This isn't a huge piece of news, but I thought that it was interesting, and since Charlie hasn't taken away my keys yet, here it is. According to a local report from WBNG-TV in Binghamton, NY, the Pirates are one of three teams looking at a local high school player named Carter Austin. The mere fact that they're watching Austin doesn't necessarily mean that he's a future Pirate, since one of the other two interested teams (the Reds and the Rangers) could pick him before the Bucs do, and of course there's always the chance that another organization might be slow-playing its interest until draft day. Still, these kinds of local reports are worth keeping in mind, since in past years similar reports have tipped off the selections of 2011 tenth-rounder Taylor Lewis and 2010 eighth-rounder Dace Kime.
Austin is a big kid, listed by various sources at either 6'6" or 6'7" and 220 pounds, and he plays for Maine-Endwell High School of Endwell, NY, a hamlet right on the Pennsylvania border. Austin bats from the left side and throws with his right hand, and he looks like he has the frame to add some more upper body strength with some work in the weight room. It also seems like he has a pretty decent arm for a first baseman, since he has some experience as a pitcher and was clocked as high as 84 MPH with his fastball, according to Perfect Game. There's a little bit of game film of him embedded in the WBNG article, so if you'd like to see a couple of swings and some glove work at first, hit the link. He seems to be willing to sign, though he's a good student and has a D-1 scholarship to Bucknell, and as such he may want more than slot money. Baseball America doesn't list him among their top 500 draft prospects in this year's class, so he probably wouldn't be too high a pick, which could make the money thing more of an issue.
Will the Pirates call Austin's name on draft day? We're only a week away from the big show at this point, so it shouldn't take too long to find out one way or the other.