The Pittsburgh Pirates had a big night signing 2nd round pick Stetson Allie earlier this afternoon and delivered the knockout punch later this evening, agreeing to terms with 1st round pick Jameson Taillon, the 2nd overall pick in the 2010 draft.
Taillon was rated by Baseball America as the best pitcher available in the Draft and as the second-best overall player among the top 200 prospects. In addition, he was rated by the same publication as having the “Best Fastball” and as being the “Closest to the Majors” among all high school pitchers.
“Jameson was the best pitcher available in the 2010 Draft and we are very pleased to be able to reach agreement with him,” said Director of Scouting Greg Smith. “He has a power fastball with advanced secondary pitches for his experience level. In addition, he has the size, mentality and pitch repertoire to become a quality Major League starting pitcher.”
Taillon stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 225 pounds. The 18-year-old has a fastball that has been clocked as high as 99 mph and been compared to Boston Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett, though with a more even temperament.
Taillon was 8-1 with a 1.78 ERA in 11 games this season for The Woodlands High School. In 62 innings, he allowed 42 hits while walking 21 and striking out 114.
Taillon’s fastball usually sits in the 93-97 range and he also has a big-breaking curveball. He occasionally mixes in a hard slider and changeup, a pitch scouts feel needs the most improvement.
Taillon immediately becomes the Pirates top pitching prospect in their system and a potential franchise type caliber pitcher.
This draft will go down as the most expensive in Pirates history who previously spent a combined $18.7 million in the past two drafts. According to GM Neal Huntington, the Pirates spent approximately $12 million on their 2010 draft class.
Allie, one of the top high school pitchers in the draft, fell to the 2nd round due to sign ability reasons who prior to the draft was believed to be seeking a signing bonus of $4 to $5 million.
He signed for $2.25 million.
As a senior this past season at St. Edward High School in Lakewood, OH, the 19-year-old Allie went 9-1 with a 1.29 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 60.0 innings of work. He struck out 13 batters in 6.0ip while leading St. Edward to the Division I state championship on June 6, while also reaching 100 mph on the radar gun a half-dozen times.
“We are very pleased to add a quality young man and talented pitcher in Stetson Allie to the Pirates organization,” said Huntington. “Additionally, we would like to express our appreciation to Stetson’s family and to JD Smart and Alan and Randy Hendricks for their efforts and professionalism during the process.”
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Allie was ranked by Baseball America as the eighth-best prospect in the country prior to the draft and as having the second-best fastball among all high school pitchers behind RHP Jameson Taillon, who was selected in the first round of the draft by the Pirates.
“We are very pleased to be able to come to terms with Stetson Allie,” said Smith. “He is a physical right-handed pitcher with a solid combination of intelligence and competitiveness, to go along with a power fastball, breaking ball mix and a complimentary changeup. Stetson was one of the best high school pitchers available in the draft and he has the potential to be a quality major league starting pitcher. We appreciate the faith that Stetson and his family have placed in our development team and we look forward to helping Stetson reach all of his professional goals.”
The Pirates also made two other key signings, agreeing to terms with shortstop Drew Maggi, the club’s 15th round selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, and first baseman Jared Lakind, the club’s 23rd round selection.
Maggi hit .343 (82-for-239) with 10 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 37 RBI and 34 stolen bases in 58 games as a sophomore this past season for Arizona State University.
He also appeared in 61 games as a freshman and was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection after hitting .309 with 34 RBI and scored 63 runs, which was the most ever by a Sun Devil freshman.
Earier this month as a member of the Team USA Collegiate National Team that advanced to the Gold Medal Game, he was named the Best Defensive Player in the World University Baseball Championships in Japan. During the summer as a member of Team USA, he hit .262 with four doubles, one triple, one home run, seven RBI and went 14-for-14 in stolen base attempts.
The 21-year-old Maggi also stole 21 bases during his freshman year with Arizona State, breaking the school record held by Barry Bonds and Steve Garrabrants (the old school record for most by a freshman was 16).
Maggi will begin his professional career with the State College Spikes of the New York-Penn League.
Lakind hit .404 with 15 doubles and five home runs while recording a .523 on-base percentage, .764 slugging percentage and a 1.287 OPS in 89 at bats during his senior season as Cypress Woods High School in Texas this year.
He was also ranked 69th in the country (#9 in the state of Texas) in the Perfect Games rankings of the Top 500 High School Prospects this year and had signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Arkansas prior to coming to terms with the Pirates.
Lakind will begin his professional career with the Gulf Coast League Pirates.
The Pirates have now signed a total of 27 players from this year’s draft.