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MLB Mock Draft 2012: Pirates Get Mike Zunino, Astros Get Byron Buxton In New Mock

Kevin Goldstein’s new mock draft plays out well for the Pirates, with the Mariners grabbing Carlos Correa at No. 3 and the Royals taking Max Fried at No. 5, allowing University of Florida catcher Mike Zunino to fall to the Pirates at No. 8.

The rumors of the Pirates reaching for Deven Marrero will not go completely away, but fewer and fewer teams seem to believe them. All of a sudden, Zunino could fall surprisingly far, and it’s hard seeing him dropping past the Pirates, as there is a clear top eight players for teams, and he’s the last one on the board. Still, there are some teams in the next four picks kicking the tires on Zunino, and hoping wildly for him to get to them.

Many draft experts appear to be backing away from the Deven Marrero rumors, which is great news. The question is what will happen if one of the first seven teams doesn’t take Fried. If they don’t, then it’s not clear whether the Bucs would take Fried or someone completely different, like college pitcher Chris Stratton.

Goldstein’s mock draft has the Astros taking Byron Buxton at No. 1 despite a recent report that they would take Stanford pitcher Mark Appel with that pick.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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