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6/5 Draft: Tuck, Mitch, Jordy, Petey, Sean, Jose, Nate, Ian, Rod...

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  • 1973 - The Pirates selected HS catcher Steve Nicosia first (#24) in the draft. He spent eight years in the show, six as a Bucco reserve, with a Pittsburgh BA of .248. In the third round, they chose 1B Mitchell Paige, who had a couple of strong years in Oakland. 
  • 1974 - The Bucs selected high school lefty Rod Scurry as their top pick (#11) in the draft. He began a battle with drug addiction during the eighties when the Pirate clubhouse was nose candy central and became the centerpiece of the Pittsburgh coke trial, and died addicted at 36. RHP Ed Whitson (sixth round) ended up a solid pitcher, mainly for San Diego, and the Bucs also chose a couple of fringe pieces with IF Mike Edwards (seventh round) and LHP Bryan Clark (10th round). 
Jose DeLeon – 1984 Topps
  • 1979 – The Bucs spent their second round pick (they didn’t have a first rounder, lost when they signed Lee Lacy to a FA deal) on prep lefty Scott Fiepke, who was injured in the minors and never rose above AA ball. They had better luck in the next round with RHP Jose DeLeon, using a pick they got from the Expos as compensation for FA Duffy Dyer. RHP Mike Bielecki was their top selection in the secondary phase of the draft. 
  • 1989 - The Pirates picked high school SS Willie Greene first (#18) in the draft. He played nine years in the show, though not for Pittsburgh, and was a four-year starter for the Reds, ending up with a .234 lifetime BA. They also signed starting pitchers Paul Wagner and Steve Cooke along with reliever Jeff McCurry, who all spent considerable time as MLB players. 
  • 2000 – High school lefty Sean Burnett was the Pirates top choice (#19 – $1.65M signing bonus) in the draft. He rose quickly and was named the Carolina League’s and the Pirates Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2002. He was hurt in 2005 after debuting in ‘04, but still managed to put together a nine-year MLB career. Pittsburgh signed some nice players – RHP Chris Young (third round), OF Jose Bautista (20th round), OF Nate McLouth (25th round), RHP Ian Snell (26th round) and RH reliever Scott Baker (36th round) in one of their better draft days. 
  • 2001 – The Pirates selected RHP John Van Benschoten of Kent State first in the draft (#8 overall) and signed him to a $2.3M bonus. LHP Zach Duke, the twentieth selection, was the only longtime Bucco (nine years, 49-75/4.60) chosen that year. Other notable players signed from that draft were Jeff Keppinger, Rajai Davis, Chris Shelton and Chris Duffy. The Pirates selected a SS out of Georgia’s Lowndes County HS, Stephen Drew, in the 11th round but couldn’t sign him; he instead went to Florida State and was drafted by Arizona in 2004. They also lost their third round pick, Stanford RHP Jeremy Guthrie, who didn’t sign and went in the first round to Cleveland the following season. The ‘01 draft was shallow; Joe Mauer, Mark Prior and Mark Teixeira were the big guns and were gone before the Bucs got to the table. 
Jordy Mercer – 2008 Upper Deck USA
  • 2008 – Pedro Alvarez was drafted by the Pirates in the first round as the second pick overall of the draft. He signed on September 24th at the midnight hour as Scott Boras and the FO locked horns until the last minute (and maybe beyond), settling on a $6.335M bonus. The big debate in town leading to the draft was whether to take El Toro, P Brian Matusz, C Buster Posey or P Aaron Crowe (they went #4, #5 and #9); Eric Hosmer was also available. SS Jordy Mercer ($508K) was selected in the third round after SS Chase d’Arnaud while LHP Justin Wilson was snatched in the fifth round for $195,000, signing his deal just two days before the deadline. 
  • 2014 – The Pirates had four picks among the top 73 in the draft, starting at #24, and selected SS Cole Tucker ($1.8M), OF Connor Joe ($1.25M), and prep pitchers Mitch Keller ($1M) & Trey Supak ($1M). Supak was dealt as part of the Jason Rogers trade with the Brewers and Connor Joe was sent to the Braves for Sean Rodriguez. Cole and Keller remain, both still parts of Pittsburgh’s future plans. Jordan Luplow, who saw some time on the big team, was taken in the third round before eventually being moved to Cleveland.


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