The draft is just around the corner, and here's the three guys the Bucs have reportedly zeroed in on:
-- LHP Drew Pomeranz, 20, a junior from Ol' Miss with a three-pitch repertoire and a rubber arm. Pomeranz, 6-5, 230, has two out pitches, a low nineties fastball that sets up his curve, said to be his best pitch, and he has a changeup.
Pomeranz had an 8-2, 2.21 ERA season and was the Southeastern Conference's Pitcher of the Year. He's considered a guy that can reach the bigs in a hurry. Pomeranz should provide good value as an inning-eating #3 starter with a shot at #2 upside.
The Pirates should have a thick file on him after drafting Ol' Miss teammates Nathan Baker and Phillip Irwin last year,and were said to be interested in him while he was in high school in Tennessee. GW considers him as the front-runner.
-- 6-7, 225 pound RHP Jameson Taillon, from The Woodlands HS, Texas, has a fastball that hits the mid-to-upper 90s, and is thought to be the best pitcher, stuff wise, in the draft with a chance to be an ace. He throws a fastball, slider and curve, and is said to have a serviceable changeup. They must be OK; he's got 96 Ks in 47 innings.
Taillon's only black mark is his command, and learning to work inside. He's 18 and made a commitment to Rice. A HS arm is always a risk, especially this high in the draft. His agents are the Hendricks brothers.
-- High school SS Manny Machado, 17, from Miami Brito HS, Florida, led Team USA in hitting last summer and batted .642 with 12 homers, 56 RBI and 17 steals in 27 games now.
He could be moved, as he has a big (6-2, 180), lean body that may outgrow short; keeping his weight down will determine his position. Machado has all five tools, and so could transition to third or a corner OF spot easily.
MM verbally committed to Florida International. Machado is represented by Scott Boras, so his signability could be an issue. A big issue.
The draft schedule:
-- Monday, June 7th (7PM) - Round 1
-- Tuesday, June 8th (noon) - Rounds 2-30
-- Wednesday, June 9th (noon) - Rounds 31-50