National League Central Division Draft Update

Day one came and went and boy the Orioles really threw the board for a loop with the number 2 pick did they not? As promised, here is a little update on who our competitors picked up.

Pirates
4 Picks Remaining –
44, 3 more picks round 3-5
Day 1 Picks – 7 Nick Gonzales, New Mexico State, SS; 31 Carmen Mlodzinksi, South Carolina, SP

Craig has a great piece about day 1 for our Buccos up already and I’ll not elaborate here too much at this time, but I’ll have more to say on Friday in the Focus.

Cubs
4 Picks Remaining –
51, 3 more picks round 3-5

Day 1 Pick – 16 Ed Howard, Mount Carmel HS (IL), SS
Ed is arguably the best prep school level middle infielder available. He profiles as defensively strong and some doubt his bat will rise to the task. With a 6-foot 2-inch frame, the hope is that when he fills out, he’ll gain power and retain his range and athleticism. With Baez in place, the Cubs have time to let this project develop.

Reds
4 Picks Remaining –
48, 65 (Competitive Balance), 3 more picks round 3-5

Day 1 Pick – 12 Austin Hendrick, West Allegheny High School (PA), OF
Let’s get this out of the way, feels like Sean Casey all over again. OK, back to actual evaluation. Austin has an explosive swing with power to spare. Chances are he ultimately sacrifices contact for power as he develops but he has middle of the order potential. I’ve seen him compared to Clint Frazier by multiple sources but feel he can avoid becoming a strike out machine of that level. Depending on who you believe, he is either a nice steal here by the Reds or a bit of a reach. I’ll lean steal.

Brewers
4 Picks Remaining –
53, 3 more picks round 3-5

Day 1 Pick – 20 Garrett Mitchell, UCLA, CF
Mitchell has speed for days which helps him remain a good candidate to stay at CF as he progresses. Speed is the one real certainty with Garrett however, his frame and athleticism suggest he will come together but scouts have him performing far better in batting practice than in-game. I’ve seen him rated pre-draft from 10 all the way into the second round which speaks to the very real unknowns. This strikes me as the equivalent of a college football coach recruiting an athlete who hasn’t found a position yet, but you can’t pass up the physical stats. The divergent rankings could also be due to questions regarding Garrett being Type 1 diabetic, but clearly, he’s handled it.

Cardinals
6 Picks Remaining –
54, 63 (Competitive Balance), 70 (Compensation Pick) 3 more picks round 3-5

Day 1 Pick – 21 Jordan Walker, Decatur High School (GA), 3B
Jordan may be difficult to sign for the Cards as he is committed to Duke, but my guess is the Cardinals have already ensured he was open to signing. After Spencer Torkelson, Walker is probably the top remaining corner infielder available. At 6-foot 5-inches shades of Kris Bryant come to mind and the power potential is there. Many scouts think he’ll have to abandon 3rd due to his frame but we here in Pittsburgh understand that some of these tall guys can pick it, right Mr. Cruz?

Day 2 of the MLB draft begins Thursday night and Craig and I will bring you analysis and opinions of each as it plays out right here.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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