While most people think of four seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall, the sports fan knows that we are approaching draft season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will be on the clock soon as the NFL Draft is set to commence on Thursday, May 8 and conclude on Saturday, May 10 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Once the Stanley Cup playoffs conclude, we will find out where the Pittsburgh Penguins will be in the pecking order in the NHL Draft, which is set for the weekend of June 27-28 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
But in between is the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft, which will be held from June 5 through June 7. The first two rounds will conducted on Thursday, June 5, followed by Rounds 3 through 10 on Friday, June 6 and the last 30 rounds on Saturday, June 7.
The Pittsburgh Pirates climbed the ladder to success last season in no small part due to their success in the MLB Draft. Current roster players Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Tony Watson, Gerrit Cole, Brandon Cumpton, Jared Hughes, Jordy Mercer, Tony Sanchez, Justin Wilson and Casey Sadler were all drafted by the Bucs.
This season, general manager Neal Huntington finds himself in an unfamiliar spot as he is choosing in the 24th position in the first round. It will be interesting to see if the Pirates’ brain trust wants to stock pile more pitching prospects the way Ray Shero of the Penguins likes to obtain blue-chip defensemen.
If Pittsburgh does go for another arm, these pitchers may be available when the Bucs are on the clock:
Left-hander Sean Newcomb from the University of Hartford has a fastball that can get to 95 mph. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Hawk had a 3.75 ERA over 13 starts, a 1.25 WHIP and 92 strikeouts in 72 innings.
Right-hander Dylan Case from Milton High School in Georgia likes to bring the heat and has a fastball that hits the 93-96 mph range. The 6-2 prep star also has an above-average curveball in his arsenal.
Another righty who could be moving up the Bucs draft board is righthander Scott Blewett from Baker High School in New York. The 6-6, 210-pound St. John’s commit has a fastball in the 91-94 mph range and throws a tight breaking ball in the mid-70s.
On the other hand, last year the Pirates drafted outfielder Austin Meadows in the first round, so they could go for a position player. The scouting staff”s recommendation for this year could include the following:
Outfielder and right-handed pitcher Michael Gettys from Gainesville High School in Georgia has been known to fire the ball back in from the outfield at 100 mph, which would allow him to play all three outfield positions at the next level. The 6-2 righty can hit 95 mph on the radar gun and his curveball is in the mid-70s.
As a junior from T.C. Roberson High School in Arden, North Carolina, first baseman/outfielder Braxton Davidson hit .403 with seven doubles, eight home runs and drew 30 walks. The 6-3, 215-pound left-hander has a strong arm that would make him an asset in a corner outfield spot.
Last, but not least, is Wichita State junior first baseman Casey Gillaspie. The 6-2, 230-pound Shocker hit eight home runs last summer in the Cape Cod League. He offers above-average pop from both sides of the plate.
Let’s see whose name is on the card when the Pirates make their decision. The clock will be ticking soon.