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2008 Draft Open Thread: Bucs Take Alvarez

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Have at it, folks. I'll be in and out today, but I'll definitely be around for the first pick when the draft starts at 2:00 PM EST.

Major League Baseball's Draft Page 

John Sickels' Minor League Ball 

Baseball America 

Keith Law's analysis

UPDATE 1:53 PM: The MLB.com broadcast just reported the Rays have confirmed they will take Tim Beckham.

UPDATE 2:16 PM: Rays are on the clock. Why should the team that picks first be on the clock? Was the year they had to think about their selection not long enough?

UDPATE 2:22 PM: Rays take Tim Beckham. Bucs on the clock.

UPDATE 2:24 PM: Keith Law thinks Beckham was the best overall player and has the best chance of being a superstar.

UPDATE 2:27 PM: PIRATES TAKE PEDRO ALVAREZ. Given that Beckham was gone, I'm happy to see this. Let's hope we can get him signed and scoot him through the system quickly. Jim Callis of Baseball America says Alvarez was the best pick and that it sends the right message to their fans. I've written a fair amount about Alvarez--you can see some of my posts about him here.

UPDATE 2:33 PM: The Royals take high school first baseman Eric Hosmer.

UPDATE 2:38 PM: The Orioles select Brian Matusz. Living in San Diego, I wish I had gone out to watch Matusz.

UPDATE 2:43 PM: Baseball America on Alvarez:

Alvarez didn’t finish strong or have the best season, but getting a guy who might be the top talent in the draft class is something the Pirates haven’t done in recent years, even when they’ve drafted highly. Alvarez was said to have an asking price of around $8.5 million for a major league contract. He’ll be worth it if he stays at third base and hits the way the Pirates and most other clubs anticipate.

UPDATE 2:44 PM: The Giants take Buster Posey.

UPDATE 2:49 PM: The Marlins pick high schooler Kyle Skipworth, that rare "five tool" catcher. Five of six picks have been hitters so far; maybe teams are getting the message about taking pitchers with early first-round picks.

UPDATE 2:55 PM: The Reds take Yonder Alonso from Miami. Two first basemen gone now, plus Alvarez.

UPDATE 3:00 PM: The White Sox are up and they take Gordon Beckham, the other Georgia shortstop. The ESPN announcers are going on about how he's not a "tools" guy.

UPDATE 3:02 PM: Except for maybe Alonso, no big surprises so far.

UPDATE 3:05 PM: wooble finds this from Keith Law:

The pick makes sense for the Pirates, who have had a hard time developing power hitters and don't have a lot in their system. If he moved to first base, he'd have a clear path to the majors there. Same thing at third base. My only concern is that they didn't pick the best player on the board at this point. Justin Smoak would have made just as much if not more sense. But if everything clicks with Alvarez, the Pirates have a cleanup hitter for the next several years with 40-homer potential in the majors.

That doesn't really make a lot of sense. "Same thing at third base"? Oh well, it's up-to-the-minute, and he's on TV right now too.

UPDATE 3:06 PM: The Nats take Aaron Crow. That's the second year in a row they've selected a college pitcher from Missouri with their first pick (last year they took Ross Detwiler from Southwest Missouri State).

UPDATE 3:11 PM: The Astros take Jason Castro, a catcher from Stanford. I hadn't heard about him being an early first round pick. If the Astros had a good recent record with amateur talent, I might be inclined to trust them, but they don't.

UPDATE 3:16 PM: The Rangers grab Justin Smoak. Great pick at number eleven. The A's are up next; I can't wait to see what they're going to do.

UPDATE 3:21 PM: The Athletics, with the twelfth pick, take Jemile Weeks from Miami. That's Rickie's brother.

I have to step out for a couple hours. I'll be back later in the afternoon.

UPDATE 5:04 PM: The Twins took Aaron Hicks at 14, which doesn't surprise me at all. Former Pirates draftee and thief Lonnie Chisenhall goes at the end of the first round to the Indians -- wow. 30 picks are now gone, and the Brewers, who already grabbed Canadian high school shortstop Brett Lawrie with the sixteenth pick, have two more picks in the next five. Oh, and Mariners fans are apoplectic

UPDATE 5:22 PM: The supplemental round has begun (the Pirates aren't involved, as usual) and teams are grabbing guys with live arms. I'll be back in an hour and a half or so.