Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Signing of Second Pick Looms

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Signing of Second Pick Looms

Article excerpt

The Pirates selected several college players in the amateur draft Tuesday and appear close to a deal with two of their top picks.

High school right-hander Gunnar Hoglund, whom the Pirates chose 36th overall with the first pick of the competitive balance round, told the Tampa Bay Times Tuesday that he agreed to terms with the Pirates and will fly to Pittsburgh soon to sign the deal.

The value of the pick is $1,967,900. Hoglund was committed to Mississippi.

The 18-year-old from Fivay High School in Hudson, Fla. struck out 105 batters in 52? innings and walked only two, both in his final start, when he reportedly was recovering from the flu.

Second-rounder Braxton Ashcraft, a right-hander from Robinson High School in Waco, Texas, told KXXV, a Texas television station, that the Pirates want to bring him to Pittsburgh to sign soon.

The Pirates began the second day of the draft, which includes Rounds 3 through 10, by selecting Vanderbilt shortstop Connor Kaiser in the third round. Kaiser had a .397 on-base percentage, a .452 slugging percentage and six homers for the Commodores this season, and could stay at shortstop in pro ball.

"The young man is strong on and off the field," scouting director Joe DelliCarri said.

California right-hander Aaron Shortridge, a fourth-round pick, had a 2.77 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 91 innings. Arkansas catcher Grant Koch, a fifth-round selection, had a .366 OBP and seven home runs this season, walking nearly as many times (34) as he struck out (36).

Sixth-rounder Michael Flynn, an Arizona right-hander, struck out 72 in 73? innings, but had a 4.89 ERA and allowed 69 hits this season.

"We see a little upside that we can add to where he is today, in how he gets to his stuff and how he uses his stuff," DelliCarri said.

The Pirates got some power with seventh-rounder Brett Kinneman, an outfielder at N. …

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