Latest Pirates Buzz
Hendricks brothers driving hard bargain for Pirates top draft picks
By John Perrotto
The Pirates may have to ante up as much as $12 million if they are to sign their two top picks in this year’s amateur draft, a source close to the situation said Wednesday. The deadline for signing draft picks is 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 16.
First-round pick Jameson Taillon reportedly is looking for a $7 million signing bonus and second-round selection Stetson Allie is said to want a $5 million deal in order to pass up college scholarships and begin their professional careers. Both right-handed pitchers are represented by Alan and Randy Hendricks, long known to drive a hard bargain when it comes to draft clients.
Taillon from The Woodlands (Texas) High School in suburban Houston was the second overall selection. The 6-foot-7 Taillon’s fastball has been clocked as high as 99 mph and he has signed a letter of intent to play collegiately at Rice.
Allie was expected to be selected in the first round by many analysts before slipping to the 52nd overall pick. However, he is said to still want first-round money to pass up a scholarship to North Carolina. Allie’s fastball’s was clocked at 100 mph on multiple occasions this past season while leading St. Edward High School of Lakewood, Ohio, to a state championship.
A source familiar with the Pirates’ thinking said they would like to sign both players but realistically believe they will reach contract terms with either one or the other as they are not willing to spend $12 million on two players.
The Pirates spent more money in the last two drafts than other major-league club, handing out a total of $18.7 million in signing bonuses in that span.
The Pirates have signed their third-round draft pick, outfielder Mel Rojas Jr. from Wabash Valley (Ill.) Community College. He is hitting .291 with no home runs, 11 RBIs and four stolen bases in 22 games for State College in the short-season New York-Penn League.