Rounds 3-10 of the First Year MLB Draft were completed Tuesday. The Pirates took seven collegiate players out of the eight picks. Here is what you need to know about them.
ROUND 3 (88): Dylan Busby, INF Florida State University
Busby is the 129th best prospect according to Baseball America, and the 185th to MLB.com. Fangraphs ranked him 82nd among college players using the KATOH projection system.
The righty corner infielder is currently hitting .315 with 20 doubles, 14 home runs and 62 RBI in 60 games as a junior. As a sophomore, he lead the team in slugging percentage at a .597 clip. Baseball America ranked him as the fourth best prospect in the Cape Cod League last season.
Busby has one year of college eligibility remaining, so he is not a lock to sign. His slot value is $626,600.
ROUND 4 (118): Jason Delay, C Vanderbilt University
Delay is ranked as the 256th best prospect to Baseball America. He was not on the MLB Top 200 or Fangraphs Top 250 list.
Delay caught four top 500 Baseball America prospects at Vanderbilt, including fifth overall pick Kyle Wright. He hit .309 in 59 games as a senior with 18 doubles, two triples and two home runs.
The slot value for the right-hander is $450,500.
ROUND 5 (148): Deon Stafford, C St. Joseph’s (PA) University
In a bit of a surprising move, the Pirates selected college catchers in back-to-back picks. Stafford is ranked as the 131st best prospect according to Baseball America and the 172nd best college player to Fangraphs’ KATOH projection system.
Stafford posted a 1.188 OPS as a sophomore, but injuries slowed him down as a junior. Every offensive stat decreased this year, but that did not scare the Pirates away.
“We’re not dealing from statistics,” director of amateur scouting Joe DelliCarri said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “He has a lot of qualities. He’s shown all those qualities we’ve seen in the past.”
Despite the down year, Stafford still lead the Atlantic 10 conference with a .464 OBP. He bats and throws right-handed.
Stafford has one year of school eligibility remaining. His slot carries a $336,500 value.
ROUND 6 (178): Cody Bolton, RHP Tracy (CA) High School
Bolton is number 414 on Baseball America’s prospect list. He did not appear on MLB.com’s Top 200.
As a senior, Bolton recorded 97 strikeouts in just 68 innings of work. He was a California All-Region First-Team selection and a Rawlings-Perfect Game Second-Team pick in 2017. Perfect Game praised his fastball, which sits in the low to mid 90s.
Bolton was viewed as a potential tough sign because of his commitment to the University of Michigan. “We have great confidence in our group to finish the play,” DelliCarri said.
The Record, a local newspaper that covered Bolton, reports the two sides have already come to a deal. The club has not confirmed. Bolton’s Twitter now reads that he is a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player.
So excited for this opportunity to play for the Pirates, now it's grind time⚾️ https://t.co/ckPfXVWPxb
— Cody Bolton (@Cody_Bolton8) June 13, 2017
The slot value for the pick is $255,900.
ROUND 7 (208): Jared Oliva, OF University of Arizona
Oliva fell further than his pre-draft rankings would suggest. MLB.com had him as the 138th best player available, while Baseball America said he was number 140. He was left off of Fangraphs’ Top 250 list, though.
He is likely to become the third member of his family to play professional baseball. His father, David, played in the Red Sox organization from 1982-86, and his uncle, Steve, played in the Braves’ farm system from 1974-1978.
DelliCarri said Oliva took a little longer in his development. Oliva is a former walk-on and was redshirted his freshman year. As a senior he hit .321 with 25 doubles and 54 RBI in 59 games.
The slot value is exactly $200,000.
ROUND 8 (238): Blake Weiman, LHP University of Kansas
Weiman is the 370th ranked prospect for Baseball America. Fangraphs’ KATOH pegged him as the 100th best college player available.
As a junior this year, Weiman went 5-1 with a 2.80 ERA over 30 relief appearances. He showed an ability to go multiple innings (45 IP) and get whiffs (55 strikeouts).
Weiman spent time both starting and relieving at Kansas. DelliCarri said they are going to give him some innings before they decide if he should stay in the bullpen or try to be a starter.
The slot value for his pick is $160,700.
ROUND 9 (268): Bligh Madris, OF Colorado Mesa University
Madris did not appear on any top prospect lists before the draft, possibly because he played for a Division II school.
The left-handed batter is coming off of a fantastic offensive campaign, hitting .422 with 14 doubles, 17 home runs and 67 RBI over 62 games. His 67 RBI ranked 10th among all Division II players, and his .757 slugging percentage was eighth.
Madris is eligible to return to school. The slot value for the pick is $142,700.
ROUND 10 (298): Beau Sulser, RHP Dartmouth (NH) College
Sulser did not appear on any top prospect lists before the draft either, though playing for an Ivy League school did not help his cause.
He was the Ivy League pitcher of the Year in 2017, going 6-1 with a 1.40 ERA and 52 strikeouts over 45 innings in seven starts. Now a senior year, he also showed above average control, walking only five.
The slot value for the pick is $134,200.