Pirates take high-school pitcher Supak with 73rd pick

Pirates take high-school pitcher Supak with 73rd pick

The Bucs ranged into seldom mined, but familiar, territory for their final selection Thursday night in Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft.

With the overall No. 73 pick, the Pirates selected right-hander Trey Supak from La Grange High (Texas) School.

La Grange doesn't often funnel ballplayers into MLB's Draft. But the last time it did, in 2004, his name was Homer Bailey, who was the overall No. 7 pick that year by Cincinnati and now is one of the pitching aces of the current Reds.

Supak, at 6-foot-5, weighs 210 pounds but, as noted by Pirates general manager Neal Huntington, "is still filling out his frame."

"He's a large-frame guy with an interesting mix of pitches," Huntington added.

Supak became the third high school player of the four chosen by the Bucs in the Draft's opening phase.

This marked the second consecutive Draft that the Pirates went for prep players with three of their first four Draft picks. Last June, their top three choices were high schoolers Austin Meadows, Reese McGuire and Blake Taylor. That had been the first time since 1999 that the Pirates showed that Draft M.O.

Dismissing any concrete change in organizational philosophy, Huntington attributed the new trend to "continuing to take the best player available. Whoever the best fit, is the right pick."

Supak was a perfect 9-0 as a senior and turned 18 on Saturday. He is considered to have a huge upside.

Supak has both a commitment to the University of Houston, and a family tie to that school, where uncle Jody Supak was an All-American pitcher and became a 12th round Draft pick of the Tigers in 1987.

Supak's selection wrapped up an intense, busy opening night of the First-Year Player Draft for the Pirates, who followed first-round pick Arizona prep shortstop Cole Tucker (at No. 24) with University of San Diego outfielder-first baseman Connor Joe (No. 39) and Iowa high-school righty Mitch Keller with (No. 64).

"We feel really good," Huntington said in summing up the night at the Pirates' Draft bunker. "This was the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of great people doing really good things, many of them under the radar.

"We feel tremendous about what we were able to get, and are excited about what [Friday] and Saturday bring."

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 1 p.m. ET.

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.