Pittsburgh Pirates: A Look at their 2017 Draft Picks
The Pittsburgh Pirates depend on the Major League Baseball draft to help keep them competitive each year. This is the best way for them to gain impact prospects to have either play for them or to use in trades.
Last year the Pittsburgh Pirates had two first round picks. With the first one, they grabbed third baseman Will Craig. Craig was considered one the more advanced hitters in the draft but had questions about his defensive abilities as third base. When picking later in the first round, it is hard to find all around players. The Pirates did what they could and took the player with the best tools left on the board. The Pirates then had a Competitive Balance pick at #41. With this pick, they took a big, projectable, prep lefty named Nick Lodolo.
The Pittsburgh Pirates then had a Competitive Balance pick at #41. With this pick, they took a big, projectable, prep lefty named Nick Lodolo. Lodolo had a strong commitment to TCU and decided to honor it. He was the only draft pick of note that the Pittsburgh Pirates did not sign. With that being said, he was a bit of a reach by the Bucs at pick #41. Lodolo was ranked by MLB Pipeline as the #85 player in the draft.
Four Top Picks
This year the Pittsburgh Pirates will have one first round pick and three second-round picks. They actually will be drafting much higher than they have in past years as well. Coming off a 78-83 record the Pirates suffered their first losing season since 2012. Because of this, they were awarded the 13th pick in the 2017 draft. However, the Pirates are now picking at #12 in the June draft.
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This is because of the Rockies, who were slated to have the eleventh pick, signed Ian Desmond who was given a qualifying offer. Due to Desmond receiving a qualifying offer the Rockies have to forfeit their pick. All the teams picking behind the Rockies move up one spot now. The last time the Pirates picked this high was in 2013 when they selected Austin Meadows at pick #9 and Reese McGuire at pick #13. One has turned into a star prospect while the other has not developed at all and is with a new team.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will also have the #42 pick as well. This pick was given to them as compensation because they failed to sign Nick Lodolo with the #41 pick last season. The pick technically falls in the second round this year. This is because less competitive balance picks were given out than in previous years. After they pick at #42 they will then come back quickly with another selection at pick #50. Finally, the last pick is a Competitive Balance pick at #72. This pick is considered a second round pick even know it falls after the actual second round.
Unless the Chicago White Sox sign a free agent who received a Qualifying Offer, the Pirates will be drafting in these current spots. This is most likely as the White Sox are looking to rebuild and not forfeit any draft picks for veteran players. The Pirates have graduated a lot of prospects within the last seasons. This year’s draft will represent a good opportunity for them to add multiple, high-end, projectable prospects back into the system.