Pirates draft FGCU outfielder Suchy in fifth round

Pirates draft FGCU outfielder Suchy in fifth round

When Michael Suchy, the Pirates' fifth-round selection in the First-Year Player Draft, starts out his professional career, he won't have far to travel.

Suchy attends Florida Gulf Coast University and is a native of Bradenton, Fla., the longtime Spring Training home of the Pirates and also the site of their Class A affiliate in the Florida State League.

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 1 p.m. ET.

An outfielder who has predominantly played right, Suchy is a powerful 6-foot-4, 230-pounder who also excelled at football in high school, but thereafter went with his first sporting love.

"I could've played football in college, but I took a different route," Suchy told the hometown Bradenton Herald earlier this week. "My heart wasn't in football, and baseball is what I love. But football helped me for baseball. It got my body in shape for the grind of baseball."

Suchy hit .318 this season, with eight homers and 49 RBIs in 60 games. Some scouts expressed concern about his big swing, with his strikeout rate (47 in 239 at-bats) considered a little high for the college level.

He has an above-average arm demanded of a corner outfielder, but also the speed to transition to center. He stole 10 bases this season, not bad for a big man. He also led Florida Gulf Coast by getting hit by pitches 11 times -- a knack that would immediately fit him in with the current Pirates.

"I've done everything that I could," Suchy said on the eve of the Draft. "I feel good. I've gotten positive reviews. I am sure as the day gets closer I am going to be more anxious and more nervous."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.