In the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft, the Pirates have selected catcher Wyatt Mathisen with the No. 69 overall pick.
Mathisen was one of the highest-regarded players remaining, and after the pick, Baseball America's Jim Callis called him the best high-school catcher in the draft. He has a commitment to the University of Texas. There had been some discussion about the Pirates potentially using their second- through 10th-round picks to take signable players in order to free up money for first-round pick Mark Appel. I think that would have been a terrible idea, and fortunately, it appears the Pirates aren't going to do that.
It's common for a high school catcher to have to move to another position as a pro. Mathisen is the opposite, a player who's played elsewhere for his high school team who almost certainly will go back behind the plate as a pro. The University of Texas recruit mostly played shortstop and pitched for Calallen, but he has the build and the tools to be a good backstop. He has a strong arm and should be agile and athletic enough to be a good all-around defender. He has good raw power from the right side of the plate and he should hit for average as well as he develops. Because he hasn't caught much, it might take him a while to develop, but the end result could be a very good all-around catcher who can play the position every day at the highest level.
In addition to Appel and Mathisen, the Pirates also took Texas Tech outfielder Barrett Barnes at No. 45 overall.
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