Pittsburgh Pirates

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1 8 Mark Appel RHP Stanford Calif.
It's never happened before, but this year the NFL draft and the MLB draft may feature players picked first-overall from the same school. Quarterback Andrew Luck already went first to the Colts. His buddy Appel, who has Houston roots, is in the running to go first this year to the Astros. Appel has the ingredients to be a frontline starter. He has a pro-ready body at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds to go along with his mid-90s fastball that touches 98. He throws a hard slider that has the potential to be an out pitch and his changeup has improved. He is a solid athlete who played basketball in high school and is delivery is relatively clean. The knock on Appel is that he hasn't dominated like most highly-ranked pitchers have in the past. Hitters frequently square him up because, even with his arsenal, he's easy to see with his slow delivery, long arm action in the back, and a fastball that doesn't have a lot of movement.
1s 45 Barrett Barnes OF Texas Tech Texas $1,000,000
Barnes has a chance to go in the first round and probably won't last past the sandwich round, which would make him the second-highest draft pick in Texas Tech history behind Doug Harris (fifth overall, 1989). Barnes' plus righthanded power and the possibility that he could stick in center field make him attractive. He packs a lot of strength into his 6-foot-1, 219-pound frame and offers a lot of bat speed. He's willing to take walks when pitchers don't challenge him, though he may not hit for a high average because his swing can get rotational and he's a dead-pull hitter. Barnes has plus straight-line speed (6.6-6.7 seconds in the 60-yard dash) but it doesn't always play that way. He does have 50 steals in 56 career attempts. If Barnes has to move to corner--likely left field because he has a below-average arm--he has enough power to profile there.
2 69 Wyatt Mathisen C Calallen HS, Corpus Christi, Texas Texas $746,300
Mathisen is the best high school catching prospect in the draft, though he hasn't seen much time behind the plate for Calallen High, which has deemed him more valuable as a shortstop and pitcher. There's no question his pro future is as a backstop, and he has the tools and desire to make it there. He has plus arm strength and the athleticism to become a good receiver, though his inexperience shows as he flinches at times when catching the ball. His makeup is off the charts, as he has the leadership ability to run a pitching staff and the work ethic to succeed. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Mathisen has the swing and strength to hit for average and power from the right side of the plate. He's a good runner for a catcher, grading as close to average, though he'll probably lose a step once he starts catching every day. Like crosstown Corpus Christi rival Courtney Hawkins, he's a Texas recruit.
3 103 Jon Sandfort RHP Winter Springs (Fla.) HS Fla. $462,900
Sandfort had some late draft helium as he pitched well down the stretch, including a late-April win against Oviedo High in the district championship. He struck out 10 in that game and touched 94 mph, and he was starting to grow into his 6-foot-5, 220-pound body. The Florida signee generally sits more in the 88-91 mph range and doesn't always hold his velocity. When he throws his curveball with power in the 75 mph range, it's an effective pitch, and he has some feel for an intriguing changeup.
4 136 Brandon Thomas OF Georgia Tech Ga.
Thomas wasn't heavily scouted as a high school player and didn't earn consistent playing time as a Georgia Tech freshman. He emerged as a regular as a sophomore and ranked as the No. 13 prospect in the Cape Cod League last summer. Thomas has some obvious positives, starting with his big league 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame. A switch-hitter, he's an above-average runner with surprising baserunning savvy, as he's 38-for-44 stealing bases in his career. Thomas' swing from both sides is steady if a bit too strength-oriented and lacking in looseness. Some scouts think he could loosen up with a different conditioning program and develop average power. Thomas has a center-field profile but hasn't played center field at Tech with speedy Kyle Wren (also draft-eligible) playing there instead, pushing Thomas to left field. The team that drafts him will have to project on his ability to play center, or on his power. Center field is the safer bet for Thomas, who should go off the board in the first two rounds.
5 166 Adrian Sampson RHP Bellevue (Wash.) CC Wash. $250,000
Sampson was a highly ranked prospect in high school but needed Tommy John surgery during his senior year, so he didn't get drafted and wound up going the junior college route instead of honoring his commitment to Oregon. Sampson's brother, Julian, spent four years in the Phillies system. Adrian was a 16th-round pick by the Marlins last year, but did not sign and projects to go significantly higher this time around. His fastball has been better than it was last year. He generally has been sitting in the low 90s and touching 94 mph, though he was more in the 87-91 mph in some stretches. His best pitch is his curveball, which is already an above-average pitch with sharp, late break, and he's showing improved feel for his changeup. Sampson pitches with above-average control and command and has the confidence to throw any of his pitches in any count. He is again committed to Oregon but is considered more likely to sign this year.
6 196 Eric Wood 3B Blinn (Texas) JC Texas $100,000
A 37th-round pick of the Athletics out of Canada in 2011, Wood didn't draw much attention at Blinn JC this spring but rose 31 rounds in the draft. He's a physical 6-foot-2, 194-pound righthanded hitter who batted .318 with four homers in 2012. He's a below-average runner but flashes some arm strength and pitched four innings for the Buccaneers.
7 226 Jacob Stallings C North Carolina N.C. $10,000
A leader in the Tar Heel clubhouse, Stallings figures to go in the first 10 rounds thanks to his defense and power. With some added protection in the lineup, Stallings hit .299/.398/.457 with 23 doubles in 221 at-bats. He has a plus arm and is known for keeping opponents at bay on the base paths.
8 256 Kevin Ross 3B Niles West HS, Skokie, Ill. Ill. $130,000
Much like Charlie Tilson, Illinois' top high school prospect a year ago, Ross raised his profile with a strong showing at the Area Code Games. He won't land a $1.275 million bonus like Tilson did as a Cardinals second-round pick in 2011, but Ross could go as high as the fifth round because he's a signable prep player with athleticism and tools. Six-foot-1 and 195 pounds, Ross has a quick bat and the strength to provide plus raw power from the right side of the plate. He'll have to tone down his aggressive approach, as he gets pull-happy and takes a long stride. A shortstop in high school, Ross projects as a third baseman in college or pro ball because he has fringy speed and quickness. His above-average arm and soft hands should make him an asset at the hot corner. Ross may be fairly maxed out physically, but his present tools still profile well at third base. He has committed to Michigan.
9 286 D.J. Crumlich SS UC Irvine Calif. $5,000
A four-year starter at UC Irvine, Crumlich has been a perfect fit in coach Mike Gillespie's system: a savvy gamer whose baseball skills stand out more than his tools. He is a patient hitter who works counts and sprays the ball around the field, and he can hit doubles into the gap on occasion, but he offers no home run power. Crumlich is a fringy runner who lacks the range and arm strength to play shortstop in the big leagues, but he a very sure-handed, instinctive defender, and he should be able to hold down short for a while in the minors. Scouts describe him as a steady-Eddie type player with an outside shot to grind his way to the big leagues, and he'll add plenty of value as an organizational player at minimum.
10 316 Pat Ludwig RHP Yale Conn. $5,000
Ludwig has been up to 91, but sits mostly 86-87. He mixes in a curveball and slider, but would be better off concentrating on just one.
11 346 Chris Diaz SS North Carolina State N.C. $100,000
Diaz hasn't received as much attention as other ACC shortstops but has quietly put together a strong year for the Wolfpack, hitting .374/.407/.509 with 23 doubles in 222 at-bats. He has a stocky build at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds and is a solid defender at shortstop, but not a lock to stick at the position. He makes the routine plays and is a fringy runner. His bat is light, but he consistently puts the ball in play.
12 376 Dalton Friend LHP Jefferson (Mo.) CC Mo.
Jefferson made its second straight trip to the Junior College World Series this spring, with Friend earning the extra-inning win over Eastern Oklahoma State to advance to Grand Junction, Colo. Friend was 11-0, 2.93 with one save in 12 appearances entering the Juco World Series, ranking fourth nationally with an average of 13.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Scouts got excited when they heard reports that the 6-foot-3, 235-pounder was touching 95 mph, but they saw mostly 89-91 mph fastballs when they went to see him. Friend also throws a 12-to-6 curveball with nice shape but so-so power to it and has a four-pitch arsenal. Scouts project him as a two-pitch reliever because of his inconsistent over-the-top delivery and his medical history. He had arm issues in high school, lost most of 2011 to a shoulder injury that required arthroscopic surgery and missed time this year with a sore elbow. A redshirt sophomore, he has committed to Texas Tech for 2013.
13 406 Tom Harlan OF/LHP Fresno State Calif.
14 436 Walker Buehler RHP Clay HS, Lexington, Ky. Ky.
Kentucky had its best-ever high school class in 2008, with four players who ranked among Baseball America's top 75 prospects and were led by Robbie Ross, now in the big leagues with the Rangers. After lacking any comparable prep talents in the next three drafts, the Bluegrass State is fruitful once again. Buehler belongs in the first two rounds this year and Woodford County High (Versailles) righthander Colton Hollon could be the first high school player drafted in 2013. The pair matched up in a May 1 game shortened by rain, with Buehler touching 94 mph with his fastball and Hollon topping him at 96. Buehler shows the potential for three plus pitches. At his best, he deals at 90-94 mph with his fastball, devastates hitters with an 80-81 mph curveball and confounds them with a sinking changeup. He's still skinny at 6-foot-2 and 160 pounds, so there are days when his fastball sits at 86-91 mph and his secondary pitches aren't as crisp. That leads some scouts to wonder how well he'll be able to maintain his stuff with an increased workload in pro ball, though they love his smooth arm action and polish. Though Buehler is a good student who has committed to Vanderbilt, teams believe he may be signable if drafted in the first couple of rounds.
15 466 Jon Youngblood OF Meridian (Miss.) CC Miss.
16 496 Max Moroff SS Trinity Prep, Winter Park, Fla. Fla. $300,000
17 526 Hayden Hurst RHP Bolles School, Jacksonville Fla. $400,000
Hurst has already had Tommy John surgery, but at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, he's a power arm, having touched 95 mph. More regularly, he sits in the 88-92 mph range with cutting action and life on the pitch. His slurvy breaking ball doesn't do much for scouts right now, though he has the hand speed to spin it. His early Tommy John surgery is likely to scare teams off his trail. He's committed to Florida State.
18 556 John Kuchno RHP Ohio State Ohio $125,000
Kuchno played only one year of high school baseball and began his college career as a redshirt walk-on at Wake Forest. After he grew four inches in a year and added velocity to his fastball, he caught the eye of Ohio State assistant Mike Stafford at a summer showcase and joined the Buckeyes. Now 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, Kuchno works from 88-95 mph to 90-91 as a starter. He's still learning to command his hard curveball and profiles as a reliever with two potential plus pitches.
19 586 Michael Petersen RHP St. Francis HS, Mountain View, Calif. Calif.
20 616 Kyle Haynes RHP Virginia Commonwealth Va.
21 646 Jordan Steranka 3B Penn State Pa.
22 676 Taylor Hearn LHP Royse City (Texas) HS Texas
23 706 Lance Breedlove RHP Purdue Ind.
24 736 Tyler Gaffney OF Stanford Calif.
Stanford has always been accommodating to two-sport athletes and Gaffney is a backup running back on the Cardinal football team who rushed for 449 yards last season over 74 carries with seven touchdowns. His future, however, is as an outfielder and some scouts prefer Gaffney to his teammate Jake Stewart. At 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds, Gaffney has a wide, muscular build because of football, so there is some tightness and stiffness to his game. A career .299/.406/.424 hitter at Stanford, Gaffney has good patience at the plate. Despite his strength, he profiles as a line-drive, gap-to-gap hitter, which makes him a little tough to profile as an everyday corner outfielder. He could become a solid fourth outfielder.
25 766 Josh Smith LHP Wichita State Kan.
26 796 Jimmy Rider SS Kent State Ohio
27 826 Jake Johansen RHP Dallas Baptist Texas
From a physical standpoint, few college pitchers stand out like Johansen. He's a 6-foot-6, 216-pounder who works at 93-95 mph and peaks at 97 with a fastball that features armside run. At times, he'll show a sharp slider with late life that makes batters look silly if they try to sit on his fastball. Johansen redshirted in his first season at Dallas Baptist because he wasn't ready to pitch against Division-I competition, and he's still figuring out how to control his big body and his pitches. Command difficulties scrapped the Patriots' plans to use him as a starter this spring and limit him to a reliever profile in pro ball. If he can add some polish, however, he has the stuff to pitch in the late innings.
28 856 Tommy Mirabelli 2B St. Edward HS, Lakewood, Ohio Ohio
29 886 Jake Post RHP Chesterton (Ind.) HS Ind.
30 916 Chase McDowell RHP Rice Texas
31 946 Jack Moffit RHP Flower Mound (Texas) HS Texas
Committed to Navarro (Texas) JC, Moffit is the most signable of a quartet of Flower Mound righthanded pitching prospects that also includes Cody Gunter, Andrew Vinson and John Kresta. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Moffit missed part of the spring with a finger injury but impressed scouts with his arm action and stuff. He has an 88-92 mph fastball, a decent curveball and a splitter with some slider action.
32 976 Max Rossiter C Arizona State Ariz.
33 1006 Carlos Leal C East Central (Miss.) CC Miss.
34 1036 Ryan Rand OF Langham Creek HS, Houston Texas
35 1066 Jackson McClelland RHP East Valley HS, Redlands, Calif. Calif.
36 1096 Brody Russell 2B Centennial HS, Bakersfield, Calif. Calif.
Scouts regard Russell as a good baseball player, but his tools might not be enough to persuade a club to buy him out of his commitment to Fresno State. He plays shortstop now and owns a plus arm, but the consensus is that he will have to move to second base or center field in pro ball, perhaps making him a utilityman down the line. He has fringy speed that plays up because of his instincts. At the plate, Russell has quick hands, an aggressive approach and a slight uppercut. He's a gap-to-gap hitter with occasional pull power, and he projects as a fringe-average hitter with below-average power.
37 1126 Jacob Waguespack RHP Dutchtown HS, Geismar, La. La.
38 1156 Matt Pope RHP Science Hill (Tenn.) HS Tenn.
39 1186 Jared West LHP North DeSoto HS, Stonewall, La. La.
40 1216 Zarley Zalewski OF Valley HS, New Kensington, Pa. Pa.
Western Pennsylvania doesn't churn out a lot of high school prospects, but each year there seems to be one guy that a team is willing to take a chance on in the middle rounds. Zalewski might be the one for 2012. He's a switch-hitter with a good frame at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds. He has some looseness to his swing and feel for handling the bat. He's a tough profile defensively as he has a fringy arm and doesn't run well. He is committed to Kent State.