Earlier today, Baseball America's mock draft connected the Pirates to South Carolina high school pitcher Grant Holmes. Jim Callis, now with MLB.com, also has the Pirates taking Holmes:
Holmes could go at least 10 picks earlier than this, but high school pitchers in general and right-handers in particular often go lower than they're rated. With so much prep pitching depth in this year's Draft, teams are going to address other positions first. Pittsburgh gets connected a lot of high school hitters, including Gatewood, Harrison and T.C. Roberson High (Asheville, N.C.) outfielder Braxton Davidson.
In this scenario, the next two picks are Monte Harrison and Erick Fedde, so if the draft goes as Callis thinks, there will be lots of interesting players to choose from.
Jonathan Mayo, meanwhile, has the Pirates taking Wichita State first baseman Casey Gillaspie:
There's a good chance Gillaspie will be gone, leaving the Pirates to look at other college hitters, such as Kentucky's A.J. Reed, or perhaps a high school athlete like Harrison.
The difference between the two blurbs is pretty striking -- one has the Pirates thinking about high school hitters but ultimately taking a high school pitcher, while the other has the Pirates thinking about college hitters or maybe a toolsy high school hitter before ultimately taking a college hitter. Callis and Mayo both know what they're talking about, so if these guys don't really know what the Pirates are going to do, nobody does. We're consistently seeing some of the same names, though, like Holmes, Harrison, Gillaspie and Jacob Gatewood, which gives some sense of the type of talent that might be available when the Pirates pick at No. 24.