The Pittsburgh Pirates selected three high school standouts in the first two rounds of the annual Major League Baseball first-year player draft on Thursday night.
The Bucs made Georgia high school outfielder/first baseman Austin Meadows, the number-9 overall selection as a supplemental pick, drafted Washington state high school player-of-the-year Reese McGuire, a catcher, with their own number-one pick (#14 overall), and took left-handed pitcher Blake Taylor, from Dana Hills High School in California, in the second round as the number-51 selection.
Pittsburgh held the earlier first-round pick because their first choice last year (#8 overall), Stanford University pitcher Mark Appel did not sign a contract with them. On Thursday night, the Houston Astros made Appel this year’s number-one draft choice.
Meadows was rated #5 by MLB.com. He hit .535 with 19 extra-base hits in his senior season at a Loganville, Georgia high school. A side bar – Meadows is from the same city as the Cleveland Indians’ first-round pick (#5), outfielder Clint Frazier. Meadows and Frazier have played on traveling youth teams together since they were nine years old, but the pair attended different schools.
McGuire batted .436 in 26 games with Kentwood High School in Kent, Washington this year. He has committed to the University of San Diego. Both Meadows and McGuire are left-handed hitters.
Taylor, who has a scholarship to the University of Hawaii, struck out 59 batters in 49 innings in his senior high school season. Opponents hit just .222 against him. MLB.com’s Tom Singer reports that Taylor’s fast ball is already being clocked at up to 93 miles per hour.
The draft resumes Friday at 12:00 noon, and will continue into Saturday.