Connor Joe has a hitter's name.
The Pirates are convinced he also has a hitter's swing.
That's why the Bucs made the University of San Diego player their second selection -- at No. 39 -- of Thursday night's First-Year Player Draft.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound right-handed hitter shows up on most prospects lists as a slasher: First baseman-slash-outfielder. Joe also transitioned to doing some catching last summer, in the Cape Cod League, and this collegiate season.
"But Joe is just an offensive player," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. "He does a lot of things we like. A good swing, with gap-to-gap power. We'll send him out as a right fielder, and let his bat play."
Joe's bat played to team-leading nine homers and 51 RBIs this season, as he hit .367 in 53 games for the Toreros.
This pick, acquired from Miami via Sunday's trade of reliever Bryan Morris, followed the Pirates' first-round pick of prep shortstop Cole Tucker -- the first shortstop taken by the Bucs with their first pick since Chad Hermansen, in 1995.
The Pirates followed the selection of Joe by taking Iowa high-school righty Mitch Keller with (No. 64) and concluded their first night with another prep righty, Texas' Trey Supak, at No. 73.
The Draft continues on Friday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com pregame show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 1p.m. ET.
The selection of Joe at No. 39 came as a stunner to many Draft analysts. On MLB.com's list of prospects, for instance, Joe was rated No. 110.
"We value some things differently," Joe DelliCarri, the Pirates' director of amateur scouting, said by way of justifying such unexpected picks. "We do find some things in our core set of values that perhaps are different from what other teams or people look at. And we are very consistent in that. There are many good players out there and, as far as we're concerned, we put our energies into those who answer our core values."
Asked for specifics of what some of those values are, Huntington affably declined.
"That would be giving away what's in the secret sauce," the GM said.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less