Pirates go for offense on day two of draft

The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced they have selected outfielder Josh Bell in the second round (61st overall selection)of the annual First-Year Player Draft.

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.

"We're really happy to get him where we did," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who was familiar with Bell from the time that he spent with the Texas Rangers last season. "He's a switch-hitting outfielder with a big barrel of the bat. The signability part of it will work itself out."

The 6-foot-3, 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.

Bell was seen as potentially difficult to sign. He has committed to the University of Texas if he decides to attend college and reportedly sent letters to the MLB scouting bureau informing them he did not want to be drafted. Bell also has agent Scott Boras as his advisor. If Bell opts for college and does not sign a contract, the Pirates will receive a compensation pick in the second round of the next draft.

"There were a number of variables that went into the selection," general manager Neal Huntington said in a conference call from team headquarters in Bradenton, Fla. "Certainly same spot compensation is one of them, but not a driving factor. We like the player and we're going to give every effort in the world to get him signed."

Bell was one of 29 players the Pirates drafted in rounds two through 30. The picks include 10 high school pitchers (eight of them right-handers), seven high school position players (including five outfielders), five college pitchers and seven college position players. The 2011 first-year player draft concludes Wednesday with rounds 31 through 50.

Pittsburgh chose Indiana first baseman Alex Dickerson with their third-round pick. The 6 foot 3, 235-pound lefty has power at the plate. He hit .367 with nine home runs and 49 RBIs.

Scout.com baseball expert Frankie Piliere considers Dickerson a steal for the Pirates in the third round and wrote this scouting report.

Physical Description

Dickerson resembles Jim Thome both physically and in terms of offensive profile. He's a muscular, above average size player with a thick lower half and broad shoulders. He's about where he should be body wise for the long haul as well.

Hitting

Dickerson uses the whole field fairly well for a player that centers much of his game on power. He's going to swing and miss quite a bit, simply because his swing is angled toward hitting the ball in the air. But, he should be able to hit .270 at the big league level. Along with some of those strikeouts, however, should be a bundle of walks. Dickerson has a discerning eye at the plate.

Power

Put any name up against Alex Dickerson in this class and his power stacks up against any one of them. He has light tower power, and puts on an absolute spectacle in any given batting practice session. But, he brings this power to game action as well, and is capable and willing to drive the ball out to any part of the park. Some of his longest shots of last summer went well over the wall to straight away center field. This is a 30 home run bat at the big league level. And, if things click mechanically he's capable of hitting 40 or more.

Speed

Speed is not a strength for Dickerson. He's a below average runner, but not a complete base clogger.

Fielding

He's in the outfield for now, but there's a very good chance that Dickerson and his a bulky frame could end up at first base. His arm is below average for the outfield as is his range.

Summation

Someone is going to fall in love with Dickerson's massive game ready power. Position is a question mark. But, even if he can't stick in the outfield, he has the profile of a 30 home run type first baseman.

The Pirates in the fourth round chose right-hander Colten Brewer from Canton (Texas) high school. Brewer had a 1.36 ERA in 56 2/3 innings for Canton this season.

With their fifth-round choice, the Pirates took another high school arm, 6 foot 7 Tyler Glasnow, from Hart (California) High School. Glasnow had a 1.25 ERA in 67 innings this season.

Here are the Pirates other day two draft picks:

Round 6, 182nd overall, third-baseman Daniel Gamache, Auburn. 5-11, 195 pounds, 20 years old.

Round 7, 212th overall, right-handed pitcher Jake Burnette, Buford High School (Ga.). 6-4, 177 pounds. 18 years old.

Round 8, 242nd overall, right-handed pitcher Jason Creasy, Clayton High School (N.C.). 6-4, 19 years old.

Round 9, 272nd overall, right-handed pitcher Clay Holmes, Slocomb High School (Ala.). 6-5, 230 pounds. 18 years old.

Round 10, 302nd overall, center fielder Taylor Lewis, Univ. of Maine-Orono. 6-1, 205 pounds, 21 years old.

Round 11, 332nd overall, center fielder Jo-El Bennett-Lowe, Houston Academy (Ala.). 6-2, 180 pounds, 18 years old.

Round 12, 362nd overall, center fielder Condon Myles, South Grand Prairie High School (Texas). 5-10, 18 years old.

Round 13, 392nd overall, right-handed pitcher Brandon Plotts, Mason City High School (Iowa). 6-4, 210 pounds, 18 years old.

Round 14, 422nd overall, outfielder Jordan Dunatov, Horizon High School (Ariz.). 6-5, 200 pounds, 18 years old.

Round 15, 452nd overall, right-handed pitcher Kody Watts, Skyview High School (Wash.). 6-3, 185 pounds, 18 years old.

Round 16, 482nd overall, left-handed pitcher Eric Skoglund, Sarasota High School (Fla.). 6-6 180 pounds, 18 years old.

Round 17, 512th overall, right fielder Aaron Brown, Chatsworth High School (Calif.). 6-2, 18 years old.

Round 18, 542nd overall, left-handed pitcher Josh Poytress, Fresno State. 6-2, 185 pounds, 20 years old.

Round 19, 572nd overall, right-handed pitcher Mike Nunez, Salem High School (La.). 6-4, 185 pounds, 18 years old.

Round 20, 602nd overall, shortstop Trea Turner, Park Vista Community High School (Fla.). 6-2, 160 pounds, 17 years old.

Round 21, 632nd overall, center fielder Alex Fuselier, Louisiana-Lafaytette. 6-0, 185 pounds, 21 years old.

Round 22, 662nd overall, left-handed pitcher Michael Jefferson, Louisiana Tech. 6-5, 190 pounds, 21 years old.

Round 23, 692nd overall, right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper, Kentucky. 6-3, 215 pounds, 21 years old.

Round 24, 722nd overall, shortstop Brian Sharp, California Baptist Univ. 6-0, 195 pounds, 22 years old.

Round 25, 752nd overall, right-handed pitcher Josh Martin, Samford Univ. 6-4, 205 pounds, 21 years old.

Round 26, 782nd overall, shortstop Nicholas Flair, Belle Chasse High School (La.). 6-3, 180 pounds, 18 years old.

Round 27, 812th overall, catcher Ryan Hornback, San Jacinto College North (Texas). 6-1, 180 pounds, 20 years old.

Round 28, 842nd overall, left-handed pitcher Jeffrey Zajac, Walker Valley High School (Tenn.) 6-4, 210 pounds, 18 years old.

Round 29, 872nd overall, shortstop Kirk Singer, Cal State-Long Beach. 6-2, 170 pounds, 21 years old.

Round 30, 902nd overall, right-handed pitcher Matthew Benedict, Western Carolina Univ. 6-5, 200 pounds, 22 years old.


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