First Pitch: On the Eve of the Draft

Our First Pitch articles for the last three weeks have dealt with the draft. We have looked at results for specific spots in the draft, specific rounds, how the Pittsburgh Pirates compare to other teams, and even some fun articles looking at other draft results that aren’t relevant to what’s going on this year. The last two days have been more specific to this draft. Sunday was a look at all of the mock drafts from top industry sources, while yesterday was a look at the strengths and weaknesses of this draft class.

We have some special things coming up today and tomorrow, including our yearly tiered rankings article, which is always extremely popular here. We will also have a draft tracker this year, plus any mock drafts that come up today and tomorrow.

Instead of posting a new article for each mock draft last year, we had a running thread in which we updated the title with each new mock draft added, then pushed the article to the top spot if necessary. That seemed to work out well, so I’m going with that again this year. I’ll have one today for any mocks that pop up, but expect tomorrow to be the busy day as draft experts hear more things leading up to the draft.

The draft coverage has taken the center stage in baseball for the last three months because nothing else has been going on. We have seen more comments in those articles than all other subjects over that time. So it feels like the usual suspects are focused in on the draft like normal, while others have taken more of an interest to it this year due to the circumstances.

So I’ll ask a simple question here and I’m looking for realistic answers. Who do you want with the seventh overall pick and do you have expectations for what the Pirates will do, even if it differs from your favorite potential pick? We know that the Pirates spent well on the draft under the previous front office, but we don’t know how the new front office will handle things.

The previous group had no problem taking college hitters or college pitchers in the first round, and they would take high school pitchers and hitters as well, without a focus on a specific position. Basically, their sample size was big, but not big enough to make an educated guess on what they might do year-to-year besides spend all of their money. You might not like all of their picks, but that’s the type of uncertainty (and spending) you want because it means they are keeping all options open.

I’m mostly interested in reading the realistic hopes of people to see where we are at going into tomorrow’s draft. I expect to hear many different names mentioned. In my opinion, this year is really shaping up as a good year to have a mid-round pick. There have been so many possibilities for the seventh spot that the teams picking in the 12-15 range could easily end up with better picks than the teams picking 7-10. I feel that there will be at least 10-12 solid choices left on the board when that seventh overall spot comes up, giving the Pirates a little leeway when making the choice. They might not end up with the best player overall when the dust settles many moons from now, but that group will provide numerous solid MLB players. So that means that even a miss could end up being a hit.




I’m hooked on this series. Love seeing old Americana, even though most of the towns in these videos were once bustling and now barely exist.

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.

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