Bucs bolster defense, pitching on Day 2

Tulane shortstop Alemais headlines well-rounded haul for Pirates

Bucs bolster defense, pitching on Day 2

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates' three-year run of postseason appearances has been built on pitching and defense, so perhaps it wasn't a surprise to see them focus on both during a well-rounded Day 2 of the MLB Draft.

The Pirates made three picks on Thursday, selecting infielder Will Craig, left-hander Nick Lodolo and right-hander Travis MacGregor in the first two rounds. They followed that up with eight more on Friday: five pitchers, a glove-first shortstop, a strong defensive catcher and a versatile college position player.

In 10 rounds, the Pirates have taken a respectable mix of projectable pitchers, more proven college arms, four right-handers and three lefties.

"Each Draft, as it unfolds, we always say we're going to take the best available [player] in the realm of what we look for and what we believe in. ... It worked out well," scouting director Joe DelliCarri said. "It fell that way. There are times we've taken three infielders in a row, but the way it worked out this year, these were the best available young men with the traits they brought. It's nice to get a little bit of everything in terms of position, but there was no set desire. It was just the way it fell.

"We got an opportunity to add some hitters and some pitching, a nice middle-of-the-diamond mix, corners, left-handed and right-handed. We're actually very pleased."

Track every Pirates pick from Day 2 of the 2016 MLB Draft, which consisted of Rounds 3-10.

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon ET.

Here are the Pirates' Day 2 picks, round by round:

Round 3 (105th overall), Stephen Alemais, SS, Tulane University
Alemais features the profile the Pirates have turned to often over the last few years: an above-average defender at a premium position who runs well and hits for average but not much power. In other words, Alemais -- regarded as perhaps the best defensive college shortstop in this Draft class -- may be cut from the Kevin Newman/Cole Tucker cloth.

Round 3 pick Alemais excited to don black & gold

A Bronx native, Alemais hit .311/.368/.401 with 19 steals as a junior for Tulane. Though he committed 16 errors this spring, he is highly regarded defensively at shortstop, where he should stick as a professional. In fact, a sliding, back-handed stop and behind-the-back flip he made up the middle against Louisiana State University led off ESPN's "SportsCenter" in late March.

Pirates draft SS Alemais No. 105

Round 4 (135th overall), Braeden Ogle, LHP, Jensen Beach (Fla.) HS
The University of Florida commit appears to have a high ceiling and a fastball that can reach up to 96 mph, though he's still raw and in need of refinement. Ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the No. 86 prospect in this year's class, Ogle also offers a hard curveball and a developing changeup.

"Given the quality of the stuff, the velocity of the athlete, the upside that we see in the pitcher, if there's not something that holds people back, he goes a heck of a lot earlier than the fourth round," general manager Neal Huntington said.

The 6-foot-3, 192-pound lefty went 5-1 with a 1.40 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 35 innings as a senior in high school. Ogle, 18, was the third high school pitcher the Pirates have selected in the first five rounds, joining left-hander Lodolo and right-hander MacGregor.

2016 Draft: Braeden Ogle, LHP

Round 5 (165th overall), Blake Cederlind, RHP, Merced College
Drafted by the Twins in the 22nd round last year, Cederlind returned to Merced and went 5-2 with a 3.75 ERA in 23 appearances, including four starts. He struck out 63 batters but walked 34 over 57 2/3 innings.

According to the Modesto Bee, Cederlind -- listed at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds -- worked closely at Merced with assistant coach and pitching guru Nate Devine, who also mentored Pirates reliever Curtis Partch.

Round 6 (195th overall), Cam Vieaux, LHP, Michigan State University
The Pirates selected their third straight pitcher in Vieaux, a "pitchability" left-hander. He was picked by the Tigers in the 19th round last year but opted to return to Michigan State, betting on himself -- a gamble that paid off, as he came off the board 13 rounds earlier this year.

"I think you're seeing the athleticism and the competitiveness really play through," DelliCarri said. "He's just better in all forms."

Vieaux pitched in the Cape Cod League last summer and put together a 2.28 ERA in 15 appearances (14 starts) for the Spartans this spring. His fastball runs from the upper 80s into the low 90s while offering a solid changeup. He held opponents to a .234 average and displayed strong control numbers, striking out 77 while walking 19 batters.

'16 Draft: Cameron Vieaux

Round 7 (225th overall), Brent Gibbs, C, Central Arizona College
Always looking for strong defensive catchers, the Pirates may have found one in Gibbs, the strong-armed backstop who should remain behind the plate at the next level. "Clearly his defensive traits stand out," DelliCarri said. Gibbs, committed to play at the University of Southern California, hit .396/.497/.590 with five homers and 15 walks in the wood-bat junior college ranks.

Round 8 (255th overall), Dylan Prohoroff, RHP, Cal State Fullerton
The Pirates plucked Prohoroff, a college reliever with strong numbers. The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder fanned 30 batters and walked five while posting a 0.68 ERA in 26 1/3 innings over 20 appearances. After signing Prohoroff, the Pirates will talk with him about whether he wants to be a starter or reliever. Perhaps worth noting: On his Fullerton player profile page, he lists the Cubs as his favorite team, Wrigley Field as his favorite ballpark, Anthony Rizzo as his favorite athlete and Kerry Wood as his favorite baseball player.

Round 9 (285th overall), Clark Eagan, CF, University of Arkansas
The Appleton, Wis., native started 55 games for the Razorbacks this spring and hit .298/.370/.444 with seven homers and 37 RBIs. He played three positions -- center field, first base and third base -- and the Pirates tend to value positional flexibility, especially as they continue to crowd their farm system with prospects who need playing time to develop. Eagan also played basketball, football and volleyball in high school.

Round 10 (315th overall), Matthew Anderson, RHP, Morehead State University
As a senior, Anderson struck out 130 batters but also walked 42 in 91 2/3 innings. His fastball reaches up to 94 mph but mostly sits 88-92 and he throws an overhand curveball. Anderson is a rare senior success story; he struggled his first three years then posted a 2.95 ERA in 15 starts this season.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.