By Jason Shetler
The 2017 MLB Draft got underway on Monday. In addition to their first round pick, the Pirates had three other picks. Here is a recap of their selections.
Shane Baz: The Pirates chose Shane Baz with the 12th overall pick. Baz is a 6’3 right-handed pitcher from Concordia Lutheran High School in Texas. He throws a mid-90’s fastball that has topped out at 98 mph, as well as a cutter and slider, both of which could become very good offerings.
Steve Jennings: With the 42nd overall pick, the Pirates selected Steve Jennings. They got this spot in the second round after failing to sign their competitive balance pick Nick Lodolo last year. Jennings is a right-hander, who stands 6’2, out of Dekalb County High School in Tennessee. His fastball sits low-90’s and can reach 95 mph. Jennings’ other pitches include a mid-80’s slider and a potentially good curveball.
Calvin Mitchell: Calvin Mitchell was the first position player taken by the Pirates at #50 overall. He is a left-handed hitting outfielder from Rancho Bernardo High School in California. Baseball America rated Mitchell as the third best pure hitter among prep players in this year’s draft class. He isn’t much of a runner, so he will probably be a corner outfielder.
Conner Uselton: The Pirates received a competitive balance pick (#72 overall). With that pick, they took Conner Uselton, a right-handed hitting outfielder from Southmoore High School in Oklahoma. He has great bat speed, to go along with raw power. Defensively, he possesses a very strong throwing arm. MLB Pipeline ranked Uselton as the 46th best draft prospect, so the Pirates may have gotten a steal.