The Top Available Prospects Going Into Day Three of the Draft

Yesterday we posted an article looking at the top available draft picks remaining on the board ahead of the third round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The thought going into that article was that the Pirates should have money available for over-slot picks after their first three selections on day one. None of them seemed like over-slot picks, though it seems possible that they could save a little on all three, which we will soon find out as players start to sign.

That thought process is still there going into day three after the Pirates didn’t pick anyone on Monday who should require over-slot money, and they took a handful of players who should get under slot. They should have plenty of over-slot money for picks today. The Pirates will be picking ten players today, selecting rounds 11-20. The slot for those picks is $150,000. Teams can go over that amount as long as they saved money in their bonus pool. Only the over-slot amount counts towards the bonus pool after the tenth round. For example, if the Pirates had $1,000,000 extra to spend, they could give all ten picks $250,000 each and use up their pool. Along with the saved money, there’s also the 5% overage that teams are allowed before facing a severe penalty. In the case of the Pirates, that 5% adds another $686,695 to their pool. They have dipped into that 5% almost every year and I expect them to do it again this year.

With the way draft picks work now with scouts in contact and teams calling players ahead of time, the Pirates likely already know what they can spend on day three picks. Between last night and this morning, teams find out what remaining players require for a bonus, and if they fit into their plans, then they will be picked. Some of the picks today could be backup plans.

I expect the Pirates to go over-slot for multiple players today. I don’t think they carried out their day two plan with one player in mind. The players below are all over-slot picks due to either their college commitment or just talent in general. The Pirates most certainly have their own order for the remaining talent, but Pipeline gets a lot of input from scouts across the game, so these players are all well thought of by the industry.

Here are the top available prospects remaining according to MLB Pipeline. You’ll recognize a few names from yesterday, while there are five new names at the end. All of them are prep players as you would expect.

Tristan Smith is a lefty pitcher who ranks 46th overall, the second highest ranked available player. He’s also a high school player and he also has a commitment to Clemson. He has good velocity and the makings of a solid breaking ball, but he lacks solid control and his changeup needs major work. He’s also already 19 years old. BA ranks him 64th.

Malcolm Moore is a high school catcher with a high upside bat. He has a Stanford commit, so that could be a costly buy. Pipeline has him ranked 57th. He’s raw behind the plate and not guaranteed to stick, but the bat will play up at a less valuable position, though first base is probably the fallback option since his running is well below average. He’s also already 19 years old. BA ranks him 66th.

Gavin Guidry is a high school shortstop out of Louisiana, who just turned 19 years old a few days ago. Pipeline ranks him 70th, while BA ranks him 86th. Basically, he’s an early third round pick according to these sources. He has a commitment to LSU, which could be tough to buy him out of since he’s from the same state. Guidry is also a pretty good pitcher and BA says that he’s a prospect either route he goes, which could be interesting if the Pirates want to try him as a two-way player.

Neal Brady, IMG Academy catcher. This is an interesting one. Lefty hitting catcher, with an LSU commit. Pipeline ranks him 74th. BA is 83rd, which matches up perfectly for the Pirates. He’s small for a catcher, at 5’9″, 180 pounds. He doesn’t turn 18 until after the minor league season is over. He’s a solid defender and his bat gets a 55 grade, with potential for power in the future.

Sam Horn, high school pitcher, who is a two-sport star. He excels in football and has a commitment to Missouri. He actually gets Bubba Chandler comps as a pitcher/quarterback and the belief is that he will be costly to buy from his commitment. Extremely athletic with huge potential on the mound if he concentrates on baseball. Pipeline has him 76th. BA is down a round lower at 106th.

Bradley Loftin, a 6’3″ lefty prep pitcher, ranked 77th by Pipeline. There’s a huge disagreement here with his spot between Pipeline and BA, who has him 264th. However, BA talks him up as a player who has really risen up the ranks due to added velocity. If he’s a pick here, it’s because the Pirates are more in line with the Pipeline rating. He has a Mississippi State commit. He’s considered raw on the mound, as scouts didn’t get many looks at him and he played soccer during the fall.

Jaden Noot, a right-handed pitcher ranked 79th by Pipeline and 71st by BA. He’s 6’3″, 235 pounds and he’s 18 years old.  He has an LSU commitment. His fastball touches 97 MPH and gets a 60 grade. He has a fringe-average slider that looks better at times, a decent changeup and he throws strikes. He also throws a curve that rates as his fourth pitch. He’s got a workhorse frame as well and delivers easy velocity, so there could be more, though he doesn’t have much projection, as he has filled out fairly well already.

Jalin Flores, a shortstop out of Texas who turns 19 years old later this month. Pipeline has him at #82, while BA has him 89th. He’s 6’2″, 180 pounds and shows good power potential. BA gives him two 60 grades, one for power and the other for his arm. He’s an average runner and defender, with a 45 grade for his bat, though Pipeline seems to like his hit tool slightly more. There’s a chance he ends up at third base, though Pipeline believes he has the bat for a corner spot. He has a commitment to Texas, which is likely why he hasn’t been picked yet.

Jordan Taylor, outfielder from Florida. He’s one of the oldest prep players you’ll see in the draft, turning 20 in October. He stands 6’1″, 185 pounds. Pipeline ranks him 83rd, while BA has him 98th. He has a commitment to Florida State. He’s a very toolsy player with great athleticism. His defense and arm are both above average and he has plus speed and raw power potential. There are some worries about his swing and approach at the plate. He’s a two-sport star, also playing basketball, so the belief is that his skills will catch up to his age once he concentrates on one sport.

Cam Smith is a 19-year-old, 6’3″, 215 pound shortstop out of Florida. He ranks 84th for Pipeline and 81st for BA. He made great strides this spring with his hitting, both OBP and power according to Pipeline. The power is his only above average tool, getting a 55 grade from BA. Everything else is average except a 45 grade for running. He’s a fringe shortstop at the next level, but should play up at third base if necessary. Just like Taylor, he has a Florida State commit. Unlike Taylor, scouts love Smith’s swing.

Ryan Clifford, a 6’3″, 200 pound, 19-year-old (his 19th birthday is actually tomorrow) lefty hitting outfielder from North Carolina. He ranks 92nd for Pipeline and 77th for BA. He’s still on the board because of a commitment to Vanderbilt. He’s a potential strong bat, with above average grades for his hit tool and power. Everything else is average at best, but the bat gets him rated this high. There is a bit of a worry that he doesn’t have great bat speed, which BA notes that he will need great pitch recognition skills at higher levels of play. That’s one case where you need to trust your scouts to recognize whether or not he will succeed in pro ball.

 

2022 Draft
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Born4rf

Give me Guidry and Clifford please. Guidry, because he wants to be a two-way player and we seem to be offering that out standard these days. Clifford, because we need anything that sniffs of power in the outfield.

leefieux

Isn’t Sam Horn a little too old for the draft? I thought that Gavin Guidry was Ron Guidry’s son. And Cole Young is my oldest brother, but he is 73. And HIS sport was basketball (helluva guard….I could never beat him one on one, even though I had 4 inches on him).

leefieux

One thing to remember……Any GM will tell you that getting one or two good players out of ANY draft means that you had a good draft. It is fun to dream, but reality is so much different…..and most times more disappointing. 🙂

leefieux

If the Pirates toss in a college scholarship, is that included in the bonus figure?

clemo83

I feel like the first two days weren’t as bad as they seemed. Yes we had a lot of money saving picks but we also drafted:

Termarr Johnson – 4/4
Thomas Harrington – 65/45
Hunter Barco – 71/75
Michael Kennedy – 82/89 prep Lefty tough sign LSU
Jack Harrington – 136/164
Tres Gonzalez /138

The first slash is Fangraphs and the second is Pipeline.

Fangraphs already has Termarr as the 27th ranked prospect in all of baseball. We badly need potential stars and I think we got one. That’s worth a few easy college singings to me, and we still got 4/5 interesting guys. Harrington and Barco sound like really solid prospects and Michael Kennedy is the most intriguing one for me.

Last edited 2 months ago by clemo83
NMR

Seems important to note that the track record of the types you’re referencing becoming actual impact big leaguers (3+ WAR) across the entire league is effectively zero.

The reality is that there just isn’t THAT much actual impact talent in any given draft. It’s an exceptionally low-probability strategy.

tmcgowan

I think sometimes not doing anything special is fine and shouldn’t really be a knock. We got one of the best prospects in the draft who will take atleast 50% of our pool.

I’d like us to grab an ultra toolsy but raw guy here today. Someone like Austin Charles (big 2 way player) would be nice. If there were a way to convince Gavin Turley to go pro vs college, he would be a special get. Turley especially is probably a guy who needs $2M to sign so probably unlikely.

clemo83

Fair points, especially about the size of the bonus pool. I agree , I’m expecting them to be aggressive today. If they aren’t, then it would make no sense. If we were hamstrung a little by Termarr, I just think it’s worth it. If you get a guy that can generate 5+ WAR, that’s invaluable. In your mind, what would be a successful day – 4-5 talented prep guys?

Last edited 2 months ago by clemo83
emjayinTN

Thank you, I remembered Termarr, Harrington, and Barco, but could not remember the HS LHSP, which is Michael Kennedy. Moving forward, I think selecting Barco will be seen as one of our best picks in 2022. The Pirates were very short on LHSP’s

emjayinTN

Was Caden Dana, HS RHP, drafted? Malachi Witherspoon, HS RHP?

After Termarr Johnson, I liked a few of the players drafted (Harrington, Barco to name a few), but many of them looked like people we were going to offer very little to sign. The Pirates could have enough in the kitty to take on about 2 or 3 of the remaining players who were considered to be difficult to sign.

Sure did not use many brain cells yesterday!

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I’m going to throw Max Martin out there. Prep SS from New Jersey. Commitment to Rutgers which I feel like wouldn’t be too hard to convince.

agent00
Cobra

Yes you never know , see Josh bell, but these quotes sure make it sound like he is Rutgers bound:

https://www.nj.com/highschoolsports/2022/07/2022-mlb-draft-martin-hits-fork-in-road-announces-hell-play-at-rutgers.html

emjayinTN

Is that called negotiating through the press? BA had him at #124 .

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