The Royals surprisingly selected Hunter Dozier at No. 8, which left Austin Meadows and Braden Shipley on the board at No. 9, along with Reese McGuire. The Pirates took Meadows, a very toolsy outfielder, which sounds great to me -- he was, from everything I've seen, the best player available. We'll see if McGuire remains at No. 14.
Assuming he signs (which shouldn't be an issue, though he has a Clemson commitment), Meadows will join Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco and Josh Bell in the Pirates' stable of talented young outfielders. Of course, Meadows is a lot younger than any of those guys, and you don't avoid someone in the draft just because you have lots of outfielders. Meadows is a potential five-tool guy, with lots of projection and athleticism, but he's perceived as being raw. He also just turned 18, so he's quite young. He'll certainly be in short-season ball this year, and he might be next year as well. The bust potential looks high here, but the upside is tremendous. The draft is one area where I feel like I have to reserve judgement a little, since I'm not a scout, but I'm excited about this pick.
At No. 14, the Pirates took McGuire. It's modestly disappointing not to see them take Shipley, but getting Meadows at No. 9 and McGuire at No. 14 looks much better than McGuire at No. 9 and someone like Hunter Renfroe at No. 14. High school catchers are hard to project, but McGuire gets good reviews for his defense. Not everyone is in love with his bat, but he does have a good swing and plenty of offensive upside. And obviously, this is the No. 14 overall pick in the draft, not the early pick that Pirates fans are used to having.
As a high school pick from a northern state, McGuire is probably four years or so from the majors. He'll likely join Meadows in the GCL this season.
McGuire is committed to the University of San Diego, but signing him shouldn't be an issue.
I'll track other teams' picks below.
UPDATE 8:05: The Jays select Phillip Bickford at No. 10, which increases the chances that McGuire or someone else really interesting will still be there at No. 14. Shipley is still on the board.
UPDATE 8:10: The Mets take Dominic Smith.
UPDATE 8:18: The Mariners take D.J. Peterson at No. 12, so the Pirates obviously aren't getting him. The Pirates are guaranteed to have either Shipley or McGuire available to them at No. 14. This is terrific.
UPDATE 8:24: The Padres take Hunter Renfroe, which leaves Shipley or McGuire for the Pirates.
UPDATE 8:36: The Diamondbacks take Shipley. Oh well.