Draft 2014: Pirates draft RF Jordan Luplow No. 100

The Pirates selected Fresno State outfielder Jordan Luplow in the third round of the First-Year Player Draft, kicking off their Day 2 Draft activity on Friday.

A 6-foot-1, 195-pound right-handed hitter, Luplow was the Bulldogs' right fielder and No. 3 hitter.

He became the second collegiate outfielder picked by the Bucs, who on Thursday had made Connor Joe of the University of San Diego their Competitive Balance Round A pick between the first and second rounds.

2014 Draft Central

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

Luplow is not regarded as a flashy attention-grabber, but he plays a solid, steady game and earned Mountain West Player of the Year honors this season. His .470 average in 30 conference games was nearly a hundred points higher than the second best, and he also led with 14 doubles.

Florida catcher Gushue goes in fourth round to Pirates

Draft Report: Taylor Gushue, College Catcher

Switch-hitting catcher Taylor Gushue was the Pirates' pick in the fourth round of the First-Year Player Draft on Friday.

Gushue is a unique prospect, with three years of experience at the University of Florida, even though he does not turn 21 until December.

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

Gushue was not eligible for the Draft out of high school because he graduated from Calvary Christian Academy (Fla.) a semester early and immediately enrolled at Florida.

He is an athletic catcher, and compensates for an arm rated as only average with an extremely quick release.

Early collegiate enrollment apparently did not intimidate Gushue: He homered on the very first pitch he saw as a collegian, from Dylan Floro in an early February 2012 game against Cal State Fullerton. That was something Gator fans had not seen since 2008, when Chris Freshcorn did it against Campbell.

That launched a career that has seen him hit .273 with 16 homers and 103 RBIs in 173 games. While those totals may appear modest, Gushue rose fast this season, batting .320 with 49 RBIs in 62 games.

Gushue has learned well the futility of hindsight in the everyday world of baseball.

"As a baseball player," he once noted, "you don't really want to dwell on the past too much; you want to learn from it."

The only rap against Gushue's offense is his tendency to fall into trying to pull everything, at which times he becomes easier to pitch to. However, those lapses tend to be brief; he is regarded as a solid contact hitter, having fanned about once per every six collegiate plate appearances.

Pirates draft FGCU outfielder Suchy in fifth round

Michael Suchy hit .318 for Florida Gulf Coast this season.

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."

College righty Eppler taken by Bucs in Round 6

Tyler Eppler has allowed only six home runs in his college career.

Right-hander Tyler Eppler, a right-hander from Sam Houston State University, became the Pirates' sixth-round pick in the First-Year Player Draft on Friday.

Eppler, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound pitch-to-contact guy, has the distinction of becoming the first collegiate pitcher taken in this Draft by the Bucs, who in recent years have prioritized big collegiate arms.

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

A few minutes after his selection, Eppler apparently did some "drafting" of his own. Via twitter:

"Proud to announce I'm a member of the @Pirates!! And proud to announce @MarissaDiggs is now my fiancé!"

In the fourth round of last June's Draft, the Bucs selected Cody Dickson from Sam Houston State; Dickson, a lefty, broke in sharply last season with Jamestown (2-0, 2.37 ERA in 14 starts) but now is struggling with Class A West Virginia (2-7, 5.19 ERA).

Eppler went 9-6 this season, with 67 strikeouts in 109 2/3 innings. He has kept the ball in the park throughout his collegiate career, allowing only six home runs in a total of 246 innings.

Eppler was Sam Houston's so-called "midweek" pitcher last season, when he went 5-2 with a 3.41 ERA, and graduated into the school's weekend ace role this year. He pitched the Bearkats to a 2-1 victory over Dallas Baptist in an NCAA regional tournament game last weekend, striking out six and walking one in seven innings. That was his fifth win in his last six starts.

Bucs select Puerto Rican shortstop Jorge in Round 7

Circling back to one of their historically richest talent sources, the Pirates selected shortstop Nelson Jorge of Puerto Rico's International Baseball Academy with their seventh-round pick Friday in the First-Year Player Draft.

A 5-foot-11, 175-pound switch-hitter, the 18-year-old Jorge became the second Puerto Rican player taken in the 2014 Draft.

Nineteen places ahead of the Pirates' No. 221 selection, the Phillies had picked Emmanuel Marrero, also a shortstop of Puerto Rican descent but drafted out of Alabama State University.

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

Jorge has soft hands. As he develops, he is expected to emerge as a strong candidate to switch positions, possessing an arm definitely strong enough for the outfield.

Regarded as a superior hitter from the left side, Jorge can still grow into more power, but right now he is a line-drive hitter who lives in the gaps.

Jorge, who has a commitment to Des Moines Area City College that should not be much of a barrier to him agreeing to a contract, is the Pirates' first draftee from Puerto Rico since 2008, when they selected Benji Gonzalez, also a shortstop and also taken in the seventh round from the Baseball Academy. Gonzalez became a Minor League free agent after playing 105 games last season with Class A Advanced Bradenton, and currently is playing Class A ball in the Padres' organization.

Pirates take Belmont pitcher Coley in eighth round

Right-hander Austin Coley, from Belmont University, was the Pirates' eighth-round choice Friday in the First-Year Player Draft.

Coley is a Draft repeater, having been selected last June in the 27th round by the New York Mets.

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

The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder, who turns 22 next month, had an abridged 2014 season after battling back from mononucleosis. He went 5-1 with a 2.72 ERA in 15 starts for Belmont, which is located in Nashville, Tenn.

Coley earned second-team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors this season.

Some project Coley, who this season fanned 85 in 82 2/3 innings, as eventually making an impact as a relief pitcher. As he has grown -- he was 5-foot-10, 155 pounds coming out of high school -- he's had to deal with some control issues, with a WHIP of 1.33 this season.

Stony Brook catcher Krause goes to Bucs in Round 9

Catcher Kevin Krause hit .354 as a junior for Stony Brook.

Kevin Krause, from one of the biggest little engines that can in college baseball, was selected by the Pirates in the ninth round of the First-Year Player Draft.

With the right-handed-hitting catcher from Stony Brook University, which advanced to the 2012 College World Series, the Bucs continued to load up on collegiate receivers. They had already chosen the University of San Diego's Connor Joe, who also plays the outfield, at No. 39, and earlier Friday had picked Florida catcher Taylor Gushue in the fourth round, at No. 131.

Krause rebounded with authority from a wrist injury that wrecked his sophomore season. As a junior, he hit .354, with an OPS of .991. He drove in 51 runs in 52 games, and had nearly as many walks (26) as strikeouts (28) in 236 plate appearances.

"A lot of people were watching to see if I could rebound strong," Krause told the Staten Island Advance last week. "I think I responded well and I was fortunate to have a great year."

Lest you think of a ninth-round selection -- Krause was overall pick No. 281 -- as an extreme long shot, consider that a recent pick in that round was on the PNC Park mound for the Pirates in Friday night's series opener against Milwaukee.

Brandon Cumpton, the team's ninth-round pick in 2010, led off the key set against the National League Central-leading Brewers.

And Cumpton was opposed by Kyle Lohse -- a pick by the Cubs in the 29th round in 1996 -- so keep paying close attention as the Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 1 p.m. ET.

Krause, greatly disappointed when not drafted out of Tottenville High School, was eager to get the green light from a team this time around. He anticipated being selected within the first 10 rounds, based on his feedback from scouts.

"The Draft is very unpredictable and anything can happen, but I'm hoping to go that high," Krause had said. "I know I'm looking forward to being drafted and starting my Minor League career."

Krause was a freshman spark-plug on those 2012 Cinderella Seawolves, batting .330 and driving in 40 runs in 61 games to earn freshman All-American honors from Louisville Slugger.

College hurler McRae drafted by Bucs to close Day 2

The Pirates like Jacksonville righty Alex McRae's raw talent.

Alex McRae, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound right-hander out of Jacksonville University, was the Pirates' 10th-round selection Friday in the First-Year Player Draft.

McRae previously dabbled in pitching while serving most of his playing time as a corner infielder, but focused his efforts on the mound as a junior. He had a record of 5-7 with an unimpressive ERA of 6.06, but the Bucs obviously like his raw talent and view him as a classic project.

With McRae's selection, the Pirates concluded their phase of Day 2 of the Draft, which they focused on collegiate talent.

After having selected high school graduates with three of their top four picks on Thursday, the Bucs went on campus for seven of their eight picks on Friday. The lone exception was Nelson Jorge, a shortstop taken from Puerto Rico's International Baseball Academy.

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

One thing that did not change for the Pirates on Day 2 was their emphasis on position players. Even with McRae's selection, five of the Bucs' second-day picks were position players; of their dozen picks in the Draft's first two days, only five were pitchers, all right-handers.

The Pirates thus are on a different drafting kick than in recent years, when they concentrated their upper picks on pitchers, those "big arms" known to be favored by general manager Neal Huntington.

The only pitchers among the Pirates' top seven selections, in fact, were high school right-handers Mitch Keller and Trey Supak, chosen with picks Nos. 64 and 73, respectively, Thursday night.