First Pitch: The Pirates Could Decide a Big Part of Their Future Over the Final Four Games

On Tuesday, Jeff Passan reported that the 2021 draft order is “highly likely” to be based on the results of the 2020 season.

The phrasing “highly likely” doesn’t guarantee anything. It should be a no-brainer that the worst record in 2020 would get the first pick in 2021, since the World Series will be determined based on 2020 results alone. But you never know how MLB will handle things.

That said, the Pirates enter the final four games of the season with a 1.5 game lead in last place. They’ve won two in a row, and the Texas Rangers have lost three in a row, closing the gap.

At this point, the Pirates would be guaranteed one of the top two picks in the draft, which means they’ll still get a really good player if they miss out on Kumar Rocker.

Jack Leiter, who is teammates with Rocker, and who is the son of former MLB pitcher Al, would be a nice consolation prize. They could also consider top prep prospect Brady House, who could either play shortstop, third base, or the outfield.

It would be preferred to have the choice of those guys AND Rocker, which can be accomplished with the first overall pick. By my count, the Pirates would need to lose two of their final four games to make this happen.

So are you’re dreaming of a potential future rotation headlined by Mitch Keller, Quinn Priester, and Kumar Rocker? Or would you rather see the Pirates take one of the alternatives?

The 2020 Prospect Guide returns to print for our tenth¬† we are releasing three variant covers, featuring Mitch Keller and Ke’Bryan Hayes. Visit our shop page to order these extremely limited items!


First Pitch