PITTSBURGH -- Jameson Taillon, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, is set to make his professional debut on Wednesday as a member of the Pirates' low-Class A West Virginia affiliate.
And as the schedule has it, he'll start against the only player picked ahead of him last June -- Bryce Harper.
West Virginia began a five-game home series against the Nationals' Hagerstown (Md.) affiliate on Monday. Harper had a .306 batting average in 15 games with Hagerstown heading into Monday's action.
Taillon's much-anticipated debut was delayed by the Pirates' decision to have the right-hander throw in some extended Spring Training games. The organization made that move in order to ensure that Taillon would be able to finish out the Minor League season without too strenuous of a workload.
The Pirates preferred Taillon not hit that threshold too early. Taillon lost two months on the mound last summer while he and the Pirates negotiated a $6.5 million signing bonus. That time missed kept Taillon's innings count low in 2010, and that directly affects how many innings the Pirates will allow him to pitch this season.
The 19-year-old was ranked by MLB.com as the Pirates' top prospect coming into 2011. He was listed as No. 18 on MLB.com's top 50 prospects list. Drafted out of The Woodlands High School (Texas), Taillon became the first high-school player taken by the Pirates in the first round since the club selected Andrew McCutchen with the No. 11 overall pick in 2005.