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MLB Draft 2017: Pirates linked to tough-sign prep righty

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NCAA Baseball: College World Series-TCU vs Texas Tech Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs has the Pirates taking Texas high-school right-handed pitcher Shane Baz with the 12th pick in next week’s draft.

MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo also recently mentioned Baz as a possibility for the Pirates. As Longenhagen notes, Baz has a commitment to Texas Christian University and could be tough to sign.

The Pirates certainly have a reputation of collecting tall prep righties (Baz’s Perfect Game profile lists him at 6-foot-3), but they’ve mainly done so later in the draft. The Pirates did take high-school lefty Nick Lodolo 41st overall in 2016, but he didn’t sign, honoring his commitment to, coincidentally, TCU. The last high-school pitcher the Pirates signed out of the first round was Jameson Taillon in 2010, and he was the first high-school pitcher the Bucs took first since Sean Burnett in 2000.

The Pirates have been connected with all shapes and sizes of players, a combination of being tight-lipped and having a wide variety of options, but no obvious choices, at their spot.