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Mountaineers in the Pros

West Virginia Star JJ Wetherholt Mocked to Pittsburgh Pirates

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WVU Baseball star JJ Wetherholt
Ed Thompson / WVSN

Is it possible months after one Pittsburgh professional team drafted a WVU star, another could do the same? Well, it’s definitely possible and it’s something some are even predicting will happen. Start imagining JJ Wetherholt as a Pittsburgh Pirate.

Jim Callis, who writers for the MLB Pipeline section of MLB.com, mocked Wetherholt to the Pirates in his latest mock draft.

Below is what Callis had to say about why he has Pittsburgh taking Wetherholt with the No. 9 pick in the upcoming MLB Draft.

“MLB Pipeline’s top-rated prospect entering the season, Wetherholt has been waylaid by a recurring hamstring injury that has made it impossible to evaluate whether he can play shortstop at the next level. He’s heating up at the plate (.384/.525/.686) and rivals Bazzana as the best pure hitter in the Draft, albeit with less power. Smith and Burns would be attractive to the Pirates, Griffin and Rainer could be as well and there’s also some discount Tibbs talk as well.”

While this projection does indicate Wetherholt’s stock might be dipping from where it was before the start of the 2024 college season, it also could be a blessing in disguise for the Mars, Pa. native who grew up going to games at PNC Park and worshiping his favorite player Andrew McCutchen.

Despite missing half of the season with an injury, Wetherholt still hit eight home runs and recorded 30 RBI while posting a .375 batting average during the regular season.

In 2023, Wetherholt hit .449 with 16 home runs and 36 bases stolen bases and was a finalist for college baseball’s Dick Howser Trophy.

Besides the allure of selecting a hometown kid, Wetherholt would bring a versatility to the Pirates’ infield since he has experience at both second base and short stop, granted taking another middle infielder isn’t their most pressing need.

For a related story, WV Sports Now spoke with Callis a month ago about his thoughts on JJ Wetherholt as a prospect.

Draft Stock for JJ Wetherholt: Q-and-A with MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis

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