Here's your catchall thread on the MLB Draft, which begins at 7:00 P.M., although I'm sure there will be tons of maddening Bud Selig throat-clearing before any of the action actually starts.
The first day of the draft covers the first two rounds, so the Pirates will pick three times tonight, at picks 9, 14 and 51. At No. 9, obviously, they've been strongly connected to high school catcher Reese McGuire. A couple thoughts about the potential McGuire pick:
1) McGuire appears to be the odds-on favorite, but everyone who's doing mock drafts has said how hard it is to project how the first round will go, so it's not at all clear to me that McGuire will actually be the Pirates' pick. It would be a surprise if someone who's projected to be a top-five pick fell to the Pirates, but it wouldn't be at all impossible, and if that happens, my guess is that the Bucs would just shrug and take them, the way they did with Mark Appel over David Dahl last year.
2) I'm not a scout, and so the draft is one area where I've got to give the Pirates a little leeway in the moment, and wait awhile to see how things work out. My preference would be for the Pirates to take Clint Frazier or Austin Meadows over McGuire. But McGuire would not be an overdraft at No. 9. He's a perfectly reasonable talent for that spot. This wouldn't be a Tony Sanchez situation, where the Pirates are taking someone that no one else thinks has talent commensurate with that pick in the draft. If the Pirates pass on McGuire at No. 9, he'll almost certainly be gone at No. 14.
The No. 14 pick is tougher to project, but the name that comes up most frequently is D.J. Peterson's. Peterson doesn't have a profile I'm thrilled about (a hitter who will certainly be limited to first base and played his college games in a launching pad), but again, he'd hardly be an overdraft, and if the Pirates took him I'd wait to see what happened.
Anyway, I'll be updating this thread as the first round unfolds. We'll move to a new thread once the Pirates make the No. 9 pick.
UPDATE 7:11: The Astros take Mark Appel, so presumably the Cubs will take Jonathan Gray here. Oh well -- that puts the kibosh on the fun rumors of the Astros taking Kohl Stewart and making the first round completely crazy.
UPDATE 7:18: Wow, the Cubs take Kris Bryant. Interesting. Gray remains on the board for the Rockies at No. 3.
UPDATE 7:23: The Rockies take Gray, so the three guys we thought would go in the first three picks did indeed go in those picks, but in an order we didn't expect. Gray emerges as an early loser in this draft, as he'll now have to begin his pro career facing the prospect of pitching in Coors Field.
UPDATE 7:28: The Twins take Kohl Stewart, which obviously means they didn't take Reese McGuire. In the end, nothing that's happened has changed the outlook for the Pirates.
UPDATE 7:34: Clint Frazier goes to the Indians at No. 5, which means Colin Moran and Braden Shipley are still on the board.
UPDATE 7:42: The Marlins take Colin Moran.
UPDATE 7:49: Whoa, the Red Sox take Trey Ball, which means that either Austin Meadows or Braden Shipley will be available to the Pirates.
UPDATE 7:55: The Royals pick ... Hunter Dozier? Weird. Meadows and Shipley are still on board for the Pirates.
UPDATE 8:00: The Pirates get Austin Meadows! Awesome.