New Mock Draft from MLB Pipeline

Jonathan Mayo from MLB Pipeline has a new mock draft from this morning, as we are now just under two months away from the first day of the 2022 MLB draft. The Pittsburgh Pirates will be picking fourth overall that day, and Mayo has a name connected to them that we have heard plenty of times already.

The first pick in Mayo’s mock draft to the Baltimore Orioles is Jackson Holliday, the son of Matt Holliday, who has jumped up the draft ranks for everyone this year. We profiled him here in a Draft Prospect Watch article.

The second pick is the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he has them going for Druw Jones, another son of a famous outfielder (Andruw Jones). This seems like the low spot for Jones. You can see his profile here.

The third pick is Elijah Green, who could be in play for the Pirates if he gets by the Texas Rangers. Green’s profile.

Now we get to the Pirates, and Mayo has them taking Brooks Lee, shortstop from Cal Poly. This seems to be a popular spot for him because the Pirates took college bats in the last two drafts and he’s another high upside bat. He’s been connected to the Pirates numerous times since the start of mock draft season. We will have his profile in the upcoming weeks.

Our Draft Prospect Watch articles drop every Sunday morning. We looked at Cam Collier last week, after he was linked to the Pirates. Before that we also checked out Termarr Johnson, a high upside high school bat. They go seventh (Johnson) and 12th in this mock draft.

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Danatural08

I’ve watched a good bit of college baseball this year, there’ll be alot of good depth options in the 2nd – 5th round. Just did a quick look at MLB’s top 150 draft prospects & want to mention a couple nice options:

32: Landon Sims – RHP very similar style to Bednar’s younger brother, would’ve been top college arm available, but had Tommy John
69: Hunter Barco – LHP tall, power lefty starter. If he had stayed healthy & continued pitching well, he would’ve been a top 10 pick. Another Tommy John victim
87: Spencer Jones – 6′ 7″ RF from Vandy is a lefty hitting beast & hasn’t yet really tapped into his power, as he has a up the middle line drive approach (Similar to a Pirate OF from Vandy)
92: Robert Moore – small 2nd baseman who was rated pretty high coming into the year after a great year last year, has had a down year this year bc SEC competition is really strong this year. Reminds me of a Pedroia
105: Carson Palmquist – LHP from Miami who looks identical to Chris Sale
125: Ben Joyce – the Tennessee relief pitcher that hit 104mph

And somehow, not rated in the top 150 is Ivan Melendez from Texas. IMO of the college ranks, only Kevin Parada’s bat comes close to Melendez in this year’s draft. Melendez leads NCAA in Batting average, HR’s, & is 2nd in RBI’s while playing a really tough schedule. He’s also good defensively at 1st base. I know 1st basemen are now like Running Backs, in that no one wants to draft them early, but recently guys like Seth Beer & Evan White were 1st round picks, & neither were close to having years like Melendez is having. He’d be mlb ready very quickly, would love for the Bucs to snag Melendez.

NMR

Nice work man, thanks!

ArkyWags

He’s 22, R/R, and he’s K’d more than others of his ilk (Alonso, Tork, Vaughn). Oh with less of a track record. Still, I’d guess he’d be a good pick top 5-6 rounds.

Danatural08

Good point, forgot about those 3, I’ll do a slash line of their draft years as a comparison here bc i’m going to look it up anyways:

Pete Alonso (21 yo, drafted in 2nd Round): .374/.469/.659 14 HRs
Torkelson (20 yo, 1:1): .351/.446/.707 23 HRs (using 2019’s stats since 2020 cut short)
Andrew Vaughn (21 yo, 1:3): .374/.539/.704 15 HR’s

Melendez (22 yo): .421/.537/.942 w 26 HR’s (likely to add more)

Obviously, Melendez’s slash line isn’t complete, as Texas will likely make the college tournament, & face tough pitching, so the slash line may come down, but even still, Torkelson didn’t have a year like Melendez is having. Melendez is almost Slugging 1.000!

ArkyWags

I’m also cheating a bit by comparing him to two guys who were top 5 picks. Apples and oranges there. But I think Melendez is a very intriguing underslot option, for sure.

skliesen

In 20 years, BRef will show only Jones had more career WAR than Lesko. Take Lesko for $2 million under slot and reap the rewards starting in the 2nd half of this decade.

You’re welcome Ben.

NMR

YES!

emjayinTN

Not a bad thought. Based on what the overall #4 was paid last year, I expect this year it would be worth around $5.5 mil. Possibly $4.5 or $5.0 mil could work.

Chances are the HS kids drafted and healthy will not see much action until May 2023 anyway. Much about that first year is mental, and he would still be able to participate in that manner. I like Termarr, but I regard SP as a real need for this franchise. Lesko before TJ had 3 plus pitches!

joesolo6181

read all posted comments and no one mentioned T. Johnson as a choice at 4.

Wilbur Miller

I think he kinda got to be old hat. I’d be fine with him.

joesolo6181

What’s not to like about that pick?

pantherfan83

Didn’t BC draft mlb sons of players for the Blue Jays?

RAS TN

Can any of these come in DAY 1 and play for the Pirates and help this minor league team compete right now??

Now back to nap time…

ArkyWags

You need more than a nap, champ.

NMR

This ain’t football, partner.

roibert.kasperski

Yeah a good player usually has ~3 years, a really good maybe ~2 years, and a great player ~1 year. Depends on college or high school and what if any bumps in the road to the majors they have.

agent00

it would be so pirates, in a draft where the high school hitting crop of prospects is supposed to be one of the best in years……they’d take a college player

NMR

Cheringball.

Also, what’s the argument for Lee over Parada? The latter feels like he has more impact potential, no?

agent00

even if they both stick at ss and c, respectively, i think they’re similar hitters, except parada has more power. lee had a better cape cod season. maybe that’s why he’s ranked higher. i’d probably go with parada, if we’re picking between the two.

tough to pass on the high school talent though

ArkyWags

Pareda seems more similar to Davis than Lee, as a hitter. Eerily, as a player almost; big power, low K’s from a good conference, questionable defense.

NMR

They absolutely may turn out to be right, but if they once again pass on higher upside in order to take a relatively risky college bat I’d get awfully nervous about a dogmatic approach, or worse, an inflexible draft model.

They passed on Hassel and Veen for Gonzo, and obviously Mayer and Lawler for Davis.

Twice is a trend, three times is a standard operating procedure…

ArkyWags

So a question here…do you consider Gonzo and Davis to be risky college bats? Gonzo for sure, but as a bat, Davis doesn’t seem that way. I won’t pretend to know enough about Lee or Pareda to say they’re more like Nick or Hank, but I certainly feel like I like the prep bats more this year (cause of the boom potential) than the other two years.

I do think your point is a good one; it feels like they need to diversify a bit more in their approach. As you’ve said before, the pendulum on prep pitching has swung too far in one direction. Feels like maybe it has for the Bucs too, with prep bats.

NMR

Gonzales, irrefutably, but I can appreciate differences of opinion on Hank.

I’d argue the risk that follows him is more on the value side than straight-up busting. He’s just not a good defender, and there’s a massive difference in value between a 110-120 wRC+ catcher and a 1100120 wRC+ first baseman when that player represents the top pick in the entire draft. You’d much rather Correa your top pick and have McCullers be the kicker than depend on all the overslot guys making the entire strategy worthwhile.

IMO, a hell of a lot more has to go right with the strategy they took than just turning a Marcello Mayer or Jordan Lawler into a star.

ArkyWags

Your last paragraph captures it perfectly. It’s almost like they’ve talked themselves into being risk averse by spreading it around with the savings on Davis going to Bubba, Tony Soles and the gang. But in reality, they’re hoping that they turn 3-4 guys from one draft into major contributors and that’s just really tough to do. In other words, while the “all your eggs in hotshit Johnny PrepBat” basket seems risky, you just need the one thing to go right (Johnny to turn into a star) and you’ve got it made.

Ultimately I’m not sure how much Davis’ defense takes a hit with robo umps somewhere on the horizon. It feels like that is “good enough,” but that’s the approach they’ve taken with Cruz too, so that should tell us plenty.

NMR

Fully on board with that last paragraph, but if you take framing away from catchers along with it goes an immense amount of positional value we’ve given them.

I think it seems likely you see other clubs take advantage of this, and the overall offensive level at the position increase. Maybe significantly.

ArkyWags

Would any of that be offset by his arm? Caught steals ‘n at?

NMR

I could be totally off base with he overall effects and how this shit works, but I could see the arm increasing his value relative to other catchers while still taking an overall hit compared to where they are right now, as a position.

Basically, if dudes who would now end up first basemen start sticking behind the plate then the positional defensive value at catcher is likely to move towards what it is at the position those dudes would’ve slid down to (although certainly not all the way).

Wilbur Miller

The problem with this FO taking a prep guy is that, if he doesn’t get hurt, he sits out 2022, goes to the GCL in 2023 and plays maybe 35 games, then goes to Bradenton in 2024 and doesn’t get promoted no matter how he does. In 2025 he goes to Greensboro and he’s the age of a college draftee, who’d start at Greensboro in 2022. And even at Greensboro, the prep guy plays only 4-5 games a week because Ernny Ordonez and Claudio Finol are there and they need to start half the games.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wilbur Miller
Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

At this rate, I’m starting to think even they don’t believe in the their developmental ability, so does it really matter either way then?

Wilbur Miller

I’ve been wondering whether they’re just chickening out, like after making all these claims about having a great developmental system, they’re afraid to put it to the test.

They seem to be falling back to the old Littlefieldian notion that if you leave a guy in the minors long enough, he’ll reach a point where he can come to the majors and not struggle at all. I’ve always thought that challenging players is what produces results. The Cardinals always seem to have understood that.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wilbur Miller
agent00

they absolutely are chickening out. putting it to the test would require risk…..inevitable failure. just like huntington, this management team seems very risk-averse. as a small market club, you have to take risks to compete with these other teams.

hard to challenge prospects when you spew bullshit answers about how a player needs at least 300 at bats at a level before you can think about promoting them. what a joke

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Meanwhile Gorski is closing in on 550 Hi A plate appearances, is mashing the hell out of the ball, and still in Hi A currently. I know, I know, it’s mostly “home ballpark”, but at a certain point obliterating the baseball is just obliterating the baseball.

NMR

Less not believing in themselves then bullshitting from the beginning.

Cherington set the tone for his entire tenure with his transparently bullshit “build” not rebuild narrative, and true to form the only idiots on earth who bought it are the media talking heads who’ve gladly carried water for him.

Follow that up with Baker’s transparently bullshit talk about prospects actually being done after AA, complete with the Roansy and Oniel dog and pony show to end the year, and I don’t know how anyone is naive enough to believe anything they say.

It’s all narrative cover for a milquetoast, generic long rebuild. Ain’t nothing new under this hood, just have to hope they do it better than the last bunch.

Wilbur Miller

Well, I said the other day that I’m increasingly seeing this FO and staff as a bunch of losers who just sit around and congratulate each other on finding this great, no-accountability gig. Too many moves serve no discernible purpose, and there’s hardly any sign of progress — none whatsoever at the ML level and far too little on the prospect front. Really nothing but empty BS.

So, yeah.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Which is why I return to although Nutting is cheap, I think the issue is far more that he’s just a completely incompetent businessman than it is he’s cheap. Coupled with, I’m beginning to further question the Travis Williams hire. When thinking from the perspective that Williams came from the NHL world, everything he/they have done up to this point REEKS of a NHL FO. From the Ben hire, cause the NHL loves rehiring known commodities with known names for positions. To the complete and utter lack of transparency, more than the NH regime, after saying they’d be more transparent. They’re even using LBI and UBI talk (Lower/Upper Body Injury), just as the other day when talking about Hayes and his days off; “He’s been dealing with a lower body injury”.

Being cheap is one thing, but being this cheap and this incompetent, for the length they’ve been, has to reach a point where it’s less profitable than it’d be to even remotely attempt to put a competitive squad on the field. They could make the roster even CHEAPER with league minimum prospects that’d at least drive enough hype to fill the stadium, maybe, to 50% capacity. They are just flat out incompetent from top down.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)
agent00

Ain’t nothing new under this hood, just have to hope they do it better than the last bunch.”

pretty much. strap in boys and girls. this rebuild is gonna be a long one!

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Which, the twice I was fine with, as I could understand wanting to get (assuming all things worked as hoped) advanced bats that were seen as quick to majors. Unfortunately, with how they’ve handled the big league squad, it doesn’t seem they’re as motivated as I would’ve thought with those picks to actually build a quality MLB squad. That aside, I do believe this year is the year to go prep.

A third straight “advanced college bat” to me would start setting off more alarm bells.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Yeah, idk. Positional? Maybe? Since neither are really considered strong defensively at the current position. But Parada’s bat appears it’d provide a much bigger impact. Parada or Prep. That’s where I’m at.

ArkyWags

I’m kinda in that camp too. If it’s a situation where they have theirs pick or Pareda and two of the big prep bats…don’t overthink it.

Wilbur Miller

So, if this holds up . . .

The first guy is one I’d be OK with, but no more so than a bunch of other guys. The second is a guy I never thought the Pirates would get a shot at. And the third is a guy whose swing and miss issues might keep me away.

So, bottom line, the Pirates would have a range of choices that all seem good. They just need to choose wisely.

Scrappy2499

When I think of Green, the pick reminds me of Pedro Alverez. He was a guy every outlet was talking up huge power etc…but all that swing and miss…

NMR

Through his ups and downs, Pedro still ended up an above average hitter for his career

I think the argument for Green is that with his other tools in play, he’s a star even if the bat is only Pedro. Or at least the hope.

RAS TN

Just a question is your bar at ground level??

NMR

A star player isn’t enough for you at the #4 spot?

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