Baseball America updated their list of the top 300 draft prospect rankings on Tuesday. This is their first in-season update and there are some changes at the top, though the names remain the same.
LSU outfielder Dylan Crews remains in the top spot. That’s not surprising, as he has been on fire since Opening Day.
Wyatt Langford, an outfielder from Florida, is ranked second. He might have trouble holding this spot over the next month because he is out of action after getting hit with a foul ball off of his own bat.
Paul Skenes from LSU is ranked third now. He has been the best pitcher in college, after coming into the season ranked as a top ten prospect. Even with high hopes for him, he has been better than expected.
Tennessee pitcher Chase Dollander is ranked fourth now. He’s been as high as one or two, depending on who you asked early in the year. He hasn’t dominated early on, and his last start was the worst of his college career.
The next two spots belong to a pair of high school outfielders, Max Clark and Walker Jenkins. Our weekly Monday recap of the top draft prospects added Jenkins this week. Clark hasn’t played yet, but he’s our only planned addition at this point. After seeing these rankings from BA, no one new will be added yet.
The next two spots are our other two players we’ve been following, Jacob Wilson and Jacob Gonzalez, both college shortstops.Wilson has been off to a strong start with the bat. Gonzalez has been good, but not to the point where he looks like he could possibly end up as the top pick. It’s still early though, so we will continue to follow along.
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.
July- Draft Crews
Aug- Wreck High A
Sept- Taste of AA
Jan-Mar ST (non roster invite)
March- Assigned AA…steps away
July- Promoted to AAA…fewer steps
Crews been #1 for a while in a strong class. Seems like it would be a safe and very solid pick.
My question any idea where he would lineup in the top prospect chart today? Is he top 30 top 60? Just curious. Him alone would propel the whole system up a spot or two.
I’m a little surprised Crews is still consensus #1
He was OK last summer
At times really bad
And he has a higher K rate in college than Nick Gonzales
And he’s probably not a CF
Even Nick G will make contact if he’s playing the little sisters of the poor in the WAC.
Also your one link up there is one bad game Crews had 8 months ago. That’s not even on the cusp of relevance.
Good news I think. I read in the newspaper today that MLB has agreed to telecast all minor league baseball games free on Bally’s live app. So you can watch any game you want without paying for it. So with the money you save send a contribution to this site to keep it going and providing excellent coverage of pirate prospects.
Waldrup and Lowder round out four stud college arms, man it feels like a miss to leave the draft without one of them.
Wanna take one at 1, or just hope one falls?
Can I have the first and second pick?
Not to be too much of a downer but uhhh…always a good chance some of them breaks. And then drops.
I was going to go there, but didn’t want to go there. So I’ll just nod since you went there.
After seeing the rash of pitching injuries last year with college arms, I’m just waiting for that to happen. Last year seemed especially bad for college arm injuries so maybe it won’t. But that’s how the Bucs got their second round arm last year.
They aren’t draft eligible, but so far Ole Miss Fr Hunter Elliott went down with injury, and now Mizzou So Tony Neubeck.
Yeah, it seemed every other week a Friday night SEC arm was going down
Considering what’s going on with Dollander, wouldn’t be surprised he’s one of the SEC TJS casualties this season. Though I don’t believe he’d drop THAT far.
I’m trying to decide if I’ll be more happy the Pirates added either Crews or Skenes to the organization, or sad they didn’t choose the other one?
Pirates draft interview consists of only one question:
So how far under slot are you willing to go?
I vehemently disagree, but I will say if either Crews or Skenes demands more than slot, it may cause them to choose the other one.
? – I believe they have gone under slot once in the last ten years and then spent every cent of that on highly thought of over slot signings.
Before draft pools they spent big basically forcing the pool system.
Yes.. Pirates are cheap, but not in the draft.
I’m not implying cheapness or that they won’t spend every penny they have available. Their draft strategy though, especially in the first round, has been to seek the value pick and to then spread that savings around than to put all their eggs in one basket at the top. So they typically end up bypassing the player who is the consensus pick at their draft position and will command an at or over-slot offer. So although the MLB draft is a bigger crapshoot than any other sport, they try to ameliorate their risk by taking more higher floor guys early than fewer higher ceiling ones. I could be wrong but Dylan Crews being the wire to wire consensus top pick just means to me that they’ll look elsewhere. Could be that all the planets align though, and with a dearth of OF talent in the system they may be willing to swing for the fence again, but I doubt it.
I’m really not seeing them employing that strategy consistently, aside from the Hank Davis year. Termarr was overslot, Nick the Stick was slot. So under this regime we’ve got one in each scenario.
Quinn and Swag were very slight under slot picks under NH and Shane Baz was slightly overslot. That’s as far back as MLB tracker goes for bonus numbers.
As far as consensus rankings, well…what is that exactly? All of these outlets have different views so I’m not sure if there is a consensus. And all of those guys I listed above were drafted pretty much in line with the MLB rankings when the Bucs picked them. (Hank aside). They’ve certainly missed on some guys; they could have drafted Brady Singer instead of Swag, and George Kirby instead of Quinn. Wouldn’t we have a nice rotation then, eh? But they didn’t miss on those two because of dollars.
Edit: wrote all this and then saw Southern Buc got here first!
I guess I’ll stick by my prior post. ‘Value pick and spreading the savings’ sure implies under slot and Davis is the only under slot they have drafted. From Priester on (when they have been REALLY bad and drafting higher), there really hasn’t been a player drafted that wasn’t considered very viable for that draft spot. Hind sight any team may change their pick, but most if not all could have gone a few picks higher and nobody would have questioned it. If we are going back to the Newman/Craig days I can maybe see the argument some. But success rate in late first round is incredibly low.
Talking to myself now – when draft history / trends are considered we only have 3 years of history. This is a new front office since Nov 2019 and what was done prior in the draft (since budget in this case does not appear to be a constraint) really should not be applicable. So even my Priester reference is not valid. The 3 1st round pics have been Gonzales, Davis, and Johnson.
No Middle infielders and no High School Harrys. College Pitchers and College hitters playing outfield.
Also, like to see experience with wooden bats not the aluminum launcher.
It would be nice to have Crews completely separate himself, a la Harper. And then, live UP to that potential.
Nobody in this draft or many other drafts were the equal to Bryce Harper. If I am not mistaken, he left HS after his Junior year, secured a GED, entered a JUCO, and was drafted 1-1 at age 17 after playing one year at the JUCO. Absolutely Amazing! And, in MLB 2 years later.
I am very much in like with Paul Skenes at 1-1. His stats so far are totally out of the ordinary. He is just starting his journey through the SEC, and I want to see how he handles that type of pressure.
Skenes arm looks electrified! Be real hard to pass on him if he keeps mowing SEC hitters down like he did last week.
This has been my hope all along.. .somebody – doesn’t have to be Crews – just makes it a no brainer. That is no guarantee for long term success but at least you don’t feel cheated.
Agreed. I’ll be just as happy if it’s Skenes who separates himself from others. But what will be most interesting is if Crews and Skenes continue to stand out and we get to debate the value of an elite hitter vs. elite pitcher for the weeks leading up to the draft 😉
I’m staying out of most of the excitement of the players so far. Unfortunately no matter how Crews, Scenes, et al perform, it is doubtful we are getting a Strasburg/Harper type at 1-1. At least one with that high a probability of success.
I’ll really tune in when one of these guys runs through the SEC and NCAA tourney and removes doubt as the 1-1. Until then their success is fun and is better than them face planting.
Surprised Brock Wilken hasn’t snuck into the top 10’s so far. He’s been crushing HR’s, think he had 13 the last i checked, & had the 2nd highest FV from Fangraphs coming into the year
I saw he had 13 HR’s, then checked his numbers against Crews. Crews still has him in basically every category lol OBP, SLG, OPS, etc.
Is he from wake forest? If he is than no, their ballpark is a band box.
Helllooooo Will Craig!
And he dropped like a stone from the FG rankings because his K rate last year skyrocketed. We’ll see if this power holds up when the competition gets tougher, he’s still striking out a healthy amount.
Thank you for the coverage John!
Holding out for that one guy, you know, tall short guy, blond eyes, talks with a limp.
All things being equal, I always say go with the guy who talks with a limp.