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Huntington likes Pirates' Draft results

Huntington likes Bucs' Draft results

PITTSBURGH -- Neal Huntington looked alert and ready after a taxing two days behind close doors making the Pirates' selections in the 2008 Firs-Year Player Draft class.

The first-year Pirates general manager said he was pleased with the team's picks and called the Draft "very productive."

"We had multiple looks on a strong number of players that we selected," Huntington said. "We feel like we took a nice balance of guys with some upside [and] guys with some now tools. Obviously, we like the top end of the Draft a lot."

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That's where the Pirates selected standout third baseman Pedro Alvarez from Vanderbilt University with the No. 2 overall selection. After the first 10 rounds were completed, the Pirates filled seven of those 10 picks with college players.

"The top of the Draft was deep in college relievers and corner position players," Huntington said. "We ended up with a couple corner position players. Generally speaking, I think it's the average Draft pool. We tried to pick the player we felt had the best impact for us."

But how many will sign? Last season, the Pirates inked 27 of their 50 picks.

"We don't really go into the signing process with a target," Huntington said. "We'll sign the players that we feel that are worth the value of money that they're looking for and that we're willing to come to an agreement on.

"We've taken a strategic approach to the Draft and we've taken some guys later in the Draft who are asking for maybe more money than we feel like they're worth at this point in time. If we get closer to signing deadline and we have some money left, we'll target those players as well."

Overall, the Pirates selected 33 college players and 17 high school players, including western Pennsylvania native Scott McGough, from Plum High school, in the 46th round.

The Pirates also selected four players who are sons of former professional athletes.

Pirates' top five selections
Pick
POS
Name
School
2.3BPedro AlvarezVanderbilt U
48.RHPTanner ScheppersFresno St U
79.SSJordy MercerOklahoma St U
114.SSChase D'ArnaudPepperdine U
144.LHPJustin WilsonFresno St U
Complete Pirates Draft results >
In the eighth round, the Bucs took Jeremy Farrell, the son of Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell, who is a former big league starter.

The Pirates selected former first baseman Rafael Palmeiro's son, Jeremy, in the 22nd round. Both Farrell and Palmeiro were drafted as third basemen.

The Bucs' 17th-round pick, outfielder Jaron Shepherd, is son of former big leaguer, Ron Shepherd.

And for Pittsburgh Steelers fans, the Bucs' 12th-round selection, first baseman Calvin Anderson, is son of former Steeler Fred Anderson.

The complete rundown of players by position: 15 right-handed pitchers, six left-handed pitchers, three catchers, three first basemen, no second basemen, eight third basemen, five shortstops and 10 outfielders.

Todd Krise is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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