In It For the Long Haul – The Pirates 2017 Draft Class
The Pittsburg Pirates had quite the draft haul this June, and there are a number of prep players that they selected who could be fine prospects. They had a balanced haul, taking 2 prep arms at the top of the draft, followed up by 2 prep outfielders. Here’s a few prep players (and 1 college bat!) to pay attention to in the upcoming years.
1st Round Selection: Shane Baz, RHP
The Pirates had been linked in rumors to the righty out of Texas way back since early April, and it only takes a short look at the video to see why they loved Baz. Shane is a highly projectable 6’3” pitcher, already with 96 MPH velo and a wide arsenal of average or better secondaries. A highly athletic player that was also a legitimate top-200 prospect with the bat, Baz has a bright future ahead of him, with many drawing comparisons to Jameson Taillon.
Mitchell was very highly rated coming into the draft, with MLB Pipeline rating him 46th in the draft class. In his senior year, it was well-known that his weakest tool was his hit tool, but he made vast improvements to his swing, cutting down on his swing mechanics and making a visible effort to use the whole field. As much as I hate to label a draftee with this tag, he could potentially be a 5-tool player for your fantasy squad. He’s somewhat older than most prep draftees, so he could move quickly for a high school player.
6th Round Selection: Cody Bolton, RHP
At the time of publication, it was not yet known whether Bolton had signed, but it seems a foregone conclusion after his statements post-Draft. He is, however, regarded as a tough sign by most evaluators. Should he sign with the Pirates, he will bring a projectable frame along with a solid 3 pitch mix (FB, SL, CH) that can touch 93-94. He’s a classic Pirates pick that could possibly move up the lists quickly à la Mitch Keller in two years.
Chris Sharpe was drafted from the University of Massachusetts Lowell as a college sophomore, and for those who avidly follow River Hawks games, he was an excellent choice. After a rough freshman year where he barely hit .228, he made a large jump forward in all categories, slashing .338/.432/.685 in a superlative sophomore campaign. His best tool at the moment is his raw power, so it will be worthwhile to watch if he manages to tap into that power.
19th Round Selection: Jacob Webb, RHP
Yet another projectable Pirates pitcher, Webb stands 6’4”, 200 pounds and throws a heavy, hard sinking fastball at 92 mph. He also has a sharp curveball with late drop to it that separates 15 mph from his fastball, creating good deception. His throwing action is quite fluid, and could cause him to move through the Pirates organization as a local HS pick.
Featured image credit: Jheremy Brown | Youtube