS, which is about 15 miles away from PNC Park. BA loves the raw power, bat speed and arm strength. We took a look at him here. You can guarantee that once our draft coverage starts up in mid/late February, he will be a focus throughout the season.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.