Notes on 2nd round selection Josh Bell
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected arguably a top-20 prospect with the 61st overall pick, kicking off the second of the 2011 MLB Draft with the selection high school outfielder Josh Bell (Dallas Jesuit HS,TX).
Bell hit .548 with 13 home runs, 54 RBI, 54 runs scored with a 1.054 slugging percentage as a senior this year for Dallas Jesuit (TX) High School, where he helped lead his team to the Class 5A regional semifinals. He also struck out just five times in his 139 plate appearances this season.
The 6-foot-4, 206-pound switch hitter was rated by Baseball America as the top corner outfielder and fifth-best position player overall available in this year’s Draft. As a senior at Dallas Jesuit he was also named the 2010-11 Gatorade/ESPN Rise Texas Baseball Player-of-the-Year.
The selection of Bell is seen as a bold move who is the top high school bat in the draft. Bell is committed to Texas this fall and is considered an extremely difficult sign.
The Pirates selection of Bell is a major risk but they are staying true to their board of picking the best player available. Signing Bell could pay dividends due to his immense potential.
The Pirates last year took a risk in selecting Stetson Allie in the second round who was considered a tough sign and things worked out well for the Pirates, signing Allie to a $2.25 million signing bonus.
Bell is widely considered a much more tougher sign than Allie was last year. Indications are Bell’s advisors believe going to college will put him in line to be a top-10 pick in 2014.
The Pirates though are showing that they are willing to take risks and are prepared to offer some big money Bell’s way.
Another argument is that there was still several other high ceiling prospects on the board who would have been safer picks, including some college prospects.
The Pirates figure to give Gerrit Cole the biggest contract in team history but the team also doesn’t intend to spend much on the international market, which leaves some extra money around for draft prospects.