Friday, June 10, 2016

Travis MacGregor: Pirates Go For Prep Pitching Again

RHP Travis MacGregor, 18, out of Tarpon Springs, Florida's, East Lake Eagles HS, was the Pirates second round pick chosen at slot # 68. He wasn't on the public radar for a first day selection; most pundits had him going in the fifth round or higher.

In his first year as a full time starter, MacGregor was 7-1/0.92 with 82 strikeouts in 54 IP and a no hitter. He really began to raise eyebrows as the season progressed, adding several ticks to his fastball to generate low-90s heat. That earned him a handful of private auditions with the pro scouts from the Pirates, Rangers, Blue Jays, Marlins, Yankees, Astros and Mets, according to local news outlets. He also has a decent change and a work in progress curve as part of his arsenal. His mechanics are rough, as virtually all teen pitchers are.

Travis MacGregor (photo Sun Coast News)

He also fits in the mold of a Pirates prospect at 6-3, 190 pounds. All that together would make him one of those guys the FO would pick in the later rounds and throw some money at in the days before the draft pool, but in this era you have to match the slot value against perceived value.

Neal Huntington admitted as much to Adam Berry of MLB.com: "If you think a pitcher's worth the second-round figure, you essentially need to take him in the second or third round. It's much harder to take him in the eighth or ninth round, as we used to our first four years here." So long to stealing picks late and hello to reaches.

MacGregor has a verbal commitment to Clemson, but sounded as if he is ready to turn pro. The slotted bonus money for the 68th pick is $948,900. It'll be interesting to see just how much the Pirates ante up for his services.
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