First Pitch: The Top Names Still Left on the Board for Day Two of the Draft

Today is day two of the draft. The Pittsburgh Pirates will make the seventh selection today (44TH overall pick) when the draft starts back up at 5 PM. Today is the final four rounds of the draft, which is limited to five rounds total this year.

After 37 selections were made yesterday, we look at the top names that are still left on the board today. We wrote up 44 players and skipped the top two players (Spencer Torkelson and Austin Martin) because they weren’t dropping to the Pirates. That guaranteed us to have at least nine players left who we covered here. We ended up with 13 profiles left. Here’s a list of the best players available today along with some comments on each player. I listed them in the order in which I’d rank them.

Jared Kelley – The clear number one here, when a high school player with his upside drops this far, it’s usually due to bonus demands. Kelley was in our third tier of our draft tracker as a solid pick at seventh overall for good reason. He’s a big kid, with an easy delivery that produces high-90s heat. He has an above average changeup and an improving breaking ball. There’s potential for a workhorse pitcher who commands three above average pitches.

Cole Wilcox – I had Wilcox in the fourth tier as someone who probably wouldn’t make it to 31st overall, so that would make him a strong 44th pick. He’s a draft-eligible sophomore with a huge frame (RHP) and outstanding results this season. His fastball touches 100 MPH and his slider and changeup both get above average ratings. His control has been mediocre in the past, otherwise he would rank higher, but he did well in a small sample size this year.

JT Ginn – He would have ranked much higher if he didn’t require Tommy John surgery this year. He’s a draft-eligible sophomore, so he has negotiating leverage. He didn’t sign out of high school as a late first round pick. Huge upside, but there’s risk here.

Dillon Dingler – He would fit the catcher need for the Pirates, with many of the top catchers already off of the board. I rated him as a strong pick for 44th overall. He’s very athletic, with strong defense and he had success at the plate this year, which helped his stock. The small sample size leaves some questions about the bat improvements being real.

Chris McMahon – He’s an athletic player, with command of his pitches and an easy, repeatable delivery. McMahon should have no issue remaining in the starting role in the pros with his three-pitch mix, command and ability to hold his stuff late, giving him a high upside. He hit 98 MPH with his fastball and his changeup is an extremely effective pitch. He dominated in four starts this year.

Casey Martin – If you want to dream on a player and Kelley isn’t available, it’s Martin. He’s a strong defensive shortstop, who has above average power and speed. He’s a college hitter, but still very raw and he has some strikeout issues. If he can make enough contact you could be talking about a low-OBP guy who goes 20/20 SB/HR each year (with potential for more in his best years) and handles shortstop nicely.

Carson Montgomery – He gets his fastball into the mid-90s with life. He mixes it with an above average slider/slurve and an average changeup that has plus potential. He’s very athletic, repeats his delivery well, and throws a lot of strikes. There’s a chance that Montgomery ends up as a starter with control/command over three above average pitches. He’s got the stamina/frame/athleticism/pitches to be a workhorse starter. He has a lot of traits that the players rated higher in this draft class also possess, plus he’s fairly polished for a high school pitcher. He’d be a nice get at 44th overall if a better player isn’t available.

Daniel Cabrera – Cabrera has a solid mix of tools that are all at least average. You could be talking about a 20-25 home run guy at his peak. His defense is solid, but he’s a corner outfielder. It’s not huge upside, but you should still get a big league player at his absolute floor, with a good chance of being a starter.

Alex Santos – Prep pitcher from a cold weather state, who is still filling out and improving his stuff. This would be another potential high upside pick, though you’re taking on risk.

Tanner Witt – Similar to Santos, but a bigger frame. Witt is a 6’6″ right-handed pitcher, who has hit 95 MPH and shows good spin on both of his breaking balls. Risky pick, who increased his velocity in a small sample size this year.

Clayton Beeter – Small sample size of success pushed him up charts this year. Could be a nice sleeper pick. Hit 98 MPH as a starter, while throwing a slider and a curve that both get above average grades. His control improved this year as well. He’s 22, but is a draft-eligible sophomore. More risk and upside than your average college starter.

CJ Van Eyk – Polished college starter without huge upside, but he has a high floor. Gets his fastball up to 95, with a nice breaking ball and an average changeup. Will remain a starter in the pros, showing stamina, command and the ability to mix his pitches well.

Freddy Zamora – He was injured this year and wasn’t expected to play, even if the season played out. It was a knee injury, but not serious enough to hurt his stock anymore than the missed time would hurt. When healthy he’s a plus defender at shortstop, with decent speed and the ability to get on base. What could hurt him more than just the knee injury itself is that he also missed time with a hamstring injury last year. Otherwise he would rank higher on this list. He might be a possibility with the third round pick instead.

Here are some links from yesterday’s draft:

Pirates draft Nick Gonzales seventh overall

Pirates draft Carmen Mlodzinski 31st overall

Tiered draft rankings

MLB Draft Tracker

Draft Pick Signing Tracker

We put up ten articles yesterday, so in case you missed it in the morning, the Pirates released 39 players on Tuesday night.




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.

Support Pirates Prospects

Related articles

join the discussion

Share article

Pirates Prospects Daily

Latest articles

Pirates Prospects Weekly

MONDAY: First Pitch

TUESDAY: Article Drop


THURSDAY: Roundtable

FRIDAY: Discussion

SATURDAY: Pirates Winter Report

SUNDAY: Pirates Business

Latest comments