The Pirates have doubled down on high school players with their first round selections, nabbing Austin Meadows and Reese McGuire at No. 9 and No. 14, respectively
Meadows fell to the Pirates after Kansas City went for a signable guy in Hunter Dozier. The Georgia outfielder was considered the best player available there, so it’s tough to fault Pittsburgh regardless of his future. (I’m not the biggest Meadows fan and would’ve preferred Braden Shipley.) Baseball America ranked him the fifth overall talent and Keith Law had him tabbed there as well.
As a senior at Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), Meadows hit .553 playing predominately in center field.
With their 14th overall pick, the Pirates took high school catcher Reese McGuire.
Pittsburgh had to have been ecstatic McGuire fell to this spot, as they were heavily linked to him before the draft. He was ranked 12th by BA and 20th by Keith Law — though he was the top catcher on both lists.
A catcher from Kentwood HS in Washington, McGuire is lauded as the best defensive backstop to enter the draft in a few years. The only question about his game is whether or not he’ll hit enough to be an all-star-caliber player.
The Pirates’ draft is already insanely loaded with upside. The issue with that high ceiling, though, is the almost reciprocally low floor.
Another note is that if the Pirates fail to sign Meadows, who has a commitment to Clemson, they won’t receive compensation again for this slot. There aren’t really concerns about him not signing, and I suspect he’ll sign somewhere just below the $3,029,600 budget.
If both players sign, they’ll likely start their professional careers in the Gulf Coast League.
The Pirates next pick is in the second round, 51st overall.