MLB Draft: Who Are The Pittsburgh Pirates Taking First Overall?
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The MLB Draft is finally upon us! For some the Pittsburgh Pirates selection can't come soon enough. The build up to having the first overall pick has been exhausting at times, and at this point you are very warranted in wanting Ben Cherington to make the pick so we can move on to other things.
Despite wanting to get the pick over and done, this is still a very big moment for the Pirates, and the fanbase. The Pirates have the opportunity to add a very big piece to their rebuild, and get to pick from the entire field of players when they do so.
Are there risks in selecting a certain player? Of course, that's part of the draft. Nothing is a sure thing, or else Mike Trout wouldn't have slid the way he did in his draft year. Are the Pirates going to get a 'Barry Bonds type of player'?
Honestly, in this draft, probably not.
Does that make the pick a failure? Absolutely not.
Despite the inherent risk of drafting a high school player, or even a college pitcher, or a college bat that may not stay at the premium position he plays at, you can certainly say whoever the Pirates take the odds are in their favor of them being a contributor to some extent at the major league level.
The main question that is left to be answered, who are the Pirates going to take? Here are my top three, in order, of who I'd like to see end up in a Pirates jersey by the end of the night.
1. Marcelo Mayer
In a year where there is no 'consensus number one', the Eastlake HS shortstop is at the top of just about every major publications draft boards. He seems like the best option for the Pirates at first overall.
Marcelo Mayer is headed to the Pirates No. 1 overall in our latest mock.— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) July 1, 2021
If that happens?
That'd make @EHSBALL the first high school EVER with two No. 1 picks (Adrian Gonzalez, 2000).
Mock: https://t.co/WW30io8ozD pic.twitter.com/bfHZoDYo0h
A beautiful left-handed swing that's made for PNC Park. The ability to play a premium position like shortstop. The plus hitting tool that Cherington loves. Mayer has it all.
There has been some talk that the Detroit Tigers might try and price Mayer out of the Pirates hands, but if he is their guy, they will go and get him.
Despite the fact that it's been well known the Pirates would like to save on this pick so they can spend later on in the draft - they do have the most pool money of all teams, so they still could go big with their next pick. It just wouldn't be ideal.
Without any of the politics based off of signing bonus money, it's become fairly clear that Mayer has risen to the top of the crop, and he should be the Pirates pick at 1.1.
2. Kahlil Watson
There would be a lot to go wrong for this to be the pick, one would think, but if the Pirates were drafting anywhere but first overall I'd be campaigning hard for Watson to end up in Pittsburgh. The size doesn't really concern me, and he has some of the fastest hands I've seen.
I know they are different players, different positions, and that there are better comparisons, but watching how Watson generate his power reminded me of Andrew McCutchen when he first came up. He wasn't the biggest guy, but his bat speed and ability to put the barrel on the ball helped generate power beyond his size.
He's got the athletic ability to move around the infield, or even play in center but he has the arm and glove to play shortstop. He's by far my favorite player in this draft class, and if chaos ensues when it comes to make the pick, I'd be happy to land him.
Oh, he's left handed as well, so that power definitely plays at PNC as well.
3. Jack Leiter
If I'm doing a realistic list, he's either second ahead of Watson or stays in this spot with Jordan Lawlar behind Mayer. You can never really have too much pitching, and Leiter is the best arm in this draft.
I do worry about his control at times, as he seemed oddly hittable at times during the season. We also said the same thing about Gerrit Cole back in 2011. I don't see the upside that Pirates' fan claim has that makes him the undoubted top player in this class, but he certainly has the lineage and stuff to be a good pitcher in the majors.
Wildcard - Henry Davis
Yea, I couldn't really not mention the Louisville catcher. To be honest, after reading about his receiving and framing skills I was kind of turned off until it was brought back to my attention about the automated strike zone and how it eliminates half of his concerns.
If the automated strike zone becomes a thing in the majors, Davis' value explodes even more than it already is. He has an amazing arm and has legit grown man power. If I knew he for sure he was going to stick behind the plate, I'm making a coin flip between Davis and Mayer, with the tiebreaker being who signs for less.
Who would you like to see the Pirates take with the first overall pick? What is the reasonable upside of each of the top prospects, in your opinion? Let us know in the comment section below, subscribe to the site with the link at the top of the page, and follow us on Twitter @SportBlogMurphy.
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