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Friday, December 9, 2022

Draft Prospect Watch: A Recap of the Top Available Players

Today’s Draft Prospect Watch is a summary of the players we have covered here over the last 12 weeks, leading up to next week’s draft, where the Pittsburgh Pirates have the fourth overall selection. As you can imagine with 12 players and the team picking fourth, some of these guys will go at least ten picks later. I highly doubt I picked the top 12 guys to cover, mostly because I went with the preference of the Pirates (according to the rumors) with some of my picks.

Instead of just including 12 links, I’m going to put them in groups with my quick comments on the group as a whole. The Draft Prospect Watch article for each player is linked to their name.

Group One: Players Who They Shouldn’t Pass On

If the Pirates have a chance to select Druw Jones or Jackson Holliday, they should take them. In my opinion, they are tier one in this class. There’s not a huge gap between them and the rest of the best, but they should go 1-2 in the draft. I’m going to explain why I said that they shouldn’t pass when we look at the next group. I am torn as to whether Elijah Green belongs here as well, but I would have a very hard time passing on him, so we will say he’s on the edge of this group, but doesn’t fit in any other group. I don’t know if he’s my definite #3, but luckily I don’t have to make these decisions.

Group Two: If No One From Group One is Available, Change the Plan

Recent reports have said that Termarr Johnson could be a savings pick for the Pirates because if he doesn’t go here, there’s a good chance that his next chance at getting picked won’t be until eighth overall. Whether that’s true or not, calling someone a savings pick has a bit of a negative sound, though I think Pirates fans are okay with it now after they saw how saving on the top pick could lead to stacking the draft class. Johnson is an elite bat, during a time in baseball where players swing for the fences in every count and strikeouts are a big part of the game. That “swing hard and hope for the best” approach is awful for the future of the game and games are hard to watch already, so someone who can make consistent hard contact with power is special right now. If the Pirates pick him fourth, they won’t be reaching.

Cam Collier and Cole Young fit more as the savings picks, even though both are very good (possibly top ten for both) players. I’m okay with these picks if no one from group one is available. I think the Pirates attacked the 2021 draft perfectly, and if you can’t get Holliday or Jones (I still can’t 100% commit to including Green there, but I doubt he provides any savings), then you go savings here and get a top talent who signs cheaper. After that, you add top talents who dropped due to bonus demands like last year.

Group Three: But The Pirates Want a College Bat!

I won’t go into as much detail here. The Pirates have been connected to college bats because they took college bats each of the last two years, and supposedly they have been scouting them heavily this year. You would hope that is true because it means they are doing what you’re supposed to do. It would be odd if they weren’t scouting them. Brooks Lee has been connected to the Pirates over and over, so if he’s the pick, no one should be surprised. We also covered Kevin Parada, Jace Jung and Jacob Berry because they have been loosely connected to the Pirates. They are all top college bats, as is Gavin Cross, who I added because he’s a top ten talent. He could be a different approach to the savings pick.

Group Four: This Isn’t a Group, It’s Where I Put the Only Pitcher

2022 is not the year to add a pitcher with the fourth overall pick. Pirates have the 36th pick and 44th pick, look for pitching there. I profiled pitcher Brock Porter because he’s recognized as the top pitcher in this draft class. I don’t see him as an option here, but I’m 100% sure that the Pirates have scouted him and pitching is one of the nine positions in which they need talent right now, sooooo…..

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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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CTBucco

My preferences – Jones, Green, Parada, Holliday, Johnson, then I can live with Lee or Collier but won’t be happy. I think Collier and maybe Johnson are the only picks that likely could be savings picks because all of the rest have been heavily discussed as top 4 options which drives up their expected bonus demand. Parada might sign for less, but I would not as him. I’m fine with them not saving on 1-4 because the upsides of my top 5 guys are high. Green is high risk but also has the highest reward (Parker, Winfield) along with Jones – who will be gone.

kend

I would not be happy with Cole Young, unless they were able to save over $2.5 million compared to the slot value. Plus a good plan as to what to do with all the savings. Best case: he is around number 15 of the available players.

Last edited 4 months ago by kend
ArkyWags

I wouldn’t be happy with Young, even if they saved that much.

HeisenbergWW

I think there are four top players, Jones, Holliday, Johnson and Green. The Pirates are guaranteed to get one of them. Why take the next potential Neil Walker (Brooks Lee) when you can potentially get the next Wade Boggs (Johnson) or the next Barry Bonds (Green) instead?

PiratePrimate

I see Tamarr Johnson hit and I see a LHed Kirby Puckett 😎 

PirateRican21

Hoping for Johnson/Green!

HeisenbergWW

That is exactly what I want and I suspect many on here agree. Its also what I think the Pirates are going to do. They’ll pick whichever one is available and if they’re both available they’ll go with the possible savings pick of Johnson.

AdministrativeSky236

Dont think theres any chance cole young is near being in the mix at 4

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

You seem to have forgotten one big name in Tier one. A name that would create shame among family for lack of inclusion

Colin

Doubt Jones could fall past 2 but I could see Holliday slipping to 4. I can see Baltimore doing what we did last year and taking Lee and have a hunch Texas will take Parada

Tintin049

I want us to take the best player available, which to me, isn’t Collier or a college bat.
If we want to save money for other picks, burn the 1A pick to do that.

PirateRican21

Does this mean that they don’t have talent in any position?

“I’m 100% sure that the Pirates have scouted him and pitching is one of the nine positions in which they need talent right now, sooooo…..”

PirateRican21

Done!

joesolo6181

My top five: Johnson, Collier, Green, Parada and Jung. Not sure about saving any bonus pool money with the first three but the last two can be had for less than slot, I think?

JimEastTennessee

No way Jones or Holliday fall to #4 , but if one does…obvious Pirate’s pick.
Otherwise, do you go Prada or Johnson? I told Ben to go with Johnson.

Colin

Johnson in my opinion. Certainly wouldn’t hate the Parada pick if we HAVE to go college but Johnson could be a beast in PNC park

James_Robert5

I would think the Pirates could make them fall by offering a high bonus (say $9m)

James_Robert5
timbre21

I’m sold on Holliday, Collier can be the savings pick

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