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Pirates select Reese McGuire 14th overall in MLB Draft

Published on June 6, 2013 by in Draft, Features1

With the Pirates’ second pick in the first round, they selected high school catcher Reese McGuire out of Kentwood High School in Washington.

McGuire is a left-handed hitter and is rated as the best catcher and 12th best overall player in this year’s draft by Baseball America.

Here’s his official prospect video:

Here’s what Baseball America has to say about McGuire:

McGuire was known by scouts early, playing in the 2011 Area Code Games as a junior before leading his high school team to a state championship in 2012. He was named USA Baseball’s Dick Case player of the year after he hit .400/.522/.514 for the gold-medal-winning 18-and-under team last summer. McGuire showed his athletic versatility with Team USA, playing third base and outfield, but he’s best as a catcher in pro ball. He is a natural behind the plate. He remains loose, even after adding strength to his 6-foot-1, 190-pound build. His receiving, blocking and arm strength are all above-average, and he has been calling his own games since he was 10 years old. He has a high baseball IQ and game awareness. The question will be how much McGuire will hit. He has a smooth lefthanded swing with strength and bat speed and shows the tools to be an above-average pure hitter with average power. The San Diego recruit runs better than most catchers. Even if he doesn’t reach his offensive ceiling, McGuire’s defense will allow him to be a big league backup, but if he hits he has all-star potential.

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Pirates select Austin Meadows 9th overall in MLB Draft

Published on June 6, 2013 by in Draft, Features1

The Pittsburgh Pirates picked OF Austin Meadows from Grayson High School in Georgia.

Meadows is a 6’3″, 200 pound, left-handed hitter and thrower. Baseball America had him ranked as the #5 prospect in the draft.

Here’s ESPN’s Keith Law’s video analysis of Meadows.

Here’s some analysis from Baseball America:

Meadows entered the season as the No. 1 prep hitter in the country before being passed by his neighbor, Clint Frazier. It’s not necessarily because Meadows had a bad spring, though. The physical lefthanded hitter has a 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame, maintaining his athleticism even though he added 10-15 pounds since last summer. Scouts consider it good weight, so it may be a challenge for Meadows to remain in center field down the line. He has modest arm strength but is athletic enough to play all three outfield spots. Scouts have significant confidence in his bat, which projects to be formidable. Meadows has a smooth, easy swing that he repeats and he covers the plate well. His mature approach stands out at the prep level, and he has the leverage to hit for corner-profile power. Some scouts do question his loft power thanks to a flat bat path and a relative lack of looseness, and some others consider him a bit low-energy for their taste. Still, he combines athleticism with one of the safest bats in the draft and should go out in the first 10-12 selections.

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Russell Martin walks it off in 11 inning shutout win

Final: Pirates 1, Tigers 0 (box)

WP: Bryan Morris (3-2, 3.06 ERA)
LP: Luke Putkonen (1-1, 1.69 ERA)

50x50_t470Let’s start things off at the end. The Pirates started off the bottom of the 11th inning with a Neil Walker single. Andrew McCutchen followed that with a four-pitch walk. Then Gaby Sanchez singled into left field to load up the bases. Russell Martin then delivered with a walk off single off the left center field wall to give the Pirates their first run of the game and the 1-0 win.

50x50_t470Jeff Locke continued to dazzle with 5 1/3 scoreless innings to lower his season ERA to 2.25, good for 5th best in the National League. Somehow, he was able to dance around this, also:

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 11.03.27 PM

50x50_t470The bullpen continued to impress as well, as Vin Mazzaro, Tony Watson, Justin Wilson, Mark Melancon, and Bryan Morris combined to pitch 5 2/3 scoreless innings.

50x50_t470The Pirates now start a huge three-game series against the Reds, who are one game behind the Bucs in the NL Central standings. Wandy Rodriguez (6-2, 3.58 ERA) takes the hill Friday night against Johnny Cueto (2-0, 2.76 ERA).

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Francisco Liriano shuts down Cubs in 1-0 win

Final: Pirates 1, Cubs 0 (box)

WP: Francisco Liriano (3-0, 1.00 ERA)
LP: Jeff Samardzija (2-6, 3.25 ERA)
SV: Mark Melancon (1, 0.72 ERA)

50x50_t470Francisco Liriano isn’t known to be the most efficient of pitchers, but that’s exactly what he was tonight. The lefty, in his third start of the year, tossed seven shutout innings while giving up just two hits. He struck out nine and walked one on 91 pitches in his longest outing since starting the season on the disabled list.

50x50_t470The Pirates lone run came in the first inning when Garrett Jones hit a line drive single to plate Andrew McCutchen, who finished the night 2 for 4 with two doubles. That Jones single and McCutchen’s two doubles were the only three hits the Pirates managed in the ball game.

50x50_t470Tony Watson pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Mark Melancon picked up his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth. Melancon served as the team’s closer for the day as Jason Grilli was unavailable after throwing 35 pitches last night.

50x50_t470Jeanmar Gomez (2-0, 2.76 ERA) takes the mound against Edwin Jackson (1-6, 5.76 ERA) tomorrow at 12:35 ET as the Bucs look to sweep the Cubs.

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Travis Snider grand slam powers Pirates over Cubs

Final: Pirates 5, Cubs 4 (box)

WP: Wandy Rodriguez (5-2, 3.40 ERA)
LP: James Russell (1-1, 1.04 ERA)
SV: Jason Grilli (18, 1.31 ERA)

50x50_t470Wandy Rodriguez started off shaky by giving up three runs in the second inning, but finished things up nicely going six innings allowing just those three runs. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter. Rodriguez has given up three or less runs in eight of his nine starts. The Pirates have won seven of those nine.

50x50_t470The Pirates sent 11 batters to the plate in a five-run sixth inning. Pedro Alvarez put the Pirates on the board with a bases loaded walk. Two batters later, Travis Snider delivered with a pinch-hit grand slam over the right center wall to put the Pirates up 5-3.

50x50_t470Justin Wilson and Mark Melancon each pitched a scoreless inning. Jason Grilli made things a little interesting in the ninth, giving up a run and throwing 35 pitches, before striking out Anthony Rizzo to end the game.

50x50_t470Clint Hurdle deserves a little credit tonight for how he handled the bench tonight. Non-starters Brandon Inge, Starling Marte, Travis Snider, and Jordy Mercer all combined to go 4 for 6 with a double and a grand slam.

50x50_t470Francisco Liriano (2-0, 1.64 ERA) faces Jeff Samardzija (2-5, 3.49 ERA) at 7:05 ET Wednesday night. Samardzija started Opening Day against the Pirates and pitched eight scoreless innings earlier this year.

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Jeff Locke and Pedro Alvarez lead Bucs to 1-0 win over Astros

Final: Pirates 1, Astros 0 (box)

WP: Jeff Locke (4-1, 2.73 ERA)
LP: Lucas Harrell (3-5, 4.63 ERA)
SV: Jason Grilli (17, 0.92 ERA)

50x50_t470Jeff Locke started and pitched seven scoreless innings. He struck out four, walked two, and gave up just three hits. He also forced one double play ball.

50x50_t470Andrew McCutchen was scratched due to soreness in his right knee. Apparently he was able to pinch hit, but was not used.

50x50_t470The only run of the game came on an opposite field, line drive homer by Pedro Alvarez in the fifth inning. It was his team leading eighth big fly of the season.

50x50_t470After blowing his first lead of the season, Mark Melancon pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning to get back into form. Jason Grilli followed it with a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his Major League leading 17th save.

50x50_t470The Pirates have an off day Monday before a three-game series against the Cubs. On Tuesday, Wandy Rodriguez will face Matt Garza, who will be making his first start of the year after starting the season on the disabled list due to a lat strain.

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