Kiley McDaniel from ESPN and Keith Law from The Athletic both posted new mock drafts on Friday morning, with just two days remaining before the Pirates make the first overall selection in the 2021 amateur draft. That will be their only pick on day one this year, as MLB has now made day two on Monday rounds 2-10, and day three on Tuesday will be rounds 11-20. With that setup, the Pirates will be picking first on all three days, including the 37th overall pick on Monday.
McDaniel and Law both have the Pirates taking prep shortstop Marcelo Mayer with the first overall pick. That has been everyone’s choice for more than a month, with everyone (including Law and McDaniel today) noting that Mayer just seems like the most likely out of a group of similar value players. It could still be prep shortstops Jordan Lawlar or Khalil Watson, Louisville catcher Henry Davis or Vanderbilt pitcher Jack Leiter, with a very small chance of someone else. As I have mentioned numerous times, there is no clear cut #1 pick and it may come down to bonus demands and who leaves the Pirates the most room in their bonus pool to spend elsewhere. That could end up being important when the dust clears on day one and we see who the best name is still left on the draft board.
The basic thought here is don’t be surprised if the Pirates pick Mayer, or any of the four other players mentioned. Watson is the only one who hasn’t received real first overall traction, but he’s mentioned right behind that group all of the time.
In other news, Fangraphs updated their farm system rankings ahead of the draft to see where the teams stand before the draft. The Pirates rank as the third best farm system on their board, even after numerous players have graduated from prospect status this year, led by Ke’Bryan Hayes.