Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Profile: Part 3

We continue our draft profiles series by taking a look at who the Pittsburgh Pirates may be able to pick from with their second and third picks.


Note: The draft process is continuously evolving. Players once thought to be in the Pirates reach like Alex Kirilloff and T.J. Zeuch may be picked before the Pirates ever have the chance, while players once thought to be picked earlier like Taylor Trammell are now expected to be picked right around the Pirates draft. The players listed could move up out of the Pirates range or fall to where they would be an overdraft in just the two weeks remaining before the draft.

Lottery Round A – 41st Overall:

Alex Speas – RHP, McEachern High School (GA)

Baseball America has Speas ranked 41st. MLB.com has him ranked 35th because of a high-velocity fastball. He’s regarded as having a lot of movement on his fastball and curveball, but it’s not visible in any of the footage available on him. To say he is lacking in control would be a serious understatement. Speas regularly struggles to find the plate, as shown in the video below from 2015 against some of the best draft talent in the Under Armour All-America game. At 14-years-old, Speas was hitting 86. Now, he sits in the low-90s, and he is likely to add some velocity as he adds muscle. He has talent, although it may be as raw as any pitcher expected to go in the first few rounds. Speas looks more like a project and less like a prospect, and it would be a dramatic overdraft, in my opinion, to take him with their second pick.

Carter Kieboom – 3B, Walton High School (GA)

The youngest of three brothers, Carter will soon join his oldest brother Spencer on the professional level. The youngest Kieboom has the brightest future of the three ahead of him. He has a smooth swing and an approach at the plate well beyond his age. Kieboom naturally generates lift and power with his swing, which should let him be at least an average power hitter once he adds some muscle to his frame. In the 2015 Under Armour All-American Game, he stood out among the best of the best prep players in the country. Kieboom played shortstop in high school, but his strong arm and awareness are more suited for third at the professional level. After drafting Ke’Bryan Hayes in the first round last year, it might seem ridiculous to draft another third base prospect, but every team needs positional insurance. Kieboom is worth taking a third baseman early again.

Cody Sedlock – RHP, University of Illinois

The one major area of weakness in the Pirates organization is the glaring lack of relief pitcher depth. Cody Sedlock could play a big role in filling that void. In a deep Fighting Illini rotation, Sedlock was pushed to the bullpen his first two collegiate seasons. This summer, he transitioned to the rotation, and he has excelled in his first year as a starter. He has a solid sinker that sits in the low-90s thrown on a good downward plane. He can hit the mid-90s in relief. He also has a low-80s slider and a changeup and curveball, which are both at least average. He induces a high groundball rate with a slightly deceptive, repeatable delivery. All told, Sedlock could fly through the organization as a reliever or try to further develop his ability as a starter at the next level. Possibly undervalued in a deep draft for pitchers, he would make a great high-reward, low-risk option in the lottery round.

Chris Okey – C, Clemson University

Considered by some to be one of the best catchers available in the 2013 draft, teams clearly did not buy into the Okey hype, as the Padres took him in the 31st round and failed to sign him. Despite the Pirates signing Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli to extensions, the Pirates are thin when it comes to catchers capable of making an impact both at and behind the plate beyond Elias Diaz and Reese McGuire. Okey hit .338 this season with 12 home runs and 62 RBIs in 213 at-bats. He has below average speed and an average arm, but he also has above average athletic ability for a catcher and some of the best baserunning instincts in the draft. He’s a natural leader in the clubhouse, knows how to manage a pitching staff, and works as hard as anyone. He wouldn’t be my first pick, but Okey wouldn’t be a bad pickup with their second pick.


Other notables: Heath Quinn – RF, Samford University; Anfernee Grier – OF, Auburn University

Click here to check out my recommendations for the Pirates third pick at 68th overall.

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