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Insider Only Pirates draft buzz: Lefty Chris Sale on the Pirates radar at No. 2?

2010 Pirates Draft Buzz
The Pittsburgh Pirates draft board is believed to be all but set and the team could make another surprise pick with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft.
According to an industry source, the Pirates are showing significant interest in lefty pitcher Chris Sale of Florida Gulf Coast University with the No. 2 overall pick.
Sale, (6-6, 172) is 9-0 this season with a 2.00 ERA and 128 strike outs.
The Pirates have scouted Sale heavily and Sale has zoomed up the Pirates draft board and others in the last year after being named Pitcher of the Year in the Cape Cod League last summer. The general feeling is that he would move quickly through the Pirates system and reach the majors within two seasons.
Sale plays at a lesser program which has his value all over the board. The consensus though is that he’s a legit late first round – early second round prospect at the worst.
Some scouting evaluators such as ESPN’s Keith Law are not as high on him who ranks Sale the 50th best player in the draft.
However, others including the Pirates don’t feel that way. MLB.com has Sale going No. 5 overall to the Cleveland Indians in their latest mock draft.
With the draft less than 3 weeks away, many believe the Pirates will go with a college player and shy away from the top high school talent.
The Pirates scouting staff is regarded as being enamored with top high school pitcher Jameson Taillon who throws 98 MPH easily. GM Neal Huntington is fascinated with power pitchers but there continues to be indications that the Pirates will go with a college player for the third straight year under Huntington who is believed to be targeting players who can move through the system quickly.
A look at three of the top college pitchers
1. Drew Pomeranz (6-5, 231), OLE MISS
Position: Pitcher: Throws Left
2010 Stats: 7-1, 2.15 era, 121 strikeouts
2009 stats: 16 GP – 8-4 record 3.40 ERA – 124 strikeouts
2009 Accomplishments
2009 All-SEC Second Team selection
Two complete games on the season
Turned in six double-digit strikeout performance
Analysis: Arguably the No. 1 rated college pitcher on the board, the Pirates have scouted three of Pomeranz’s last four stats.
Pomeranz throws hard and has a good breaking ball that misses bats. There have been concerns about Pomeranz’s mound presence and poise.
Pomeranz is projected by most scouts to be a low end No. 2, high end No. 3 starter in the majors. Financial demands have many believing the Pirates will pass.
Pomeranz is 7-1 with with a 2.15 era this season for Ole Miss.
2. Deck McGuire (6-6, 218), Georgia Tech
Position: Pitcher: Throws: Right
2010 stats: 7-3, 2.91 ERA, 99 strikeouts
2009 stats: 11-2, 3.50 ERA, 118 strikeouts.
2009 Accomplishments
2009 First Team All-America (Collegiate Baseball)
2009 Second Team All-America (Baseball America)
2009 ACC Pitcher of the Year
2009 All-ACC (First Team)

Analysis: The Reigning ACC Pitcher of the Year, McGuire is regarded as the safest pick among the top college pitchers. Excellent command and control.
3. Anthony Ranaudo (6-7, 230), LSU
POSITION: Pitcher: Throws Right
2010 stats: 2-2, 9.09 ERA
2009 stats: 12-3, 3.04 ERA, 159 strikeouts
2009 Awards
2009 NCBWA Third-Team All-American
2009 Second-Team All-SEC
2009 College World Series All-Tournament Team
2009 NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player
2009 NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team
Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Week (April 27, 2009)
ABCA All-South Region First Team
2009 First-Team All-Louisiana
In 2009, was the Tigers’ No. 1 starter throughout the season, he recorded a 12-3 mark and a 3.04 ERA in 19 starts (124.1 innings) with 50 walks and 159 strikeouts … finished No. 3 in the nation in strikeouts and No. 5 in wins … became first LSU pitcher to lead the SEC in strikeouts since Kurt Ainsworth (157 Ks) in 1999 … ranked No. 2 in the SEC in opponent batting average (.209) and No. 3 in the league in ERA (3.04). (Courtesy of LSUsports.net)
Analysis: A big powering pitcher that the Pirates are very high on but his stock has plummeted due to elbow concerns and a horrendous 2010 season. He’s appeared in only 10 games this season, going 2-2 with a 9.09 ERA. Going into the 2010 season, Ranaudo was long considered the No. 2 overall player on the board behind Bryce Harper.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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