A quick draft preview

The Pirates are off today, which gives plenty of time to think about tonight's draft. I'm not sure exactly what time the draft is supposed to be; I only know that coverage starts at MLB.com and on the MLB Network at 6:00 PM. Only the first round takes place tonight, but the Pirates have both the ninth pick (as compensation for Mark Appel) and the 14th pick, so it'll be an important night for the Pirates. 

In the whole draft run-up, I've really enjoyed Jim Callis's mock drafts at Baseball America. Not only does he project the picks, but he gives a full rundown of team thought processes and contingency plans. This is important for this draft in particular, because it seems like literally no one outside of the Astros' war room has any idea what the 'Stros will do with the first overall pick, and that makes the corresponding picks awfully hard to predict. 

Anyway, when the mocks first started a few weeks ago the Pirates were linked to UNC's Colin Moran, but his stock has risen way too much to think that he'll still be on the board at #9. He'll most likely be gone in the first five picks, depending on the whims of Houston. The name the Pirates are most linked to a #9 is Reese McGuire, a high school catcher from Washington state. There's also some thought that they're interested in Austin Meadows, a high school outfielder. That's partially due to the belief that had Mark Appel not fallen to them in the first round last year that they would've gone with David Dahl, a high school outfielder with a somewhat similar profile to Meadows (though Meadows is rated a little higher, I think). There's also Trey Ball, a tall (6'6") left-handed high school pitcher that's very projectible (surprise!). 

The Pirates also apparently like New Mexico corner infielder DJ Peterson a lot, but there's reason to believe that he could fall to them at #14, meaning they probably won't consider him at #9. I've also seen Hunter Renfroe's name here quite a bit; Renfroe's also a college hitter (Mississippi State) that saw a big power surge this season. Jonathan Mayo has the Pirates taking Renfroe with Peterson off the board in his mock draft.

Anyway, those are the names I'd keep in mind this afternoon and tonight: McGuire, Meadows, Ball, Peterson, Renfroe, and maybe Ryan Stanek, as well. I'd guess that the Pirates will end up with two out of that group with their two picks, though as we saw last year, things can change rapidly on draft night and the Pirates certainly aren't afraid to roll the dice. 

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.