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Bucs narrow field to three for top pick

Bucs narrow field to three for top pick

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates own the second pick in Monday's First-Year Player Draft, and according to general manager Neal Huntington, the club is still considering three players -- high school shortstop Manny Machado, high school right-hander Jameson Taillon or a college pitcher -- for that selection. Huntington did not specify which college pitcher is still being discussed.

MLB.com will offer live coverage and analysis of the entire First-Year Player Draft from June 7-9 on MLB.com/Live. The first round and Compensation Round A will be broadcast live on MLB.com and MLB Network on Monday, beginning with the Draft preview show at 6 p.m. ET. The Pirates will make just one Day 1 selection.

Draft Central

The assumption across the industry is that Washington will snag 17-year-old Bryce Harper with the Draft's first pick.

Even though Huntington left the door open for a possible college pick, it's believed that for the first time since 2005, the Pirates will use their first-round selection on one of the two high school players. While noting the risk that comes with drafting a player -- particularly a pitcher -- out of high school, Huntington has, for weeks, noted that the strength of the 2010 Draft class lies in the young talent.

"The high school players are a little out in front right now with the upside," Huntington said, speaking on his weekly radio show. "Harper, Machado and Taillon seem to be standing above this class, given the injury to [LSU pitcher Anthony] Ranaudo and the on-and-off performance of [Ole Miss pitcher Drew] Pomeranz."

Machado, a 17-year-old shortstop out of Miami, is represented by agent Scott Boras, though the Pirates have promised not to shy away from a player because of his representation. Taillon isn't expected to be a particularly easy sign either, given his representatives (Hendricks Brothers) and his commitment to attend Rice University.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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