Pirates Draft: Day 2

Wyatt Mathisen

The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced they have selected catcher Wyatt Mathisen with the club's second round pick in the annual First-Year Player Draft.

As a senior this year at Calallen High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, Mathisen hit .433 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI while being ranked by Baseball America as the 25th-best position player and 47th-best prospect overall in this year's draft.

As a junior at Calallen High School, Mathisen was named to the All-State Tournament team, a District 31-4A MVP, a Max Prep All-American, Perfect Game USA All-American, the South Texas Player-of-the-Year and was a member of the Texas Rangers Area Code team.

Analysis: Mathisen has spent more time at shortstop and on the mound than he has behind the plate. Fortunately, he's excelled no matter where he's played, hitting .447 with 40 RBI and racking up 11 victories and 86 strikeouts in 65 innings. Along the way he's drawn the attention of numerous scouts and scouting directors.

He was consistently ranked among the top ten performing high school players this season.

Most seem to think that Mathisen has the athleticism and arm strength to be a very capable catcher, and an offensive one at that. He should hit for both average and power. All Mathisen needs is some more experience behind the plate, and with that he could emerge as one of the top catching prospects in the game.

In the third round of the 2012 MLB Draft, the Pirates have selected Jonathan Sandfort, a high-school pitcher from Florida who has a commitment to the University of Florida. He's only 17 and is already 6-foot-6 and 205 pounds.

Analysis: Outstanding pitcher's build, strong with room to get stronger. Fastball to 92 mph, maintains velocity well, occasional arm side run. Very nice feel for change up, good arm speed and shows confidence in the pitch, soft curveball spin at present, needs more power in breaking ball, throws strikes and has an idea. Very athletic for his size.

The Pirates' fourth-round selection was Georgia Tech switch-hitting outfielder Brandon Thomas, 6-foot-3, 202. Thomas, a first-team all-ACC pick, hit .352 this season, with four home runs, 41 RBI and 12 stolen bases.

Analysis: Thomas is a switch hitting outfielder that plays LF for Georgia Tech. His future however in the big leagues is likely to be in CF for someone. His greatest asset is his speed. Thomas shows above average running ability and quality instincts on the base paths. As a hitter, he flashes good power, and given his frame, some believe that there could be some more coming in the future. From the quick look at video, he seems a little stiff at the dish, and could use his hands a little more, and the bat speed didn't seem anything special. Defensively, he reportedly should be able to handle CF, and has average arm strength.

The Pirates' took a third right-handed pitcher among their first six picks when they selected Adrian Sampson of Bellevue (Wash.) Community College in the fifth round (166). Sampson, 20, needed Tommy John surgery during his senior year of high school and opted for junior college where he was a 16th-round pick of the Miami Marlins last season. He returned to school, however, and was 11-0 this season, with 107 strikeouts, 27 walks and a 1.36 earned-run average in 79 1/3 innings. He has a commitment to the University of Oregon.

Analysis: Sampson throws his fastball in the low 90s, topping out at 94 and mixing in an above-average curveball.

In the sixth round (196), the Pirates chose Blinn (Texas) College third baseman Eric Wood, who hit .318 with a team-high 39 RBI and four homers this season. A native of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, he was a 37th-round pick of the Oakland A's last year.

Analysis: Wood wasn't listed among Baseball America's top 500 draft prospects. Wood showed some power, winning his team's home run derby last fall. He also showed a strong arm, being considered one of the top four or five arms for Blinn's pitching staff, although he only threw four innings, playing mostly in the field.

The Pirates got another catcher in the seventh round when they selected North Carolina's Jacob Stallings, 6-5, 220, with the 226th overall choice. The senior hit just a tad under .300, in a tough conference– 294/.388/.445 in 238 at-bats. Stallings is well known for his plus defense.

Analysis Stallings's outstanding defense alone could be his ticket to the show as a backup catcher. He has some raw power, but hasn't been able to display it. He's a talented prospect with a plus-plus arm.

Shortstop and Michigan recruit Kevin Ross of Niles West (Ill.) High School was chosen in the eighth round. Baseball America had him as 225th best draft prospect. He hit .452 and put up a .753 slugging percentage.

Analysis: Scouts like the bat speed and see some plus power in his future along with a possible slide to third base. He has a strong right arm and could handle third base. The big upside with Ross is the power bat.

The Bucs selected shortstop Douglas Crumlich of California-Irvine, in the 9th round, he was pick No. 286. The Bucs took the UC Irvine SS last year in the 38th round, but he failed to sign. He baated .324 as a senior.

Analysis: Scouts have mixed reviews on Crumlich. Lacks range. Arm is strong. Bat is powerless. Despite the reports it appears the Pirates really like him.

The Pittsburgh Pirates selected right-handed pitcher Pat Ludwig in the tenth round of the 2012 MLB Draft. Ludwig is a pitcher for Yale. He led Yale's pitching staff this year with a 2.73 ERA in 62.2 innings, along with a 64:23 K/BB ratio. He's a 6-2, 185 pounds.

Analysis Fastball sits in the mid to high 80's. Nice frame and a tight breaking ball.

In round 11 the Pirates picked North Carolina State shortstop Christopher Diaz. He hit .356 (90-for-253) with 25 doubles, two triples, one home run, 55 RBI and 54 runs scored in 61 games as a junior this year at NC State. He earned Louisville Slugger second team All-American honors this year and finished second in the ACC in hits (84) and tied for sixth in RBI (50). He was also an All-ACC first-team selection this year.

Analysis: Diaz is rated as an average defender at SS with enough pop and speed to profile nicely as a potential utility player across the infield.

The Pirates selected left-handed pitcher Dalton Friend from Jefferson (MO) College in the 12th round. He went 11-0 with one save, a 2.94 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 46.0 innings this year at Jefferson College.

Analysis: Friend's velocity spiked this season into the 90-94 mph range. That can be imposing coming from a 6'3" 235 pounder. Perfect Game said he was the the dominant JC player in the state of Missouri. Friend missed the 2011 season with a labrum injury, has a commitment to Texas Tech University.

In round 13 the Bucs tabbed left-handed pitcher Thomas Harland from Fresno State. Harland posted a 7-7 record with one save, a 2.78 ERA (106.2ip/33er) and 85 strikeouts in 21 games (16 appearances) as a senior this year at Fresno State He took home second-team All- WAC honors in 2012 and had a career record of 14-10 with four saves, a 3.93 ERA and 170 strikeouts in 90 games (29 starts) during his collegiate career.

Analysis: At 6"6", 195 pounds, Harland increased his velocity in the last few years, jumping from the mid-80s to the 89-91 MPH range.

Right-hand pitcher Walker Buehler was the Pirates pick in round 14. Buehler is from Henry Clay High School in Kentucky. He was rated by Baseball America as the 50th-best prospect in the draft. Buehler was named a 2012 Rawlings second-team All-American. He had a 16-12 career record, 2.11 ERA and 234 strikeouts.

Analysis: He was the 50th best prospect on Baseball America's board, but fell presumably due to signability concerns. He has a commitment to Vanderbilt. Classic case of a plus pitchability arm who one day wakes up to big league quality stuff; his upper-80s FB (91-92 peak) has jumped to a steady 90-94, peaking 95-96; best offsped pitch is an above-average 76-78 CB with plus upside. One of the best prep arms in this year's class: smarts, three big league pitches, and repeatable mechanics all add up to a potential quality big league starter.

In round 15 the Pirates took outfielder Jonathan Youngblood from Meridian (MS) Comm. College. Youngblood batted .277 with four doubles, one triple, one home run, 19 RBI and a .379 on-base percentage in 53 games this year. He tied for 15th in NJCAA Division I with 29 stolen bases, and recorded a .981 fielding percentage after being charged with two errors this season. He was originally selected by Atlanta in the 30th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

Analysis Youngblood is a speedy outfielder with a lot of tools, but has not really hit well. In junior college.

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