New Mock Draft and Updated Rankings Bring New Name to the Front

Our Draft Prospect Watch articles covered everyone who was getting any mention for the Pittsburgh Pirates and even some players who were very similar to players getting mentioned. However, with just over 30 hours until the 2022 MLB draft, there’s a player who wasn’t covered in that series, and he’s getting some major attention at the top of the draft.

Kiley McDaniel at ESPN has a mock draft in which he has the Pirates picking Cam Collier. That’s a name you should know well by now. McDaniel also mentions that the Pirates could go for one of the top names if they drop, but then he mentions a savings pick getting attention, Zach Neto, an infielder from Campbell. That seemed like a bit of a reach and and a late name out of nowhere, but then the updated top draft prospects list from Fangraphs has Neto ranked fifth in the entire class. So we should probably take a quick look at him.

Neto isn’t a huge reach, he just never got a mention before for the Pirates and he’s never been among the top ten names. As an example, Baseball America had him 16th in their last update. That’s a mid-first round pick according to them. While they get a lot of their info from scouts, you can probably find a scout who has him rated much higher. The 21-year-old Neto is 6’0″, 185, right-handed hitter, who gets listed as a shortstop and second baseman. His scouting grades from BA give him 55 grades for hit, power and running, 50 for fielding and 60 for arm. Pipeline has him ranked 17th and his grades are different in everything except fielding. He’s a 60 hitter, 50 power, 50 running, 55 arm. Fangraphs gives him a 50 Future Value.

There seems to be some consensus that he’s an overall solid player who does everything well and puts a lot of effort into everything. His swing is big, but he cuts down with two strikes. He has put up big results in college and summer ball, helping his draft stock. He’s not a natural looking shortstop, but he’s very athletic and has an arm for the position, even though second base is mentioned a lot as a possibility. His swing needs to be seen, so let’s just get right into videos

This video shows his 29-game hit streak, so you get a little bit of everything and his first three swings look completely different

This one includes a little bit of fielding, batting practice and game action in a short video


2022 Draft
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Happy draft day!



In all seriousness, excited to see what the day brings.


D’accord. We have evidence that this is a skilled FO.


C’mon Ben, shock the world and take Lesko tonight! Fortune favors the bold!

Jason Gindele
Last edited 2 months ago by Jason Gindele

I wonder if some of these are head fakes to add players in mix try to drive down slot demands – if you have 8-10 reported candidates for top 6 picks , perhaps some players worry about sliding


You may be onto something.



The more I read of these mocks the more stressed I get that the Pirates are going to totally blow it with this pick. No to Collier and no to any other reach. I’m sticking to my guns that Parada should be the pick. That dude is going to be a good hitter in the bigs.


Agree with the last sentence, but he’s Henry Davis 2.0 with a weaker arm. Is that the right move?


Stick with the consensus pick and athletic ability. That makes it either Termarr Johnson or Collier, whoever is available. MLB pedigree, LH hitter, great athlete. What’s not to like in either one? The Pirates are in an enviable position.


And rumors that both could be had below slot? Sounds like a win across the board to me


Hell no! Enough quantity! I want quality!


He would be my choice among college bats


I hope to God they’re just trying to get the Os, Dbacks, or Rangers to overdraft Neto. We already have a small(ish) college MIF who is a bat-first prospect. One is enough.


No ..


I like the swing but he doesn’t shout superstar to me, so I think the Pirates should look for more tools.


Wasn’t Neto in those Matrix movies?


Well, that’s certainly a swell or neat to pick…


I see what you did there.


Eesh. Thats a lot of movement legs and hands in that swing. He doesn’t look very athletic to me in the field. I don’t know anything but that’s not a top 4 pick to me


holy leg kick!


This smacks of being too clever by half. After months of analysis suddenly a guy jumps up ten spots or so with sign-ability as a key factor. Stay with the plan. Don’t over think it.

You either take best player available or best sign-able player under your parameters.

Assuming Jones and Holliday are gone, it is either Green (if available) as highest ceiling or lower risk T. Johnson or Collier.

Wilbur Miller

Has a Tony Sanchez feel to it. I’m also getting very skeptical of anyone evaluated, especially by this FO, as being primarily about the hit tool.


So would you be more comfortable with a guy the industry as a whole thinks can hit? Like Termarr? Or are you skeptical of the industry being good at evaluating that tool at all?

Wilbur Miller

The industry as a whole thought Nick G could hit. May still be right, but it doesn’t look great. My real skepticism is about this FO.


I’d also think the lost reps from 2020 may have shown his swing/miss issues.

However, the hit took is always difficult to project at any stage. Wasn’t Keston Hiura supposed to be a hit over power guy?


The last 3 times the Pirates picked at #4
Tony Sanchez, Brad Lincoln, Daniel Moskos …


You mean, Tony Sanchez, Brad Lincoln, Daniel Moskos, Zach Neto…


Jesus that is a depressing historical group of #4s


Jesus said that talent level was worse than depressing, it was manic depressing. Almost crucifyingly so.


the tony sanchez pick was perhaps the most baffled i’ve ever felt as a pirates fan.

please don’t make me feel that way again, ben!


They picked Sanchez because they thought they were getting Sano in the international signing and were going to need a lot of money.


Danny Moskos would like to speak with you.


Not excited by this new name, but what do I know?

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I wouldn’t hate it


Come on Jeff, you’ll be loving whoever we draft!


Yes, you would


No thanks



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