The draft is still more than 3 weeks away but I have been starting to study it some and see where the Pirates stand. Picking near the middle of the round makes it much less exciting than year's past because it is impossible to know just how things are going to break. However the Pirates do have two picks within the top 15 which gives them potential for a good haul.
As for who they have been linked to I have seen it all over the place:
C: Reese McGuire (HS), John Denney (HS)
IF: Colin Moran (3B, College), Dominic Smith (1B, HS), JP Crawford (SS, HS)
OF: Austin Meadows (HS), Hunter Renfroe (College), Austin Wilson (College)
RHP: Kohl Stewart (HS), Ryan Stanek (College), Jonathan Crawford (College)
LHP: Trey Bell (HS), Sean Manaea (College)
That is a fair summary of who I have seen them linked to. Stewart and Meadows would have to slip and there are others (McGuire, Moran, Bell, Manaea) that don't appear sure bets to be available at 9 but it is certainly possible that any of these players could be there for the taking.
From what I'm seeing Mark Appel, Jonathan Gray and Kris Bryant are generally considered the top 3 players in this draft. After that it opens up some with the names I mentioned as possible for the Pirates and a few others like Clint Frazier (HS OF) and Braden Shipley (RHP, College). I haven't seen anything linking Frazier or Shipley to the Pirates but they would be possibilities as well if they are there.
And of course the list of possibilities is just not limited to these players. This is a pretty wide open draft and even the three who are general considered the top 3 are by no means consensus choices.
Still looking over mock drafts and doing some research of my own and it looks like any prospect outside of Gray, Appel and Bryant could potentialy be there for the Pirates at #9. A lot of uncertainty in this draft. A popular name linked to the Pirates has been DJ Peterson (primarily at 14). He is generously listed as a 1B/3B but I've seen nothing to suggest he will be able to stick at 3B. I really wouldn't be too thrilled with this selection as I believe its a waste to draft someone who is already defensively limited to 1B in the 1st round.
Another player who has been being linked to the Pirates more is Reese McGuire. He is a HS catcher and that is another thing I typically don't like seeing selected in the 1st round. Very few are actually able to stick at the position. McGuire has no real warning signs that he won't stick but that doesn't really mean much.
I would really like to see the Pirates select a college infielder (non 1B) with one of the first two picks but the only players fitting that description who should be considered in the top half of the first round are Bryant (who won't be available), Moran (who it is looking less and less likely will be available) and Jagielo (who is probably a bit of a stretch even at 14).
Thought I'd post a few more things I've been seeing. There seems to be a lot of speculation that if DJ Peterson drops to 14 the Pirates will draft him there. He is 1B/3B but most scouts seem to think he will ultimately end up at 1B. He is considered one of the best pure hitters in the draft and is said to be close to major league ready.
As for the 3 prospects I like it appears the general thought is Frazier and Moran will be off the boards but that Ball may be available. However the thought process is the Pirates will probably either take Resse McGuire or Austin Meadows. McGuire is a good defensive catcher who is athletic enough to play other positions but it is though he will remain behind the plate. There are questions about his bat though. As for Meadows he is generally considered the 2nd best HS position player in the draft behind Frazier. He has less power but is a safer bet to stick in center field.
None of those three (Meadows, McGuire, Peterson) excite me but as long as Moran, Ball or Frazier aren't passed on I think they would be reasonable choices.
Reese McGuire appears to be emerging as the favorite for the #9 selection. I've mentioned him here before as a highly skilled HS defensive catcher who is a good game caller. He is also athletic enough to play other positions but has the most value behind the plate. The question here is will his bat develop?
At 14 the thought seems to be DJ Peterson if he is on the board and if not Hunter Renfroe appears to be the fall back option. I've talked about Peterson as a 1B/3B who as an advanced college bat is felt to be one of the closest prospects to being major league ready. Renfroe is a college player who has really been shooting up the boards lately. He is an outfielder with good power, good speed and a strong arm. He does come with some strike out problems. He really didn't have a strong sophomore season but is doing well in his junior year. He fits the typical description of a RF fairly well.
I'm not a fan of drafting a "defensive catcher" I feel like you can get those from FA for nothing
I'm not the biggest fan either but I'm starting to warm up to McGuire some. Most scouts project his bat to develop into an above average one its just that it has a farther way to go than his defense. He is noted as being very baseball savvy and above average in every defensive catching aspect (receiving, throwing out runners, blocking, etc). I also read that he has been calling his own games since he was just 10 years old.
The only problem I am having here is that several of the mock drafts have the Pirates passing on Frazier (and Meadows to a lesser extent). If Frazier is still on the board and they select McGuire I'll be disappointed.
McGuire right now does appear to be the heavy favorite for the #9 selection. Under the right circumstances that wouldn't be too bad but outside of the top 3 (Appel, Gray, Bryant) there are three names I would be upset if they passed on to take McGuire. Clint Frazier, Kohl Stewart and Colin Moran. I would probably also like to see Trey Ball and Austin Meadows ahead of McGuire but that is splitting hairs in my opinion.
Just to let everyone know I am going to try to keep this thread up to date through the first two days worth of selections. Tomorrow is the first two rounds and Friday goes through round 10. I won't be able to keep up with Rounds 11-40 on Saturday but I'm hopeful that at some point on Sunday or Monday I am able to create some sort of recap.
I'm trying to break down the various scenarios in this draft.
Appel, Gray, Moran
It appears the Astros are either going to select one of Appel or Gray or cut a deal with Moran. If they pick one of the pitchers the Cubs will select the other one. If they select Moran I'm thinking Appel is their preferred choice. The Rockies seem content to take whichever of the top 3 is left to them but if they get a choice it is difficult to say who they would select.
Moran, Stewart, Bryant
The Twins seem set on taking a pitcher and if Gray is available it will be him but in the likely event he isn't it will probably be Stewart. There will likely be only one of those 3 players left for the Indians to choose and they will select whoever is left. The Marlins are difficult to read but it appears their top two choices are Shipley and Meadows. Though any number of names could come into play here
7. Red Sox
McGuire, Frazier, Meadows
The Red Sox appear likely to take one of the two GA HS OFs. It is unclear which one although the thought is they are leaning towards Frazier. The Royals like the same players the Pirates do including McGuire but appear to be a touch lower on him. If Meadows is available he will likely be the pick otherwise things opens up some.
It appears likely the Pirates will either select McGuire or one of the two GA HS outfielders. Should all 3 of them be gone which while unlikely is possible DJ Peterson and Trey Ball would be the favorites.
The Astros first pick will steer this draft in one of two directions but the Marlins and Royals are the real wild cards here. Either could make an unlikely selection and cause all of this to be way off.
So bottom line is I'm expecting Appel, Gray, Bryant, Stewart and Moran to be the top 5 picks in some order that leaves the Pirates 4 spots away from their first selection. Frazier, Meadows and McGuire would appear to be their first three choices and if only one is available I expect he will be the pick but if zero, two or three are availble things will get interesting.
Last edited by burgh_fan66; 06-05-2013 at 03:56 PM.