The MLB Draft takes place in early June, and there's been less excitement about it than usual, both throughout baseball and among Pirates fans -- it isn't a stellar draft class, and the Bucs pick eighth, rather than their customary first or second.
If we see many more mock drafts like this one, you can expect Pirates' fans excitement to continue to plunge. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has the Pirates taking Arizona State shortstop Deven Marrero. (The Astros take Stanford pitcher Mark Appel with the first overall pick.)
Marrero has struggled offensively this spring, but he has hit more consistently in the past. He can also flat-out play shortstop, and draftees who can stay at that premium position aren't abundant. The Pirates have drafted a lot of pitching in the past, so they could look at the college arms listed above or perhaps high school lefty Max Fried.
Marrero is batting just .255 this season, with an on-base percentage of .314. You can compare those numbers to those of his teammates to see how bad that is for a potential first-round pick. The idea, as Mayo suggests, is that Marrero hit better earlier in his career, and a prospect who can really play shortstop has the potential to be very valuable. Unfortunately, the hitting could potentially turn out to be a big problem -- our own Minor League Ball lists Marrero as the 26th-best talent in the draft. Again, the Pirates pick eighth.
Who knows what the Bucs are actually thinking, but both Keith Law and now Mayo have projected the Pirates will take Marrero.
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