Pirates battle, but 40th loss presumptively clinches top pick in 2021 draft

Pirates battle, but 40th loss presumptively clinches top pick in 2021 draft

CLEVELAND — Hopefully Kumar Rocker likes French fries on his sandwiches.

A ninth inning collapse at Progressive Field Friday resulted in a 4-3 walkoff loss to the Indians. Nearly 1,200 miles away in Arlington, Texas, the Rangers walked off the Astros in a 5-4, extra-inning win.

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In doing so, the Pirates have seemingly clinched the top overall pick in the 2020 amateur draft, and the rights to the Vanderbilt right-hander Rocker, who is almost universally regarded as the top prospect available.

The Pirates' fell to 18-40, while the Rangers improved to 20-38, both with two games to play this season. If they finish with the same record, the team worse record the year prior has the tiebreaker, which would be the Pirates.

Even with the worst record, there is a slim chance that the Pirates may not get the top pick if there is a rule change, which commissioner Rob Manfred has the power to do. The league and players are operating under a March agreement for this season which states that if the season is less than 80 games, Manfred has the power to change the draft order.

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