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2012 MLB Mock Draft: Could Mike Zunino Wind Up With Pirates?

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus released an MLB mock draft earlier this week that had the Pirates taking Arizona State shortstop Deven Marrero, but his latest mock draft (which he wrote after "a day of phone calls") is considerably more interesting, and more encouraging, for Pirates fans. He notes that the Seattle Mariners, at No. 3, and the Kansas City Royals, at No. 5, each have the chance to do something really surprising. In this mock, he has the Mariners taking high school shortstop Carlos Correa and Royals reaching a tad to grab high school lefty Max Fried at No. 5:

The problem with putting [University of San Francisco RHP Kyle] Zimmer here is Zimmer's rough end to the season with Dayton Moore in attendance. If that's the only look the GM got, it could be a hard sell. Still, the club is desperate for pitching, and something wacky could happen here, including Fried or a bit of a reach for Michael Wacha.

After that, the Cubs take Albert Almora and the Padres take Zimmer ... leaving University of Florida catcher Mike Zunino to fall to the Pirates. Bucs fans would, I'm sure, be jumping for joy if that happened, since Zunino has very good potential both with the bat and with the glove.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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