The Draft Board Begins to Take Shape: One Week To Go

From the time I wrote my first article on the MLB June Amateur Draft back in the middle of April until my most recent Rough Draft, a lot has changed concerning the landscape of baseball in general and the draft we have come to know and love did not escape wrecking ball completely. This has caused many draft projectors to fall along the spectrum between the status quo/business as usual approach and the draft according to need/ fill the holes perspective; both of which could cause some confusion to the non-experts among us who will take these opinions and run with them, producing some spirited discussions between myself and other amateurs on the internet. I enjoy these discussions, but I am not going to lie they frustrate me to some degree because hardly anyone is really willing to own their opinions. I for one have no qualms with taking a risk and putting myself out there, even if it goes against the grain of one or more experts and/or scouts because they admit freely that they aren’t always right either.

For what it’s worth I feel like many opinions have bordered along the lines of the NFL Draft. In the beginning there are no quarterbacks worthy of the top picks, but by the end there are at least two that are vying for the top spots because that is what many of the teams near the top need. As we all know some of these work out, however it is not without risk and these decisions are often described as a “reach”. In these situations you are trying to fill obvious holes, possibly that coming year. In MLB your system may have weakness that need to be addressed, but no one would be crazy enough to try to use a pick to do this as a cure all; especially well above slot.

In my discussions with others this is all I have been trying to warn against. It is not saying that any player is not worthy of being chosen in the first round, but I am never going to condone moving a guy up several spots just because it is a position of need. These is especially true when the player being targeted during mocks is not clearly better than the next two or three players at that particular position. It has been and always will be my strategy to pick the best player available regardless of position and/or need. If you deviate from this blueprint, there is too much room for error in my opinion.

As the Pirates wait for the 7th pick of the draft there are limited number of combinations that can occur in front of them. In the end there are at most three players that could potentially fall to them and I would possibly still pass on two of them. That is just my honest opinion and it isn’t without hesitation or room for regret in on my part. The only goal I truly focus on with my train of thought is to minimize the level of each of emotions with each player chosen. Using this as a guide there are a finite amount of players who I feel comfortable drafting with the 7th, 31st and 44th picks; currently four at each spot.

Round 1 (Pick 7)

1) Emerson Hancock (RHP)-Georgia

2) Heston Kjerstad (OF)-Arkansas

3) Max Meyer (RHP)-Minnesota

4) Reid Detmers (LHP)-Louisville

Competitive Balance Pick A (Pick 31)

1) Dillon Dingler (C)-Ohio State

2) Jared Shuster (LHP)-Wake Forest

3) CJ Van Eyk (RHP)-Florida State

4) Alika Williams (SS)-Arizona State

Second Round (Pick 44)

1) Blaze Jordan (1B)-DeSoto Central (MS)

2) Carson Tucker (SS)-Mountain Pointe(AZ)

3) Masyn Winn (RHP/SS)-Kingwood(TX)

4) Sam Weatherly (LHP)-Clemson

I know right now that I may be weighing to heavily at the possibility of Dingler being available at 31, so I may need to add another catcher in the 44 spot. However, this is a minor adjustment that can be taken care of in the the next week. Overall I am pretty confident and happy with my current selections. What do all of you think?

Published by Craig W. Toth

Former Contributing Author at, Co-Host of the Bucs in the Basement Podcast and life-long/diehard Pittsburgh Pirates Fan!

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