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2 MLB mock drafts have Pirates taking Zack Burdi

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Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

New mock drafts from ESPN's Keith Law (Insider only) and MLB.com's Jim Callis have the Pirates taking Louisville righty Zack Burdi with their first pick, No. 22 overall. The fact that both Law and Callis name the same player perhaps suggests a degree of certainty neither expert actually seems to have, however. Law writes that it's far from certain the Bucs will take a pitcher, while Callis suggests that two local players (Plum outfielder Alex Kirilloff and Pitt righty T.J. Zeuch) are also possibilities, as well as Philadelphia-area infielder Nolan Jones. (Callis also notes, though, that Kirilloff is unlikely to be available.)

We've already discussed Kirilloff and Zeuch in these pages, but not Burdi (who seems like a natural choice, given the Pirates' love for players named "Zack" and all). Burdi would be an interesting selection, as he probably profiles as a hard-throwing reliever. MLB.com suggests he could start, so it's possible the team who picks him could give him a shot in that capacity, but he closes for Louisville and sits in the 95-98 MPH range. I don't advocate taking potential relievers early in the first round, but late in the first round is potentially a different story. If used as a reliever, Burdi could make it to the big leagues quickly after being drafted.