With a final record of 61-101 in 2021, the Pirates slot themselves into the fourth slot of the 2022 MLB Draft. The Baltimore Orioles, Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers have the first three picks.
It marks the fourth time in franchise history that the Pirates will have the fourth selection in the draft, and the Bucs are hoping to turn around their fortunes with that pick. Pittsburgh had the fourth pick three times in a four year stretch from 2006-2009.
The first time the Pirates picked fourth was when they selected Brad Lincoln, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Houston. Lincoln pitched in parts of three seasons with the Prates from 2010-2012. He posted a 4.68 ERA in 51 games (22 starts) with Pittsburgh before being traded to Toronto for Travis Snider.
The Pirates found themselves right back in the fourth slot of the MLB draft the next year when the club took left-handed pitcher Daniel Moskos from Clemson. Moskos pitched one season for the Pirates and had success, posting a 2.96 ERA out of the bullpen in 2011. Arm injuries derailed the lefty’s career, who never pitched in the big leagues again.
The most recent time Pittsburgh selected fourth was in 2009, when they picked Tony Sanchez, a catcher from Boston College. Sanchez never lived up to the hype, appearing in only 52 games with the Pirates from 2013-2015. Sanchez played in one more Major League game in his career in 2017 with Atlanta, before calling it quits.
It will be the third draft for the Pirates with Ben Cherington at the helm. Cherington took college bats with each of his first two first-round selections – infielder Nick Gonzales (seventh overall in 2020) and catcher Henry Davis (first overall in 2021)
The top of the 2022 draft is regarded as strong at this early stage, with a heavy amount of bats both at the college and prep levels leading the way.