Pirates Sign Three Draft Picks And Non-Drafted Free Agent Catcher

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – On Thursday, the Pirates signed three 2020 draft picks and a non-drafted free agent.

From the draft, the Pirates signed Competitive Balance A round selection Carmen Mlodzinski, second-round pick Jared Jones, and third-round pick Nick Garcia.

They also signed a non-drafted free agent catcher Joe Jimenez.

Mloddzinski was a Baseball America second-team preseason All-American as a redshirt sophomore at the University of South Carolina. He compiled a 2-1 record with a 2.84 ERA and 22 strikeouts in four starts over 25.1 innings.

“We are very excited to add Carmen to the Pirates organization,” said Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington. “Carmen is strong, physical, moves well on the mound and shows plus stuff. His performance continued to improve during his time in college, culminating in a dominant summer in the Cape Cod League and a promising start to 2020 before the shutdown. We look forward to helping Carmen continue his development as a starting pitcher.”

Jones was selected 44th overall and just completed his high school career at La Mirada High School in California. Throughout his career, he posted a 20-6 record with a 0.86 ERA and recorded 28 strikeouts over 17 innings his senior year.

“We are fortunate to add Jared to a growing group of young pitching prospects with the Pirates,” said Cherington. “Jared is one of the best athletes out of this year’s high school pitching class. He has elite arm speed and excellent raw stuff.”

Garcia, a third-round pick selected 79th overall, recently went 4-1 with an ERA of 2 in five starts this past season at Chapman University. He finished the 2020 season ranked 18th among NCAA Division III pitchers with 36 strikeouts.

In 2019, he was a D3Baseball.com first-team All-American after going 9-0 with 12 saves and 82 strikeouts in 30 appearances.

Chapman University won the Division III National Championship.

“Nick hasn’t been pitching for long but already does a lot of things we’d look for in a starting pitcher,” said Cherington. “He’s big, strong, moves really well, shows very good fastball qualities, and a strong breaking ball.”

With those three signings, the Pirates have now signed all six of their picks from the 2020 draft.

Jimenez, a catcher, was teammates with Garcia on the 2019 Division III championship Chapman University squad.

During that championship season, Jimenez batted .302 with five doubles, two home runs, and 21 RBIs in 49 games.

He also threw out 17 of 68 runners attempting to steal.

Jimenez posted a .348 batting average in his senior season in 12 games, hitting five doubles, two home runs, and 10 RBIs.