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Pirates sign three draft picks

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have officially announced the signing of three of their 2015 draft picks, all from the first nine rounds and all right-handed pitchers.  The three are sixth round pick J.T. Brubaker, eighth rounder Seth McGarry and ninth rounder Bret Helton.

Brubaker was drafted out of the University of Akron as a junior.  He wasn't ranked in Baseball America's top 500 draft prospects, but reaches 94 with his fastball, and is a lanky 6'4" and so may still have some projection.  According to the team's press release, he's been assigned to Morgantown, where he'll likely be in the rotation.

McGarry was a draft-eligible sophomore at Florida Atlantic.  He has some injury history and may be limited to relief.  He throws in the mid-90s and regularly reaches 97.  BA ranked him 270th among draft prospects.  The Pirates say he's been assigned to the GCL, which is a little surprising for a college player.  It could be he's not quite ready to pitch.

Helton was drafted as a junior out of the University of Utah.  He throws 93-94 but has had some pretty significant control problems.  BA rated him 448th in their top 500.  He's been assigned to Morgantown, where he should be in the rotation unless the control issues make that impractical.

The signing at this stage of three players from the first ten rounds reflects the changes in the draft.  In most recent years, the Pirates typically would announce the signing of a handful of college seniors within a day or two after the draft, but the earlier picks, generally juniors and prep players, would take a little longer.  With the current slotting system, a lot of players are reaching pre-draft understandings with the teams, leading to some quicker signings.  That's a good thing (yes, Bud Selig accidentally did good things sometimes) because it gets the better players on the field as pros sooner.