The 2022 MLB Draft starts on Sunday night at 7 PM and runs for three days. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the fourth overall pick in the draft. Here’s a rundown of what lies ahead and our coverage of the three-day event.
Another Year With a High Pick
The Pirates have the fourth highest draft bonus pool. They can spend $13,733,900 on their top ten rounds of picks, as well as any over-slot money needed for picks after the tenth round.
Teams can pay up to 5% over their pool before incurring any severe penalties. Anything 5% and under incurs a tax on the overage, while anything over 5% includes a loss of draft picks. No team has gone over beyond 5% since the draft bonus pool system was put in place ten years ago, so that’s not something to worry about happening.
Besides picking fourth overall, the Pirates will also have 36th and 44th overall picks on Sunday, so they have a chance to add a lot of talent to the system that day.
On Monday, teams make picks for rounds 3-10, then Tuesday will see picks 11-20.
The last two days start at 2 PM. Sunday’s action will be on MLB Network, while the other two days go much quicker and they will be broadcast on MLB.com, with very little going on besides the announcements of the picks, especially on day three. The Pirates first pick on day two will be their fourth pick in the top 100, as they selected 83rd overall.
Who Will the Pirates Draft?
On Sunday we looked at the top available players, breaking down a group of strong high school picks and college bats.
The Pirates have been attached to Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee more often than not, but he’s not the only player connected to them. It’s unclear what direction they will go in, but the two lines of thinking seem to be that they either want a safer, top college bat, or they might go with a prep pick that saves some money — which would allow them to spread the money around elsewhere to top high school picks like they did so well in 2021.
The draft is largely unpredictable until draft day. This week’s Prospect Roundtable gives our thoughts on what the Pirates should do.
Our draft coverage here will include reports on all 21 players selected by the Pirates over the three-day event, with those reports going up shortly after each selection had been made. Our Draft Signing Tracker will keep track of all of the bonus information and player signings. Once those players are in the system, they become part of our regular prospect coverage.
When Will They Sign?
Players have until August 1st to sign, unless they have no college eligibility left or they are a prep/JUCO player after the tenth round. Both of those cases allow players to sign up until a week before the following draft.
A college senior is likely going to sign right away. A draft-and-follow player will get a chance to improve their stock by playing JUCO ball, though the draft bonus pool might work against them if they choose to go that route.
Those picks come with $225,000 bonus slot amounts, which is higher than the standard $150,000 slot amount in the 11th-20th rounds (increased in 2022), but not significantly higher that they come with a huge payoff.
If a team spends all of their bonus pool money by August 1st, then that $225,000 will be the spending limit for those players.
THIS WEEKEND ON PIRATES PROSPECTS
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.