Baseball America posted their first mock draft since the college baseball season started. Their last mock draft was posted shortly after the Pittsburgh Pirates won the first overall pick in the new draft lottery system. They are going with the same top pick as before, but the top of the draft class has some changes. Here’s our draft preview article in case you missed it.
This mock draft was done by Carlos Collazo from Baseball America, who was making the odd numbered picks, followed by a scout making the even numbered picks. I’m not going to give away too much here because it’s a subscription article, but I will say that the scout adds his thoughts about all of the picks, so there’s a lot to take in here.
Collazo took LSU outfielder Dylan Crews for the Pirates. He has been going to the Pirates in all of the early mock drafts, even before the season started. If you’ve followed our draft coverage, you know that he’s doing as well as you could hope through the first few weeks of the season. You want a first overall pick to show you why he’s considered the first overall pick all season. That has happened here.
Both Collazo and the scout say that Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford has a legit shot at the top spot and that’s something that will be decided later in the year. Crews isn’t running away from the pack, he’s just continuing to lead. Tennessee right-handed pitcher Chase Dollander was our last draft profile. He went fourth in this mock. We will have a new profile here on Saturday.
Six of the first eight picks in this mock draft are the six players we have covered in our weekly recap. A seventh is Walker Jenkins, a high school outfielder, who just started playing games this week, so he will be added to the coverage. The eighth is Max Clark, a high school outfielder from Indiana, who still has two weeks before his season starts. Once he starts playing, we will add him to the players we cover weekly.
For now, those eight players will make up our draft coverage. Right now we are really talking about four guys with a shot at first overall, then four names that need a lot to go right to get there. If you’ve followed the draft over the years, you know a lot can happen between now and the draft, which is nearly four full months away still.
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.
I dont find the arguments that position players play more games than starting pitchers so thus are more valuable to be particularly logical, but I remember stats showing the TOR starters are more likely to come from college arms than any other demographic, so as of now im all on the skenes train. Not to say I wouldnt take crews if he is clearly the best player available. Any drafting based solely on current or projected need is silly and 1-1 needs to be BPA
How about Max Clark with 25/30% hair cut and spend the saving in 2nd and 3rd round. I like Clark more than hank davis.
The Pirates have been doing just that for years and where has it gotten them? There are a lot of ML ball players that were taken After the Pirates pick. I would take a stud like Cruz instead of a going cheap to get better draft choices with the saved money. Get the best stud available, pitcher or position player.
No thanks on taking Mickey Moniak 2.0 for a haircut at 1.1. Take a really good player and don’t be stupid about it. It’s not that difficult.
They just gifted half the Altoona rotation plus Hartman for
3 stiffs who won’t be here in Sept, until then enjoy watching
Choi, Joe, Owings, Santana and Cutch do their best
Yoshie, Vogs, Van Weezer, Chavis and Gamel immitations
This season is shaping up to be one where you ask Is it worth
blocking INF AB’s from Nunez, Gorski, Triolo, maybe even Davis,
same for OF, CSN, Mitchell, Lolo, Gorski and Swags
In November of 2021, just 16 months ago new regime
protected 4 prospects: 3 easy choices were new investments Peggy, CSN and Suwinski, 4th was hold over SWAGS from the Hunt regime
Cherry takes over late 2019, same year TS finished his rookie seasaon, 2020 scrapped his AA .Altoona.
2021, 2 years later now age 23, AAA it is, starts on tear
with 3 HR’s first 10 games then tears up shoulder, another lost season.
Now he has got to be soul searching and asking himself
I’m R5 eligible the guys in charge didn’t draft me, they haven’t seen me play, am I stilll on their radar
Reading this sight, one would think he’s behind Vilade
I mean for God’s sake, some still want Bae, all 178 pounds sandwiched between the other POWER arms Cutch, Reynolds, CSN and MitchellThe Current projected line up shows its true the pitching is ahead of the bats
We just signed the best International arm and were 10 deep thru AAA
With another half dozen powerful young guns on the way
Crews has 5 tools, he is currently polishing them against the best competition in the country.This kid is so developed, it would not surprise me to see him in Altoona by the end of the Sept.
August- Raking High A
2024 non-roster invite to ST
Termarr is another advanced specimen who brings the glove and already owns the zone which makes him a professional hitter in my eyes
Crews is pure power and will have that swing and miss to work on as all power hitters do
Suwinski, Gorski and Swaggerty are all around better defenders than BR
Reynolds being a SH will do wonders hitting behind Endy
If Shelty understands protection
What in the hell is this comment talking about?
Apologize for the filibuster, I took the long way to explain we have so many pitchers there is no need to take a chance on an arm.
When you draft Nick Garcia #79 overall in 2020, sign him for 1.2M
develop to AA front rotation and trade him for Connor Joe then explain the reason being he would have been lost in R5 draft anyway
TIME STOP DRAFTING ARMS UNLESS THEIR OUTFIELD ARMS
Just pretend freak of nature International SHIM is your Dollinger
Draft were you need arms the most, in the OUTFIELD
Part of my jibberish was lack of overall defense, moreso having
only 3 READY better than average arms, how they are being handled is what set me off, shelty does that to me
Not sure how much they want to win this year, if they do
combined lifetime errors in over 1200 inn
Also, so great the same peeps afraid to draft Crews if he’s projected to move out of CF, are lobbying for J-BAE to play there now
Thats a good one
I think taking a hitter is the way to go 5.5 yrs times 145 gm = 800 games. 5.5 yrs for a pitcher if he makes 28 starts is 154 starts, but pitchers are more major injury prone and if Tommy john happens when he on the 26 man roster that eats into thoses starts big time.
Exactly. Plus they stumble into better pitchers than they do hitters.
gonna bang this drum all season, but if Crews looks like he can stick at CF for a handful of years, then he’s just gotta be the pick.
once you place a RF grade on him, there’s a debate about him vs Skenes, Dollander, etc. Maybe that debate still ends up on Crews’ side, but you have to have the debate.
I am old enuff to have learned to Never, EVER take a pitcher 1/1. Cole included. Give me the best college hitter every time. My sons name is Dylan and the idea of I got a gold glove silver slugger roaming the outfield next to Swaggerty and Reynolds by June 2025 gives me a great buzz.
Ah yes, the 2011 draft which featured Anthony Rendon as the top college hitter. A player who famously has had a long and injury-free career while Cole’s has been stunted by frequent and severe ailments. 😉
Or 2012, with Mike Zunino. or 2014, with Mike Conforto. or 2016, with Nick Senzel. Or 2017, with Adam Haseley. Madrigal, Torkelson, Davis…
The vigor with which people tend to have entrenched views of draft risk for certain classes of player is what surprises me.
History shows we’re really talking about no more than percentage points on the margin across the board.
Just take the best player.
Totally agree. Caveat is that in only a few circumstances is #1 obvious (Strasburg, Harper, Cole). But the logic holds, take who you think is the best player and don’t worry about position. I thought the concept of drafting for need had been dispelled many a post ago. Outside of some unique talents, don’t be sure your needs will be the same by the time the draftee arrives.
The GM has every reason to do know and be sure the needs are where they need to be. Drafting for ORGANIZATIONAL NEED is always key. Logjams create the need to sell prospects for nothing to fill a hole, which you might just not still be able to do. We’ve seen it….oh…….about 10 times in the past decade when we simply can’t get someone to take our depth for anything approaching value……leading us to make players play out of position, or trade them for scrap prices. Teams like the Pirates MUST draft smart, which means, unless the best player is head and shoulders above the 2nd best, you draft where you need impact prospects. If the best player was a 2nd baseman this year, do you draft one #1 . Honestly, if they did, I’d find Cherrington and cut his balls off. This team should have a list of 3 or 4 positions that it seriously lacks anything approaching impact prospect depth, and it takes the best player from that pool of needs. The end.
This is a baseball board not a football board. Players aren’t plug and play. Teams ALWAYS want top of the rotation pitchers so likely we can agree to take pitchers out of the equation (ie. if they think a pitcher is the best player – take them). For position players, if you are counting on a drafted position player to help in the next 2 years and fill that MLB hole, that would be the exception.
If you are discussing prospect depth, talent fills gaps. Any decision made on a gap vs. talent is a wasted opportunity.
And for clarity.. outside of (let’s say top 10) the very top of the draft – most never make it, so if you want to fill those 3-4 positions where Pirates lack impact depth, draft pick 1-1 is likely the only place to get the impact. Here I’ll agree with you some, if they truly grade 2 or 3 players basically equal, then considering position could come into play.
I’m confused when you say that we simply couldn’t get someone to take our depth for anything approaching value. What industry considered high prospect did Pirates try to trade and not get value or were not offered value? What real prospect did we try to trade? All trades this off-season were with very low likelihood of success minor leaguers, they are not going to bring any MLB altering return where they were in their development / production.
This is what Mark Appel can do to one’s entrenched views!
Crews plays every day, the pitcher every 5. I take the stud hitter. They seem to luck into effective pitchers (Burnett, Liriano) easier than hitters. I get the stud pitcher impact, but I still think its less of one.
i get having that thought, but think about how much the SP impacts that 1 game out of 5 that he plays.
How many PA does a sp involve in per start? let’s say you can rely on an ace to get thru the lineup 3 times. that’s 27 PA per start.
over 5 days, that’s probably just about the amount of PA’s that a position player will get.
i happen to prefer a model that drafts star hitters and buys star pitchers due to how injuries impact pitchers, so you and i ultimately agree, but for very different reasons.
I agree with the buying of stud pitchers thing, but the Pirates can’t and won’t do that. They have bought some pitchers that were fairly good though- not Cole/Strasburg types but solid. Pitchers are more likely to bounce back. On the flip side, they really don’t buy any hitters that are any good at all.
not much if he’s pitching 5 innings. These days starting pitchers are incredibly overrated. Until they are taught and enabled to pitch 7 innings plus…….no way.
see above when i assumed 3x thru the opposing lineup for a higher talent pitcher. when youre taking a dollander or skenes, you’re probably thinking theyll have some extra work load ability.
Bucs do not have a true #1 dominate pitcher. That needs to be the pick. Chase Dollander
Suppose for a moment the Pirates extend Reynolds through 2028, and they draft Crews this summer. Now imagine this lineup in 2026-2028:
2. Reynolds – LF
3. Crews – RF
4. Cruz – SS
5. Davis – DH/C
6. Endy – C/DH
7. Hayes – 3B
8. Gorski – 1B
9. Swaggerty – CF
I get the whole notion of drafting a TOR SP, and I really love the idea of watching the next Cole later this decade, but this line up is a Pitcher’s nightmare. Power, speed, contact, deep, you name the tool, it’s there.
That’s why I think unless something drastically bad happens to Crews between now and draft day, he’s the easy pick.
Plus this lineup leaves plenty of room to sign a FA SP or two to pitch with Bubba, Anthony, Quinn, and Mike.
gorski is almost certainly not going to be anything good
How many games did you attend or stream that leads you to believe MG is almost certainly not going to be anything good
Apparently enough to understand the impossibly long odds of a 24 yo with a higher in-zone whiff rate than any qualified big leaguer….against AA competition…going on to provide impact talent in the show.
Either you tell us what is uniquely special about Gorski or jay is inarguably correct here.
2020 Top 30 #22
2022 Top 30 #22
2023 Top 30 #17
Highest ranked OF prospect in the system with ETA before 2026
Out of nowhwere Back in the Top 30 at #22 and climbed to #17
LF + CF .994 CAREER FPCT
16 Assists, 2 Errors
BA- best OF arm within system
I watch all the upper minor games
At 6’4, no one in the system can match his range except for Swags who’s jump and quickness make up for the stride differential, Swags has the 2nd strongest arm and just as accurate
SPEED- OUTFIELD RANGE
BA- Best power hitter within system
2nd season- as June 29th (quad tear)
FYI- college kids drafted in 2019
are 25, some w less PA than MG’s
Also, ask Frazier, Davis, Peggy, Scott and
Gonzo (before his injury) about
ARMS in AA smothering Eastern League
sticks to a .235 overall league average
Eastern L had one player hit over .300
2nd .282 Triolo
Couldn’t you ask that question of almost any commenter here? As fans, do we need to see all of these players to think they’ll succeed or fail? It’s fair to question a guy who Ks as much as Gorski and is already 25.
I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to decide if the Braves rebuild succeeded because the sold out so heavy on pitching or in spite of it.
Your post reminds me of those Baseball America projected lineups which always prove to be AT LEAST 50% wrong by the time that year hits.
Foo you’ve lost the ability to dream big. Common affliction which many Pirates fans suffer from.
Agree. I don’t even dream small when it comes to the Bucs.😂😂
That’s not even a Top 10 lineup in the league brother.
Obviously it’s impossible to predict with any accuracy one player’s value 5 years out, yet you would have us believe you can do it for all 9 guys and the other 14 teams in the league, too.
I’m gonna have to call bullshit on your bullshit.
Ah my friend, I would have you believe no such thing.
I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t know which teams will be top 10.
What I can do is pretty quickly show you what level of offensive production is typically needed to be a top 10 offensive team.
And brother, ain’t nobody getting there with fully homegrown lineups.
I’ll hazard a guess that the vaunted Pittsburgh Pirate hitter development pipeline isn’t up to the task of being first.
eh, top third would be possible. What isn’t possible is that the lineup would actually BE that. Hayes will be coming off his “Major League 2 Esque” post ball season debut action star performance of “Mr. Glass” where he plays Samuel L Jackson’s son hell bent on revenge for what happened to his dad, only to find he can’t take three steps without tearing or breaking something.
That’s cause it’s Top 1
Top 1 in Pittsburgh, right?😎😎😎
Considering how Steelers and Pens are trending, yes lol
Or you’ve used Nick Gonzales (since he’s not in your lineup) and others to acquire established pitchers.
Paul Skenes is the better pitcher if they go pitcher
He’s got my vote of the two. If there weren’t a couple other high-end guys like there are this year, I’d be more willing to take the “sure-fire ace”, but pitchers worry me. I feel like you have to bake in a year for TJS during their development.
Ya good assessment, i agree.
BTW when are you going to take responsibility for jinxing BRey’s terrible ST performance? It’s gotta be your fault, it can’t be the legendary Andy Haines’ fault after working with BRey all offseason!
hahahaha I know, right? I was like, “Annnnnd of course he begins spring going 1-for-12 after I said don’t worry if he goes 1-for-10 to start”