The Pirates entered Sunday with the third-worst record in the majors, but the day was marked with an eye to the future as the franchise made the first selection in the 2021 MLB draft.
Pittsburgh took catcher Henry Davis No. 1 overall out of Louisville, drafting in the top spot for the fifth time in franchise history and first time since taking Gerrit Cole with the top pick in 2010. The Pirates join the Mets and Astros as the only franchises to draft No. 1 overall five times.
Davis, 21, is viewed by many to be one of the safest prospects in the draft. Listed at 6'2" and 195 pounds, the right-handed hitting backstop batted .370/.482/.663 in 50 games for Louisville this season, with 15 home runs and 10 stolen bases. He had more walks (31) than strikeouts (24), and earned All-American honors from Baseball America, the NCBWA and D1Baseball.
Davis is the seventh catcher to be taken with the No. 1 overall pick and the second in the last three years after the Orioles chose Adley Rutschman No. 1 overall in 2019. He is the first Louisville player ever taken with the first pick of the draft. Davis is the third first-rounder from Louisville in the past two drafts following last year's selections of Reid Detmers (No. 10 by the Angels) and Bobby Miller (No. 29 by the Dodgers).
Other first overall picks by the Pirates include Jeff King in 1986, Kris Benson in 1996 and Bryan Bullington in 2002.
This year's draft will consist of 20 rounds, half of the usual 40. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, last year's draft was only five rounds.
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