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Pirates' MLB Draft Class Among 2011's Most Talented, Baseball America Says

Baseball America ranks the Pirates' draft, which saw them smash the pre-2011 record for draft spending by about $5 million, the fourth-best draft class of the year.

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No team ever spent as much on one draft as Pittsburgh did on its top two choices. [Gerrit] Cole (No. 1 overall) had the best pure arm available, and supposedly unsignable outfielder Josh Bell (second) may have had the highest offensive ceiling. The Pirates didn't make as much noise after those two, though they did get one of the better college bats in first baseman Alex Dickerson (third) and a pair of projectable righthanders in Tyler Glasnow (fifth) and Jake Burnette (seventh), then spent a ninth-round-record $1.2 million on physical righty Clay Holmes.

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It may sound disappointing that BA thinks the Pirates only got the fourth-most talent after spending so much, but the other four teams are the Nationals (who spent about as much as the Pirates did), the Diamondbacks (who had two of the first seven picks), and the Red Sox and Rays (who had tons of compensatory picks).

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.