Latest Mock Draft from MLB Pipeline Has Changes Near the Top, Just Not for the Pirates

MLB Pipeline posted their latest mock draft yesterday, 11 days (now ten) ahead of the first day of the 2021 amateur draft, where the Pittsburgh Pirates will have the first overall pick. Jonathan Mayo had the honors here and he stayed with the previous pick for the Pirates, having them go for prep shortstop Marcelo Mayer. If you’ve been following the mock drafts, Mayer has been the pick for basically every one of them for the last month or more.

I’ll note a little trickery here from Pipeline with their photo for the story. Notice that Jack Leiter is actually shown for the selection of the Pirates in the photo, with Mayer going second. That may have been to get some extra clicks, who knows (I was going to post it regardless), but the article has the Pirates going for Mayer again.

As has been said numerous times recently, there’s no consensus top player in this draft class. It’s a great year to have the 5th/6th pick because there’s no real difference in opinions over the top players, so you have a decent chance of still getting the best player with those picks. However, with the draft bonus pools, there’s a big difference in pool space between having the first ($8,415,300) and sixth picks ($5,742,900), so that lack of a clear cut #1 pick could end up helping the Pirates in the long run with extra money to spread around the draft. When it’s all said and done, they are going to spend around $15,000,000 on this draft class, regardless of what they end up paying the top pick. If there’s savings to be had with the first pick without sacrificing any talent, then that strategy will likely prevail.