The Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in a unique position for the 2018 MLB Draft.
The Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in an enviable position in the 2018 MLB Draft.
That being the freedom to take the best player available.
Sure, many MLB teams can say that. The nature of professional baseball — namely, the amount of players needed for a robust farm system — necessitates an approach. Yet oftentimes other factors have come into play with the Pirates. Whether it be the ability to sign their pick, or filling a need in the system, there oftentimes seem to be enough external factors that cause some Pittsburgh draft picks to serve as head scratchers.
Locked on Pirates had an excellent preview up today with a nod towards specific players the Pirates could target. Do yourself a favor and read that piece, but here we’ll talk more abstractly about how the Pirates can have a productive draft.
Good talent flow at each position
Mainly, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ position in this draft is buoyed by the wealth of talent at many positions around the diamond.
Now, this does not necessarily mean that the club has one of the more talented systems in the game. Quite the contrary. Rather, it means that there is a plan at each position.
The starting pitching is held up by Mitch Keller and Baz. The infield is stocked with talent, from Cole Tucker to Kevin Newman and Kevin Kramer. Will Craig and Ke’Bryan Hayes have both shown ability at the corner infield spots. Craig in particular has come on this season.
The outfield was injected with talent in the Cole and McCutchen trades, with Bryan Reynolds and Jason Martin leading the way. Lolo Sanchez is quite young but is already on many prospect watchers’ radars.
The rest of the pitching talent not named Keller or Baz are noteworthy. Clay Holmes and Nick Kingham have already shown enough to serve as serviceable (at worst) major league arms. The next tier of prospect talent such as lefty Taylor Hearn and Luis Escobar carry some amount of pedigree.
And we haven’t even mentioned the major league talent that is already in the early throes of their careers.
If you add it all up, the Pittsburgh Pirates are drafting from a position of stability, if not necessarily strength.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are in position to shoot for the moon and take the highest ranked talent available. They might just find a star.