Jim Callis from MLB Pipeline posted a new mock draft on Friday morning. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the first overall pick on July 9th. Callis has the Pirates going for the consensus top player with that pick.
LSU outfielder Dylan Crews has been ranked first overall by almost everyone this year, and he has gone to the Pirates in every mock draft since they started for this draft class. He was just selected as the top prospect and as the Pirates pick in an article from ESPN yesterday.
Going into the weekend, Crews is hitting .486/.633/.851 slash line through 44 games this year, with 13 doubles, 13 homers, 49 walks and ten HBP.
While our entire draft coverage has pointed to Crews going first overall, plus everyone seems all in on him, Callis gave some good reasons why he believes the Pirates will take him.
He notes that not only do his stats back up his preseason rankings, he has also displayed more speed and a better chance of sticking in center field than he has in the past.
We have seen some scouting reports believe that Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford might be the better pick here because he’s performing well and he was considered to have slightly better overall tools than Crews, but these comments by Callis seem to clear up that debate.
The Pirates have the highest draft bonus pool this year. Callis doesn’t believe that the Pirates could repeat a 2021 draft plan, where they took catcher Henry Davis at a slight discount, then spread the savings around to other high profile picks like Bubba Chandler, Anthony Solometo and Lonnie White Jr.
He believes the five players at the top of this draft class are better than the choices in 2021, but also separated from the rest of the 2023 draft class, making it harder to pass on them for any type of savings. Davis wasn’t a downgrade from the top in 2021, while going anywhere outside of the top guys here would be a downgrade.
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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.
Skenes had 15Ks over a 7 and 1/3 tonight. On the down side he threw over a hundred pitches.
If Crews were to be drafted, he will be the most exciting prospect in our system since:
A. O. Cruz
E. None of the Above
E. Pedro Alvarez, whom was pretty much UNIVERSALLY expected to be great
ooo good one!
hahaha, well if I gotta…
Cole’s debut at home against Timmy Lincecum literally broke PNC’s new security protocol at the time. I’ve never seen a baseball crowd show up like that for a Pirate. Hard to argue any prospect in recent memory caused more excitement.
The Rays Series showed they need some top end hitters with power. Draft Crews and don’t look back.
well that’s Cruz….he’s injured. Castro, Cutch, Suwinsky, and Santana all have above average power.
and Connor Joe, if you please
they also pitched poorly, so
no, they didn’t pitch poorly at all. I counted 6 runs out of the 13 runs in the series that shouldn’t have been scored due to DEFENSE.
Skenes can solve both! 😉
seriously- quit banging that drum already.
i’ll bang yer moms drum.
Yeah drafting based off of the results of one three game series seems like a bad idea.
I still say Skenes. Saw him once, and it was all I needed to see. Has “special” written all over him.
I wouldn’t complain about Crews. And he could well be special too. And I get the hitter over pitcher argument. But man, Skenes just has that “it” factor.
I saw him once as well and he looked great. The question for me, how much if any “sticky stuff” does he use? Jack Leiter is struggling in AA.
I wasn’t high on Leiter, smaller dude who came out of his shoes on every pitch. Not a recipe for success
Funny you mention Leiter. I watched Leiter and Rocker multiple times. And always came away feeling they’re good — worthy of high first round picks — but not “special”.
FWIW Crews is probably on the shorter side of 6’
So was Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente. Just sayin.
College hitters swing a goddamn metal bat and your transition to pro ball concern is about a pitcher who may be adding less than one revolution to the flight of his pitch.
Come on man!
This is the consensus. However, the difference in slot amounts between 1-1 and 1-5 is over $2.5MM, so there is still some room in that top 5 to cut a deal and have $1MM+ to spend later. The difference between 1-1 and 1-3 (e.g., where Crews is projected vs. Langford) is about $1.4MM–if Langford would sign for, say, $250K over the 1-3 slot amount, that should be considered.
You’re assuming those players don’t believe they are worth a #1 pick. I’m sure Pirates scouts are watching all of them, they know the hype, especially Langford being the only player who has rated ahead of Crews. The Pirates amount is so high that even the slot is too high for a bonus, so I think they can save with anyone, but the difference is saving enough to make it worth it to pick one of the others over Crews. If there’s such a drop-off in talent as he says, and the Pirates don’t pick until 42nd, what are you getting with that savings and does it make up the difference between Crews and the others?
I think that Jim Callis’ main point with the lack of savings is that pick 5 has a value of near $8M, so they won’t be able to pay Max Clark $7.0M at pick 1.
If you pay enough, you can get a player to fall. Bubba Chandler is an example.
That being said, take Crews and pay him a record bonus.
I’m not assuming anything, which is why I said “_if_ Langford would sign for…”
And the drop-off from a 60 to a 55 in FV with the emphasis on the F part of that isn’t necessarily that much. In the year Rutschman was drafted, he was a 60 but the next highest rated prospect (Witt Jr.) was a 50. Given that and the difference between a HS and college player, that was a no-brainer. It just doesn’t seem so clear this year (but don’t get me wrong, I’ll be thrilled if we draft Crews).