Round two begins; the Pirates have some interesting and talented choices available to them; TCU's injured Matt Purke and preppies Josh Bell and Daniel Norris, both who swore they were gonna honor their college commitments.
All three want big dollars; LHP Purke is said to want early first-round money in spite of his bum wing, and so do the high school kids. OF Bell was looking for Jameson Taillon money ($6.5M) while LHP Norris was said to be seeking $4M. But this is possibly the last draft year without a slot, so we'll see what the Bucs' budget dictates; we realize it's not limitless.
It's a hard call; on one side, they will drop a considerable percentage of their allotted 2011 draft dollars on Gerrit Cole while on the other, it's maybe the last chance to steal some talent. They did drop over $2M on Stetson Allie in the second round in 2010. And hey, if they don't sign the kid they want, the team will get a compensatory pick next year.
At noon, the Bucs selected...Josh Bell. The Texas high schooler (Jesuit College Prep) signed with the University of Texas and was said to have sent the MLB offices a letter saying was he was committed to Austin. His HS line in 2011 was .548/13/54.
He's a switch-hitter who has plus average/power from both sides and is thought to be the best HS bat in the draft. Bell has an average arm and speed, so he projects as a corner outfielder, where his glove is considered average/above average.
He has huge upside. In this draft, he was rated a top 25, first round player. Bell is exactly the kind of kid the Pirates need in their system, although he's probably unsignable - if college wasn't enough, he's also a Scott Boras client. But hey, we'll see what becomes of it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.