Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bucs Add LHP Blake Taylor

The Pirates last pick of the evening, #51 overall in the second round, was LHP Blake Taylor from Dana Hills High in California. He's another in a line of big - 6'3", 220 lbs - projectable pitchers the FO loves, even if he put up a 2-3 record and 2.57 ERA in 11 HS appearances. His school finished last in its conference, so it's not like he had a lot of support. 

He has two pitches, a fastball that sits 88-92 MPH and touches 95, which is pretty nice velocity for a young southpaw, and a curve that's good now and on track to became an above average pitch. The 17 year old will have to come up with a third pitch; he throws an occasional changeup now. 

Taylor worked on a strict pitch count in school - he sat out 2012 because he transferred - so hasn't worked many innings, and sometimes encounters control problems. But fastball command is the first item on the agenda for all young Pirate pitchers, and learning a changeup is generally second, so those aren't huge concerns to the front office.

The Pirates picked him right about where he was projected by the draft services, and he does have a scholarship in hand to Hawaii as leverage. He's projected as a potential mid-rotation guy, and the Pirates aren't overloaded with LHP in their lower levels, so he's a pretty solid selection. But he will be a project, and it would be a plus for both sides to get him signed quickly for some rookie ball exposure in the GCL.

It's been a night for preppies, reaffirming the Pirates commitment to trawling for upside and stocking players for the long haul. 

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