TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pirates prefer college picks on Day 2 of MLB draft

Pirates/MLB Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Pirates picks

Round Overall Player Pos. School

3 100 Jordan Luplow RF Fresno State

4 131 Taylor Gushue C Florida

5 161 Michael Suchy RF Florida Gulf Coast

6 191 Tyler Eppler RHP Sam Houston State

7 221 Nelson Jorge SS International Baseball Academy (Puerto Rico)

8 251 Austin Coley RHP Belmont

9 281 Kevin Krause C SUNY Stony Brook

10 311 Alex McRae RHP Jacksonville

Pirates podcasts

  • Loading...
Friday, June 6, 2014, 3:51 p.m.
 

The Pirates dipped exclusively into the college market on the second day of the 2014 draft, selecting three right-handed pitchers, two catchers, a shortstop and two right fielders in Rounds 3 through 10.

They weren't alone.

Of the first 30 players drafted Friday, 20 were from the college ranks.

Pirates scouting director Joe DelliCarri said they didn't enter the day intending to focus on college players.

“I think we looked at each individual selection as it came and picked the best player,” he said. “If the best player was a college or high school player, that's who we selected.”

The draft, which resumes at 1 p.m., concludes Saturday with Rounds 11 through 40.

More on the early picks

Late Thursday, the Pirates used the 39th pick in the Competitive Balance A round, gained through their recent trade with the Miami Marlins for reliever Bryan Morris, on 6-foot, 205-pound San Diego catcher Connor Joe.

General manager Neal Huntington praised Joe's offense and said that while he has the ability to catch, play first base and right field, the Pirates envision starting him in right field.

Baseball America had Joe ranked the 102nd player in the draft. MLB.com had him ranked 110th.

“He has a good swing, drives the ball gap to gap, commands the zone and makes consistent, hard contact,” Huntington said. “We got an accomplished college bat at 39.”

In the second round, at No. 64 overall, the Pirates took right-hander Mitch Keller out of Xavier High School in Iowa.

Keller was ranked 69th overall by MLB.com and 76th by Baseball America.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Keller was 5-5 with a 1.72 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 69 13 innings for Xavier this year and had a fastball clocked at 95 mph at the Perfect Game USA Pre-Draft Showcase in Cedar Rapids last month.

“Mitch Keller has a high ceiling,” Huntington said. “We like the frame and the quality of his pitches. He has a good fastball and the makings of a good breaking ball and changeup, and he fits into the mold we've liked in the past.”

Keller committed to North Carolina, and was quoted in an Iowa publication saying that the money would have to be right to turn pro.

With their final pick of the night, the Pirates drafted another high school right-hander in the Competitive Balance B round, taking Trey Supak with the 73rd pick. Supak, a 6-foot-5, 210-pounder out of La Grange High School (Texas), went 9-0 as a senior at the same high school where Homer Bailey played.

He was the No. 62 prospect on MLB.com and ranked No. 99 overall by Baseball America.

“He has a large frame, very similar to Keller,” Huntington said. “Good mix of pitches. They're both guys we believe have the makeup to excel at the major league level when and if they get there.”

Supak committed to Houston.

Tucker's ties to Pirates

Cole Tucker, it turns out, had a few connections to the Pirates before the team made him its first-round draft pick Thursday.

Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix is the same school where former Pirates player and 2013 hitting coach Jay Bell's children attended and where Bell volunteered after retiring from the majors.

Brock Bell and Tucker played together, and Jay Bell and Clint Hurdle spoke at the school in January.

“I spent the afternoon with the team and spoke at a fundraiser that evening,” Hurdle said. “I didn't spend any extended time with Cole, but he was there with a group of men I spoke with and answered questions with.”

Former Pirates infielder Kevin Young coached Tucker for five years, and Tucker considers him an uncle.

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pirates

  1. Biertempfel: Observations from a day at the ballpark
  2. Sawchik: Young Cubs could threaten for foreseeable future
  3. Bradenton outfielder Barnes burdened by his body
  4. Pirates notebook: Miffed Melancon finds success, will stick with his routine
  5. Cole shuts down Diamondbacks as Pirates open road trip with victory
  6. Pirates notebook: McCutchen unfazed by return to Arizona
  7. Pirates look to continue success in cross-country trips
  8. Super-agent Boras says Pirates will have opportunity to re-sign Alvarez, Cole
  9. Pirates notebook: Marte, McCutchen out of starting lineup in series finale
  10. Gameday: Pirates at Diamondbacks, April 25, 2015
  11. Cubs’ rookie third baseman Bryant helps send Pirates to defeat