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2017 MLB draft: Mocking the Pirates’ draft

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MLB: Atlanta Braves at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

More mock drafts. The mocks seem to be settling on the Pirates using the 12th pick in the draft on . . . a baseball player. Really, about the only type of player the Pirates haven’t been associated with is left-handed junior college catchers.

Anyway, Jonathan Mayo of MLB Pipeline has the Pirates taking prep lefty Trevor Rogers from New Mexico. This isn’t the first time he’s been associated with the Pirates, as Keith Law had them taking him in an earlier mock draft. Rogers is a very projectable 6’6” and currently sits about 88-90, but he’s shown the ability to get up near the mid-90s. He has a slider and change that, of course, need work. Rogers is already 19, so he’s old for a prep draftee. Among other things, that means he’ll have one less year before he becomes eligible for the Rule 5 draft.

Mayo says the Pirates are also looking at prep bats like Austin Beck and Nick Pratto, as well as prep righty Shane Baz. Mayo projects all three to be available when the Pirates pick. Of course, other draft gurus have said the Pirates are focusing on college bats. Personally, given their track record, I think they’d do better looking at prep bats than college bats.

Meanwhile, Law’s second mock draft (sub. req’d) has the Pirates going for University of North Carolina righty J.B. Bukauskas, who is no known relation to Dovydas Neverauskas. Bukauskas has an outstanding slider and an above-average change, and his fastball sits in the mid-90s early in games and 92-94 later. He’s only 6’0”, but teams presumably won’t want to make the mistake they made with Tim Lincecum, so I have trouble seeing Bukauskas getting to the Pirates.