After months and months of studying hundreds of scouting reports, watching countless videos, having some great conversations, writing multiple articles, jotting down mock drafts on the note pad beside my computer and pretty much thinking about it at all hours of the day and night, it is finally almost here; tonight the MLB June Amateur Draft begins. In some ways it has been tough to get myself as excited I have been about the draft in previous years; mostly due to the state of baseball and the world, both locally and globally, at the moment. However, it has brought some normalcy at times to the total and utter chaos.
For a few young men, tonight will bring everything they have worked their whole lives for into focus. Now I know that this pool of talented individuals has been shrunk beyond what any of us would describe as ideal, but there is nothing that can be done about it and we are left to make the best of the situation. This is exactly what I intend to do as I sit down on my couch this evening, patiently waiting to see who my team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, will take off the board with the 7th and 31st picks of the draft.
Over the past few months, weeks and especially days many names have been mentioned as perfect fits for the Pirates Organization; from college bats and to high school sluggers and pitchers with ace potential, as well as the much needed catcher. Some have seemed like “reaches” and/or based solely on need, others have caused me to look deeper into the numbers and talk with people of differing opinions and a select few appeared too good to be true. In the end everyone has their favorites, most of us think we are right and each of us has the same opportunity to be incorrect; whether we be experts or amateurs.
So who do I think the Pirates will select tonight? It sounds like a simple question, but it starts to get a little harder to answer when considering they aren’t the only team selecting players. Many, if not all, of the decisions won’t be made until the board takes shape in front of them and plans B, C, D or E become A because the guy(s) they really wanted ended up going to another team. Based on this train of thought my Pirates Draft Board finally took its final form.
First Round (#7 Pick)
Plan A: Emerson Hancock (RHP)-Georgia
Plan B: Nick Gonzales (SS/2B)-New Mexico State
Plan C: Max Meyer (RHP)-Minnesota
Plan D: Heston Kjerstad (OF)-Arkansas
Plan E: Zac Veen (OF)-Spruce Creek (FL)
Competitive Balance Pick A (31st Pick)
Plan A: Dillon Dingler (C)-Ohio State
Plan B: Jared Shuster (LHP)-Wake Forest
Plan C: CJ Van Eyk (RHP)-Florida State
Plan D: Slade Cecconi (RHP)-Miami
Plan E: Jordan Walker (3B)-Decatur (GA)
Second Round (44th Pick)
Plan A: Alika Williams (SS)-Arizona State
Plan B: Logan Allen (LHP)-Florida International
Plan C: Drew Romo (C)-The Woodlands (TX)
Plan D: Sam Weatherly (LHP)-Clemson
Plan E: Daniel Susac (C)-Jesuit (CA)
In the end I would be happy to see any of theses players join the Pirates. If GMBC goes a different direction, I will obviously scratch my head for a second and then go back to breaking down the videos, stats and scouting reports to see what I may have missed. That’s the fun in this. Now all that is left to do is wait and see; and maybe start to come up with a Plan F.