Pirates focusing on college players in Draft
PITTSBURGH -- A few weeks ago, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington addressed the pros and cons of drafting high school and college players.
"You can always dream on the high school guy. The college player, in theory, is always the safer pick," Huntington said on May 24. "There's benefits and drawbacks to each. The new [Draft] system creates more balance naturally for each club. You kind of weigh all the variables as you go to make each pick."
On Day 2 of the Draft, the Pirates leaned toward those safer picks. Each of the Bucs' eight picks Tuesday came out of the college ranks. Through 10 rounds, the Pirates have used 10 of their 11 picks on college players.
The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 on MLB.com beginning at noon ET.
Round 6: RHP Jonathan Brubaker, Akron
Brubaker wasn't a big prospect leading up to the Draft, as he was unranked on MLBPipeline.com's Top 200 list. But Pittsburgh selected the 6-foot-4 right-hander out of the University of Akron with the 187th overall pick.
Brubaker, who goes by "JT" in his profile on Akron's website, went 5-4 with a 3.63 ERA in 89 1/3 innings over 15 starts for the Zips this season. He struggled as a freshman, going 0-7 with a 7.25 ERA, but finished his third year with a career 8-16 record and 4.77 ERA to go along with 156 strikeouts and 90 walks in 224 1/3 innings.
Round 7: 3B Mitchell Tolman, Oregon
Known as a hard worker with a strong personality, Tolman wrapped up a three-year career at Oregon by hitting .325/.457/.468 with 20 doubles, 42 RBIs and more walks (44) than strikeouts (40) during his junior season this spring.
The California native went undrafted out of El Toro High School in 2012. A left-handed hitter listed at 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, Tolman didn't hit for much power with the Ducks, but offset that by never hitting below .315 and never posting an on-base percentage below .392.
The Pirates announced Tolman as a third baseman, but MLBPipeline.com's Draft analysts suggested that he could eventually settle into a utility role.
Round 8: RHP Seth McGarry, Florida Atlantic University
If McGarry can stay healthy, he has a chance to move quickly through the Pirates' system. A fellow Florida Atlantic pitcher, R.J. Alvarez, took that route in 2012 and McGarry hopes to follow it after being picked 247th overall Tuesday.
McGarry, MLBPipeline.com's No. 147 prospect, can ramp up his fastball to 97 mph and routinely sits in the mid-90s with good, late movement. He also throws a curveball and a changeup, giving him the pitch mix to be a starter.
However, McGarry is viewed as a reliever because he only threw 20 1/3 innings over his first two years in college due to a stress fracture. This spring, the 21-year-old went 4-1 with a 2.43 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 37 innings over 20 relief appearances.
Round 9: RHP Bret Helton, Utah
The son of Barry Helton, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the San Francisco 49ers, Helton didn't put up eye-popping numbers during his three seasons with the Utes. The 21-year-old went 2-8 with a 5.72 ERA, 48 strikeouts and 32 walks in 61 1/3 innings over 18 appearances (10 starts) this spring.
Helton, listed at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, spent the majority of 2013 as a hitter, split 2014 as a pitcher and designated hitter, then moved exclusively to the mound in 2015.
Round 10: RHP Logan Sendelbach, Tiffin University
The Bucs wrapped up Day 2 by selecting Sendelbach, 21, with the 307th overall selection. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound right-hander enjoyed a strong junior season for the Dragons, going 5-3 with a 2.84 ERA in 57 innings over 11 appearances, including five complete games.
Sendelbach struck out 50 batters and held opposing hitters to a .223 average, but he walked 29 batters, plunked 13 more and uncorked 10 wild pitches on the year.