The Pirates have drafted Shane Baz, a Texas high school right-handed pitcher, with the 12th overall pick in the MLB draft.
Baz fits the Pirates’ profile as a tall, projectable righty. He’s also considered to be one of the tougher signs in the draft, with a commitment to TCU.
Baz currently sits 90-93 MPH with his fastball and his top secondary pitches are his cutter and slider (two distinct pitches for him, actually). He also throws a sharp curve. Fangraphs’ blub notes Baz’s exceptional spin rate, and Eric Longenhagen pointed out the Pirates as a club that puts a lot of stock in Trackman data on amateurs.
Baz was a high school teammate of Pirates third-base prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes at Concordia Lutheran near Houston.
The Pirates lost a pick to TCU in 2016 — second-round lefty Nick Lodolo. They notably broke the old draft system, buying Josh Bell out of his commitment to the University of Texas in 2011. The slot value for this pick is $4.032 million, and it looks to take all of that — if not more — to get Baz in the system.
UPDATE: Thanks to commenter PuncSpeedChunk, who found Baz’s first interview after being picked.
And here’s his reaction — better than Brendan McKay’s, for sure.