One Week Left

The Pirates have one week left to sign draft picks, and the coming week is probably actually more critical to the Bucs' success than the the week before the trading deadline was, so we should watch this situation closely. The Bucs signed 16th-rounder Wesley Freeman yesterday for what the Post-Gazette describes as fifth-round money, so that's a start. Other than that, though, most of the really good draft picks remain unsigned.

Here's a list that contains all the Bucs' signed and unsigned picks. And here are what seem to be the most important unsigned picks. Keep in mind that the comments that follow are based on my guesses as a complete outsider.

1. Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Vanderbilt: A Boras client, but he'd run a huge risk if he re-entered the draft. I'll be very surprised if he doesn't sign. This bodes well.

2. Tanner Scheppers, RHP, Fresno State: I have no idea if he'll sign, because I haven't read anything recently about his health. He'll be in Pittsburgh early next week for workouts and a checkup, so that should tell us a lot.

5. Justin Wilson, LHP, Fresno State: Decided his heroics in the College World Series were worth a lot of money; if I were the Pirates I wouldn't go overboard to meet his demands, because the video I've seen from him isn't that impressive. (He's a lefty with decent stuff but control problems.) The Pirates need pitching badly, but I'd rather spend the cash on some of these guys below.

6. Robbie Grossman, OF, Texas HS: Came to PNC recently and liked what he saw. He might sign, and he might not.

10. Drew Gagnon, RHP, California HS: He's committed to Long Beach State. Again, the Bucs need pitching prospects, so it'd be nice to see them find some money to pay this guy.

19. Jason Haniger, C, Georgia Tech: Matt Wieters' backup had a good year after getting the starting job. I haven't heard anything about him.

20. Quinton Miller, RHP, New Jersey HS: See the Gagnon entry above. He's committed to UNC.

26. Zachary Wilson, 3B, California HS: He's a Boras client and will probably be very tough to sign. He's committed to Arizona State. Baseball America ranked him among the top 200 prospects in the nation.

29. Kevin Komstadius, 1B, Washington State HS: I don't know if this guy is a serious prospect or not, but he sure thinks he is--he wants $200,000 to sign, but he only has a 1/2 scholarship to the University of Washington. Figure that one out.

31. Ryan Hinson, LHP, Clemson: I have no idea whether he'll sign, but he was probably disappointed by the season he had at Clemson, so it may make sense for him to re-enter the draft.

Of these guys, I'm guessing the best bets to sign are Alvarez, Grossman and Scheppers, probably in that order. Zachary Wilson may be the least likely to sign. I'd like to see the Pirates get Alvarez plus at least a few more of these guys.

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