With the 24th pick overall in the first round of the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft, Pirates’ general manager Neil Huntington and scouting director Joe DelliCarri went with shortstop Cole Tucker from Mountain Pointe High School in Ahwatukee, Arizona, near Phoenix.
The 6-foot-3 University of Arizona commit is a switch-hitter, who hits better from the left side. His strongest offensive tool is his speed, which plays well on both sides of the ball. He starred on last summer’s gold medal winning 18-and-under U.S. National Team.
According to MLB.com, Tucker has the range, soft hands, arm, and instincts to develop into a major-league shortstop. Baseball America says Tucker as a hitter has a quick, compact, line-drive stroke that works inside the baseball.
The first two rounds were conducted on Thursday night. Next up will be rounds 3 through 10 starting at 12:30 p.m. on Friday with the last 30 rounds getting underway at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The event is being held at the MLB Network’s studios in Secaucus, New Jersey.
UPDATE: The Bucs chose catcher Connor Joe from the University of San Diego with the 39th pick overall in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Pittsburgh obtained the Marlins’ Competitve Balance Round A selection as the result of sending right-handed reliever Bryan Morris to Miami.
In his college career with the Toreros, the 6-foot right-handed hitter has also played first base and right field. According to MLB.com, Joe has the bat speed and strength to hit for both average and some power at the next level. He led the team with nine home runs and 51 RBI in 53 games.
The Pirates selected right-handed pitcher Mitch Keller from Xavier High School in Iowa with the 64th pick overall in the second round.
The 6-3 commit to North Carolina has been consistently hitting 90-94 mph with his fastball. The folks at MLB.com also like his curveball and changeup as well.
Pittsburgh closed out the first day of the 2014 MLB Draft by taking right-handed pitcher Trey Supak from La Grange High School in Texas with the 73rd pick in the second round.
The 6-5 commit to Houston throws in the 88-92 mph range with his fastball. According to MLB.com, Supak’s fastball is notable for its angle more than its life. He as a feel for spinning the ball, but needs to add more power to his curve.