The Pirates had some interesting late round picks.
In the sixth round, they selected RHP Derek Diamond (overall pick number 170, who was on Ole Miss’s College World Series-winning team. He was also drafted by the Diamondbacks (how appropriate) in 2019 out of high school, but obviously chose to go to college instead. He’s not considered a particularly strong prospect (he was ranked #220 by Baseball America) but at the same time some scouts ranked him in the 170s, so his pick was right on those predictions. A junior, this past season was his least successful at Ole Miss, with his 2020 season being his collegiate best.
The two-hundredth overall pick in round 7 also went to the Pirates, and they chose RHP J.P. Massey from the University of Minnesota. Massey, a Chicago native, has a decent high-nineties fastball and struck out 63 batters in 59.1 innings this past season, but he also walked 39 and posted a 6.52 ERA in 16 games (14 starts), so obviously his command needs to improve. He was not on any national draft ranking list.
Like Derek Diamond, the Pirates’ eighth round pick, BYU’s Cy Neilson was also drafted out of high school, but chose to go to college. The left-handed reliever was only a sophomore this year, but considering he went in the fortieth round the first time he got drafted, we’ll see if he signs. With a 3.20 ERA and 1.040 WHIP, his numbers aren’t great but not horrible either. However, he’s pitching in the Cape Cod League for the Chatham Anglers this summer to good effect, with a 1.98 ERA, so we’ll see. Note: Cy signed with the Pirates on Friday.
The Pirates picked up another Cape Cod League pitcher in the next round, Mike Walsh, who’s a RHP at Yale and also pitching with the Brewster Whitecaps. This past season at Yale, the junior hurler had the second highest strikeout total within the Ivy League and was the Bulldogs’ number 1 starter, finishing with a 4-2 record and 5.68 ERA.
The Bucs’ 10th round pick was Oklahoma Sooner outfielder Tanner Tredaway, who was third in the NCAA in hits, with 105. His slash line was .370/.414/549, with 18 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, and 66 RBIs. He also stole 24 bases in 28 attempts.
In the eleventh round, the Pirates picked up another college pitcher: Dominic Perachi from small Rhode Island Catholic college Salve Regina University. The junior lefty was chosen as the Division III American Pitcher of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Rawlings Sporting Goods. This year, he went 72 innings with a 1.00 ERA.
Moar pitching! Moar! The Pirates stayed on the College Pitcher Ship in the twelfth round, picking up KC Hunt, an RHP from Mississippi State. Hunt’s ERA this season wasn’t great—6.86, mainly as a reliever—but apparently he’s doing better in Summer League.
e reIn the thirteenth round, the Pirates chose 23-year-old Miguel Fulgencio, a left-handed reliever out of Cowley (KS) Community College by way of the Dominican Republic and Oklahoma. He seemed to have been the closer most of the time.
In the fourteenth and fifteenth rounds, the Pirates chose a pair of players from the University of South Carolina, LHP (and Pittsburgh area native) Julian Bosnic and first baseman/LHP Josiah Sightler. Bosnic hasn’t pitched since 2021 since elbow surgery, but when he did, mostly as a reliever, he was pretty good with a 2.84 ERA and striking out 78 batters inv50.2 innings. Despite being listed as a LHP, Sightler was used very little as a pitcher this year. This was also not the first time he was drafted, having been selected in the twelfth round out of high school by the Reds in 2018. Bosnic was also drafted last year by the Giants, but chose to return to school.
Round 16 saw the Pirates pick up a catcher—Nick Cimillo out of Rutgers. Cimillo has a college career average of .342 and was the big 10 batting champion this year.
With the five-hundredth pick in the seventeenth round, the Pirates selected RHP Jaycob Deese from the University of Houston. Baseball America named him the AAC’s number 8 prospect. A junior this baseball season, he had a 5.19 ERA and a 5-3 win/loss record. He doesn’t seem to walk a lot of batters but at the same time doesn’t strike a lot of batters out.
Round 18 saw the Pirates draft another collegiate RHP, this time Elijah Birdsong from Pacific University, who made nine starts and two relief appearances after missing the 2021 season due to Tommy John surgery.
It should be noted that with the exception of Cy Neilson, all of the above pitchers are 22 years old or older.
In round 19, the Pirates drafted their final prep-school player, RHP/INF Yoel Tejeda, who should be nicknamed “the second coming of Oneil Cruz” as he is also 6’7” at 19 years old. He has some weight to gain, right now he’s only 210 pounds. Tejeda can already throw 94 miles an hour, so the Pirates are obviously looking forward to developing him.
The Bucs finished up the 2022 draft with another 22-year-old collegiate pitcher, RHP Joshua Loeshorn of Long Island University. In 17 games/16 starts, he posted a 3.06 ERA and 104 strikeouts.
Whether these guys become Pirates or trade bait, we’ll see what happens.
Special thanks to PGH Baseball Now and their handy draft tracker for helping me compile this.