Baseball America updated their top 500 draft prospects list on Monday, just six days ahead of the amateur draft when the Pittsburgh Pirates will make the first overall selection.
This is a boring update I suppose because there are no changes to the top of the list. If you were hoping to get Will Bednar, brother of current reliever David Bednar, well his new draft prospect ranking will be disappointing. He moved up to the 18th spot on this list, putting him too far down to consider with the first overall pick and too far away from the second round pick of the Pirates. I mentioned him partly due to the family connection with the team, but also because he’s the highest change on this list. The top 17 spots remain the same.
This is just rankings, not a mock draft, but it could serve as a mock as well. There’s a lot of misinformation out there that the Pirates plan on reaching for their first pick to save money. It’s not only not true, it’s misleading to say that the don’t want to spend for the first overall pick. It’s basically a bunch of nonsense.
The top of this draft class is piled together with no clear first overall pick. The first four spots here (in order) belong to prep shortstops Jordan Lawlar and Marcelo Mayer, followed by Vanderbilt pitcher Jack Leiter and Louisville catcher Henry Davis. I think you could pick a name out of a hat with those four and be fine with the selection. Back to the misinformation and it stems from the possibility that the Pirates will take whoever is willing to accept the lowest bonus among those players mentioned above (and possibly 1-2 others in their mind). If that is true, then that would give them a top rated prospect in this class, plus they would have extra money to spend from the savings. It wouldn’t mean that they plan to spend less overall. You’d be shocked at how many people don’t know about the draft pools still, but if you don’t, feel free to ask in the comments.
The initial point here is that Marcelo Mayer is reading everywhere that he’s the potential first overall pick. It’s basically every mock draft. If that’s true, there’s no reason for him to take any type of deep discount. The second pick has great value as well. Lawlar is considered the best player here, but his name isn’t being mentioned first overall, and he’s been as low as fifth I believe in some recent mock drafts. He might be willing to take a cut to go first overall, especially when you see the difference between the slot amounts of first overall and fifth overall. So it’s very possible that the Pirates could save money by selecting the best player (according to BA) in this class.
In six days we will find out…expect plenty of mock drafts between now and then.