With the first pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates took UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole. Then they grabbed another top talent in Texas high school outfielder Josh Bell in the second round. Their third-round pick, Indiana first baseman Alex Dickerson, was also regarded as a top-50 talent.
The Pirates look at least reasonably likely to sign Cole and Dickerson. Bell will be much trickier, as he's committed to the University of Texas and has said he doesn't want to sign.
As has been their pattern in the last two drafts, the Pirates took a ton of lottery-ticket high-school pitchers in the middle rounds. If Bell signs, they'll probably only actually sign a handful of these guys. If he doesn't, the Pirates will probably sign a bunch of them. We'll get a better sense on who the really tough-to-sign ones are in the coming weeks, but many have commitments to big college programs.
The success of this draft depends on who ends up signing, of course, but I like it so far - it's a great draft if they can get the first three picks to sign, and it will still be a pretty good one if they can get Cole, Dickerson and a bunch of the middle-round pitchers. They'll get a compensation pick next year if Bell doesn't sign, as well.
Here are the Pittsburgh Pirates' 2011 MLB Draft picks through Day Two.