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Bucs set to hold pre-Draft meeting

Bucs set to hold pre-Draft meeting

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CHICAGO -- Pirates general manager Neal Huntington, scouting director Greg Smith and other members of the Pirates' scouting corps will meet early this week for the first of two sets of pre-Draft meetings.

With the 2010 First-Year Player Draft four weeks from Monday, these meetings will serve as a final checkpoint of sorts as the Draft team goes into its final stages of compiling information and making assessments. The group will determine which players need to be followed up, and they'll reevaluate others who are moving up or down Draft boards because of injury or performance.

"We are just making sure that we have gathered as much information as we can possibly gather," Huntington said.

The Pirates are set to pick second overall on June 7, marking the fifth year in a row the Pirates will have a top-4 pick. While the Bucs won't be creating their Draft board -- a comprehensive ordering of players available -- until their second set of meetings about 10 days before the Draft, potential first-round names are emerging.

High school right-hander Jameson Taillon, college catcher Bryce Harper, high school shortstop Manny Machado and college lefty Drew Pomeranz are among the top players that the Pirates are extensively scouting as potential selections with that No. 2 pick. This Draft is not viewed as having the type of can't-miss talent that recent Drafts have had, though it is believed to be deep with high school pitching.

"There's no [Dustin] Ackley and there's no [Stephen] Strasburg in this year's Draft, in our minds," Huntington said, noting the first two players chosen in 2009. "Those two players would stand alone if they were in this year's Draft class. Comparing this year's class to the '08 Draft, a good amount of the '08 guys would stand above the '10 guys. That said, we like a good number of guys in the 2010 class. We believe we are going to get a very good player."

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