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Draft and Low Minors Roundup: Pirates Still Talking to Alvarez

The Bucs are still in talks with Pedro Alvarez, which is no surprise--it isn't exactly unusual for Scott Boras clients to wait until the last possible second before signing. If the Pirates had signed Alvarez already, it probably would've been because they overpaid.

Fifth rounder Justin Wilson, one of the heroes in Fresno State's recent College World Series win, is talking to the Bucs too. In this article, incidentally, he comes off as a pretty classy guy:

"Basically, I just pounded the strike zone," Wilson said. "When you have a really good infield and outfield, like I was thankful to have this year, you just want to throw a lot of strikes down in the zone and make them hit it."

Meanwhile, 14th rounder Mike Colla has already signed, according to his college coach. From what I can tell, that's not official yet. 

If you're not keeping track of who's signed and who isn't, WTM has you covered. Basically, few of the really high-upside guys the Pirates took later in the draft have signed yet, and neither have Alvarez or second-rounder Tanner Scheppers (who the Pirates will probably wait as long as possible with in any case, because of his injury), so as far as I'm concerned, the signing season hasn't even really gotten that interesting yet.

Nonetheless, a bunch of picks are already playing in the low minors, and a couple have been assigned fairly aggressively, or at least more aggressively than the previous administration would've. Third-rounder Jordy Mercer and ninth-rounder Matthew Hague are playing at Hickory, and Hague has two homers in his first 12 at bats there. (Which is nice, but he's almost 23 already, so that shouldn't be taken as a clear sign that he's loaded with upside.)

Meanwhile, Chase D'Arnaud (4th round), Jeremy Farrell (8th), David Rubenstein (11th) and Calvin Anderson (12th) and several pitchers are all a rung lower, at State College; Farrell and Anderson have started out strongly. 

The most impressive hitter in the first few games of Bradenton's season has been 18th-rounder Jarek Cunningham, although Andury Acevedo (not a 2008 draftee) is also holding his own there at age 17. If we could see him next year in a full-season league at 18, that would be great.