Circling back to one of their historically richest talent sources, the Pirates selected shortstop Nelson Jorge of Puerto Rico's International Baseball Academy with their seventh-round pick Friday in the First-Year Player Draft.
A 5-foot-11, 175-pound switch-hitter, the 18-year-old Jorge became the second Puerto Rican player taken in the 2014 Draft.
Nineteen places ahead of the Pirates' No. 221 selection, the Phillies had picked Emmanuel Marrero, also a shortstop of Puerto Rican descent but drafted out of Alabama State University.
The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 1 p.m. ET.
Jorge has soft hands. As he develops, he is expected to emerge as a strong candidate to switch positions, possessing an arm definitely strong enough for the outfield.
Regarded as a superior hitter from the left side, Jorge can still grow into more power, but right now he is a line-drive hitter who lives in the gaps.
Jorge, who has a commitment to Des Moines Area City College that should not be much of a barrier to him agreeing to a contract, is the Pirates' first draftee from Puerto Rico since 2008, when they selected Benji Gonzalez, also a shortstop and also taken in the seventh round from the Baseball Academy. Gonzalez became a Minor League free agent after playing 105 games last season with Class A Advanced Bradenton, and currently is playing Class A ball in the Padres' organization.
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.