The Pittsburgh Pirates may have missed out on Mark Appel last year, but they sure made up for it this year. Holding the ninth and 14th-overall picks in the 2013 MLB draft, they chose two prep hitters with a world of upside.
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With the ninth-overall selection, they chose Austin Meadows, a 6’-3” left-handed hitter from Grayson HS in Georgia. A five-tool player, Meadows generates a lot of power due to his excellent bat speed. He also has plus speed and a strong arm. He burst onto the scene as a 16 year old playing for U16 Team USA, showing the world what an unbelievable talent he is by hitting .537 (22-for-41) with five doubles, three triples, a home run, 28 RBI and six stolen bases over eight games at the IBAF Youth Championships. His 28 RBI are still a Team USA record. More of a line drive hitter right now, he uses the whole field and more power will come as he matures. He should hit for a high-average and may have the best combination of power/speed in the draft. With his strong arm, speed and instincts in the field, he has a good shot at sticking at centerfield, a premium position.
And speaking of premium positions, the Pirates used their next selection (14th-overall) on arguably the best defensive catcher in the 2013 MLB draft. Reese McGuire, a 6’-1” left-handed hitter out of Kentwood HS in Washington, has an incredibly strong, accurate arm with sub-1.90 POP times. Offensively, he showed much improvement in his approach at the plate, striking out just two times the whole season. He has very good bat speed and, like Meadows, the power is coming. Also an alumni of Team USA Baseball, McGuire put on a show in Seoul last summer in helping U18 Team USA to it’s gold medal. Over nine games, he hit .462 (12-for-26) with four doubles, 11 RBI, eight walks and a .583 OBP.
Pirates fans should be extremely excited about the potential of these two kids. Both are high-character men with a bright future ahead of them.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @DanMKirby for 2013 draft updates.