New Mock Draft and Brooks Lee Doesn’t Go to the Pirates

MLB Pipeline released their latest weekly mock draft, this time going with selections made by Jonathan Mayo. For the first time in a long time, the Pittsburgh Pirates aren’t taking Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee with the fourth overall pick. Mayo doesn’t have the Pirates passing on him though, he actually goes first overall in the draft to the Baltimore Orioles.

After Lee, Mayo has three high school bats off the board in a row. He has Druw Jones going second overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Jackson Holliday goes third to the Texas Rangers, and then the Pirates select second baseman Termarr Johnson with the fourth pick. It’s not a new name for the Pirates overall, but it feels like it has been well over a month since the selection wasn’t Lee.

Mayo’s explanation of the picks says that the Orioles might want to go for some savings with the first pick, then spread it around later, which is basically what the Pirates did so well in 2021. He then says that with Lee gone, the Pirates could go towards the strong bat of Johnson, which is more advanced than the bat of Elijah Green, who has both more upside and risk to his pick.

Here’s our latest Draft Prospect Watch, which includes links that cover all of the players mentioned above, as well as the first three names on Mayo’s board after Johnson. We are just over a month away from the start of the draft. Our next Draft Prospect Watch article will be up on the site on Sunday morning.

2022 Draft
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redwards60

With Green on the board, I would not be happy with this selection…but for the Pirates, it would not be surprising.

ArkyWags

Johnson is supposed to be one of the best prep bats (talking hitting only here). So why would you not be happy with that?

emjayinTN

Hope all of you guys are watching the MLB Scouting Combine like I am. It may be live or maybe not, but it is certainly very enjoyable watching these kids show off their skills. If Termarr Johnson is on the board at No. 4 and we do not take him, we have crap for brains. Hitting a lot of 100+ mph EV, and hit one that hit the top of the Foul Pole in RF at Petco.

Watching one of my personal favorites, Nazier Mule (mul-lay) , I hope we have a chance to get him in the Comp Round. A HS kid who has hit 100 mph as a RHP, and hits for average and power, he will be 17.7 on the day of the draft. Playing SS well defensively is another plus for this kid who is 6’2, 210.

At Catcher, Adonys Guzman, 5’10” 220 is a man coming out of HS.

roibert.kasperski

John was so excited that Mr. Mayo has named someone other than Brooks Lee as the pick for the Pirates that he forgot all about his legal obligations to his family regarding Trey Dombroski. He is going to a nasty legal type letter in the mail if he forgets it many more times 🙂

RAS TN

Other than for discussion purposes it really doesn’t matter who they take, in the end, it will not matter much if at all…

CTBucco

I finally took a look at Lee’s sophomore stats. While he did nada in his handful of games against first division teams this year (my big knock on him), he tore them up last year. It’s all small samples. So, I won’t be as bothered by them taking Lee as I was before, but I’d still lean Parada if going with a college bat. Watch the YouTube video compilation of his 26 HRs this year. It’s impressive where he hit them and who he hit a lot of them against.

ArkyWags

They should pick whoever becomes the best player.

SouthernBuc

I always default to they should pick whoever they think has the highest upside with some degree of confidence they can reach it. From a personal opinion, every time I read a player has bat to ball issues (K’s too often) at the high school level, I worry they may never over come that. That appears to be the biggest strike against Elijah Green.

TNBucs

Two things that jumped out at me–Carl Crawford’s son is projected at 9th–that makes 4 of the top 9 projected picks sons of former major leaguers with a 5th, of course, the son of a former NFL player. Is that genetics, training, visibility, all of these?

Also, Brock Porter, a guy I’ve been interested in since reading John’s summary a few weeks ago, was named Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year. I don’t know anything about the competition he has faced (his team is 42-0) but his stats are ridiculous (e.g., more than 2 K’s per inning, .056 BAA).

TNBucs

The mock also has us taking HS LHP Jackson Ferris at 37 (he’s a teammate of Green’s). How strange would it be if we took at college catcher with our first pick (as some of us are hoping) and then followed that with a HS LHP pitcher with our second pick? Deja Vu all over again.

emjayinTN

About 3 months ago I mentioned a few “under-the-radar” HS kids who could be good picks for the Pirates. First was Cam Collier who played at JUCO (Chipola, FL) after getting a GED to skip his Senior year of HS in Atlanta. He hit very well at Chipola even though at the time of the draft he will only be 17.6 years old.

Second was Nazier Mule out of Passaic NJ. A poor man’s Bubba Chandler, 6’2″ 205, excellent SS, hitter, and is also a RHSP who lives in the upper 90’s with his FB and also has a few VG off-speed pitches.

TNBucs

I regret that I don’t follow draft prospects closely enough to know about guys like Mule or Ferris. Last year I really liked our draft but didn’t know anything about Solometo, Chandler, Kellington, Bishop, or White until after the draft (I did want us to select Davis at 1-1, but reading up on the guys P2 covers is about the extent of my draft knowledge :)). Hopefully I’ll feel the same after this draft. And a guy like Mule, especially coming from a cold-weather state, would fit the bill.

Scrappy2499

How about Green 1-4 and then Ferris @ 37..

ArkyWags

Anyone happen to see the espn article about Brandon Barreira? He shut down throwing games ahead of HS playoffs. Still doing bullpens for teams.

skliesen

He saw what happened to Lesko, and doesn’t want to lose out on millions of $$$ like Lesko is fixing to.

Drufan11

Yes great article by Kiley over at ESPN. Another smart guy that has been around the game for some time that cautions taking a prep arm in the top 10.

The probability of hitting is just too low for a team like the pirates to risk. I really like what they did last year and hope they can do something similar this year with a bat in the first and loading up on prep pitching afterward.

NMR

I respect the hell out of Kiley but in an era where everything is backed by data this stance is completely dogmatic.

The top 10 is a completely arbitrary number to put on a risk factor that inevitably has an enormous error bar.

The irony behind being risk averse to prep pitchers in the top ten but loving the strategy last year is that we have actual data that shows what a long shot the latter is at actually delivering high-end big leaguers!

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/is-the-draft-really-a-crapshoot-not-exactly/

Drufan11

Haha, yeah but I think you are missing the point. High school pitchers are highly variable full stop…so it is better to roll the dice and go over slot in the 30s and 40s than at 4 where you can get a bat that has upside and a much higher probability of working out. I’m not talking about popping the Tony Sanchez’s of the world at 4, but I think it is reasonable to pop a bat with a much higher probability and upside at 4 than a pitcher.

This isn’t rocket science TINSTAAPP is a thing for a reason. You reference the data…well look back 20 years…how many high school pitchers worked out that were selected top 10?

NMR

Reasonable, but not absolute!

We scare ourselves into selection bias here.

Wilbur Miller

You also have to take into account the fact that draft history isn’t a random sample. It’s possible that early picks do better because teams have learned to push prep pitchers down their boards.

skliesen

It’s more risky to select “safe” players. Winning organizations minimize risk by accumulating high risk/high reward players. Losers accumulate 40/45 grade players and fool themselves into believing having lots of above average players is a formula for success.

Drufan11

I agree you shouldn’t pick a FV 40 or 45 at 4 overall…that is crazy

AdministrativeSky236

Yeah seems similar to college fb guys sitting out bowl games ahead of the draft

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Haha that’s one of my hopes! Then Eric Brown or Doughty with the 2nd rd pick

Wilbur Miller

Fake news, obviously.

Wilbur Miller

Brooks Lee has already signed with the Pirates. He’s working out on a secret field underneath Pirate City, where he’s training a new team of as-yet unrevealed future stars. They’ll make their debut with the Pirates on June 26, with Lee batting cleanup.

SouthernBuc

The Onion apparently got a copy of the roster for the secret workouts but the code for the names was too complicated for me to decipher. They had names like Lumar Locker and Pevin Karada. Any help would be appreciated as these are likely future Pirates – cost does not matter.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I’m fine with Termarr. Then as I was about to give my opinion on the O’s, I looked up Heston Kjerstad (O’s 2020 1st round pick, 2nd overall) and see that he FINALLY made his debut 6 days ago. Good for him.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

But, as I was going to originally mention, Mayo’s reason for the O’s going college pick makes little sense. Aside from their Pirates type reasoning of “Well, this is what they’ve done last 2 drafts!”

Another possibility is that with some of the organization’s top talent reaching the big leagues and upper levels, it might be desirable to get a player who could join them quickly.”

Sure, it’d make sense, if Lee was a college pitcher, or if they have intentions of moving him to OF. Henderson and Westburg are already in AAA. Mayo (not that Mayo, but Coby Mayo) was a prep pick the following draft, and judging by how they’ve moved Gunnar so quickly, they clearly wouldn’t think of delaying Mayo.

NMR

lol, yes because clearly there’s zero chance that any of those three prospects will fail to reach the same upside that Lee could provide.

Weird critique, bro!

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Obviously there’s a chance. But on the premise of “joining their other top talent quickly”, then yes, it’s a little odd. Now if it was made with the caveat that high tiered upper level prospects could help supplement, with having assets for trade fodder, sure. But, then same could be said with whomever they select at that spot in terms of high ranking.

Last edited 2 months ago by Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)
ArkyWags

I think so much of the mock draft stuff ends up being educated guesses. And even then, these teams have so many irons in the fire both with players and various situations, that it’s hard to tell what will happen.

Wilbur Miller

I think it generally tells us what the teams picking early are seeing. Holliday, for instance, has apparently been rising fast the last few weeks. And there seems to be tons of interest in college bats.

What we don’t know is bonus negotiations. That clearly is a growing trend and teams also seem to be good at keeping it under wraps, which certainly is in their interests, seeing as how they don’t want either agents or other teams to know where their pool potentially stands. And that’s fine. If a team can leverage its pool the way the Pirates did last year, it should benefit. And if some kid can, say, move up from a $4M to a $5M slot by saying he’ll sign for $4.5M, good for him.

Last edited 2 months ago by Wilbur Miller
Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

It really is. Like the Royals REALLY blowing people’s minds last year with Mozzicato. Or Khalil Watson, who was even in discussion for #1 overall, drops to 16th.

I just want the draft to be here lol

Wilbur Miller

Mid-July??!! @$*#()$^@*%&#*(&!!!!!

Last edited 2 months ago by Wilbur Miller
Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

What makes it further aggravating, is it gives them a reason to further push potential movement. Gives them a reason to “back field” develop and push possible debuts and PT.

AdministrativeSky236

I was thinking the same thing, that reasoning barely checks out even at the most surface level. Whats your order of preference that we go in the draft? Im going to have to assume lee will still be around at 4 so just have to trust them to value him correctly and pick accordingly

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Really, my “order of preference” is Prep Kid or Parada. Whether it’s Termarr, Green, Holliday, Jones, or Collier. Whoever they think has the biggest upside, that they can develop, is available.

hoffmark83

I’m with you Bucs ‘N’ Pucks. My preference is prep or Parada. Really hoping someone picks Lee before it’s our turn

AdministrativeSky236

Wishing the best for that kid, some tough luck he ran into there but hoping for his best days ahead

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Yeah, kid has really gone through it. Hope he finally has a full and complete clean bill of health, and his career gets rolling.

Colin

I wouldn’t mind taking Johnson. Not sure why this kid keeps sliding down the rankings. If it were between him and Green I’d take Green personally, but wouldn’t be upset with the best prep bat in the draft

AdministrativeSky236

Unsure how I feel about johnson as the pick, not my top or bottom options, but I love the idea of jackson ferris falling to us in the comp round!

agent00

prielipp would be excellent as well imo

Colin

Should be some really interesting arms to choose from with our comp and 2nd round pick

TNBucs

And this is the main reason I probably wouldn’t consider Porter at 4, though he is very intriguing. With all the attention on the HS bats and bats in general, I wonder if Porter is flying under the radar a bit. But HS pitchers don’t have a great track record, so saving those picks for the comp round and later makes sense.

NMR

HS arms are almost certainly undervalued at this point.

Remember when finding undervalued assets was a thing the Pirates did?

Drufan11

I agree with the premise that high school arms can be undervalued in the first round but not at #4 overall…that almost never happens

NMR

A self-fulfilling prophecy.

This is like a Yogi-ism. Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded!

You can’t point to a lack of success at #4 when clubs are too scared to take arms that high in the first place.

Depending on your flavor of outlet, something like 4 of the 5 best pitching prospects in baseball right now are first round high school arms. Every one of them eminently worthy of being selected at #4 , but dropped in large part due to the very perception you cite.

Clubs in the teens are being given a gift, man. Top 10 talent at a steep discount.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Good thing they drafted 3 early on last year lol

But at this point I’m still trying to figure out exactly what value they’re even attempting to uncover

AdministrativeSky236

Thats my dream scenario!

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