Armed with the fourth overall pick, the Pittsburgh Pirates went away from their blueprint from the previous two years under Ben Cherington and drafted high school infielder Termarr Johnson.
One of the best hitters in the draft, Johnson was given a ’70’ hit tool by MLB Pipeline, and his player bio said that a scout actually gave him an ’80’ grade.
For reference, Wander Franco had an ’80’ hit tool on MLB Pipeline, and he was rated as the top prospect in the game for multiple years.
For someone with his frame (reportedly 5’8″), Johnson packs a punch and is someone that is seen with 25+ home run potential.
Johnson’s hitting ability alone instantly makes him one of the best prospects in the Pirates system. Fangraphs themselves said Johnson would slide in around 27th in all of baseball in their final rankings. Henry Davis is currently top on the Pirates’ list as the 20th overall ranked prospect.
Fangraphs also compared Johnson to Brandon Lowe, but with far more upside due to his hit tool being better.
The Pirates also made two other selections on the first night of the draft, selecting a pair of college pitchers in Thomas Harrington (Campbell University), and Hunter Barco (Florida).
While the draft in baseball is a lot different than any other sport, overall reactions are best served at the end to see how everything played out. Here are a couple of thoughts after day one:
— The Pirates may have deterred from the ‘drafting a college hitter with their first round pick’ route they have taken the last two years, but there is still a common theme among all three of Cherington’s selections.
The hit tool.
Cherington still shows he values hitting over everything. Nick Gonzales was seen as the best pure college hitter in his draft class, as was Henry Davis. Some are calling Johnson one of the best hitting prospects to come out the prep ranks in years, and it shows in his grades across just about every scouting site.
Elijah Green would have given them the player with the biggest upside, and tons of power to go around. Kevin Parada or Brooks Lee would have fit the mold almost too perfect.
In the end they went with the best hitter, and that was Johnson.
— One of two things will probably happen seeing how day one unfolded. The Pirates will either need right up to slot value to sign Johnson, explaining the two college pitchers that college. Or, they are planning something big for round three, the same round they drafted Bubba Chandler last year.
Brock Porter is still there. Just saying.
— Thomas Harrington seems like he could be a really good story coming up in the system. He went from being a walk-on to the highest drafted pitcher in his school’s history (Fighting Camels is the best mascot ever, right?).
I’m trying to find as much video as I can find on him, but it sounds like he could instantly find himself near the top of that second tier of pitching prospects in the system, along the lines of Carmen Mlodzinski and Kyle Nicolas.
Pirates Prospects Spotlight
Daily Video Rundown
Today: Draft Day Two
Pirates Prospects Daily Articles
- The Pirates Landed the Draft’s Best Pure Hitter and Two Starting Pitching Candidates
- Pirates Select Termarr Johnson with the Fourth Overall Pick
- Pirates Select Thomas Harrington with the 36th Overall Pick
- Pirates Select Hunter Barco with the 44th Overall Pick
- Prospect Roundtable: Breaking Down Bubba Chandler’s Bradenton Debut
- Bryse Wilson Recalled from Indianapolis; Chase De Jong to Injured List
- Final Mock Drafts from MLB Pipeline
LAST WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS
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