Pirates to pick Jameson Taillon at No. 2, Orioles like Manny Machado at No. 3


Bryce Harper going to the Nationals with the No. 1 pick is a foregone conclusion at this point and Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Pirates have decided on high school pitcher Jameson Taillon with the second pick in tonight’s draft.
Taillon is a 6-foot-7 right-hander from Texas who throws in the mid-90s, ranking as the second-best prospect in this year’s draft behind only Harper according to both Baseball America and ESPN. MLB.com has some video of Taillon overpowering high school hitters, so Pirates fans can take time away from another losing season to drool over him.
Assuming that Harper goes No. 1 to the Nationals and Taillon goes No. 2 to the Pirates, the Orioles are expected to use the third overall pick on high school shortstop Manny Machado. Baltimore reportedly is prepared to take whichever one of Taillon or Machado goes undrafted by Pittsburgh, as those two and Harper are the top three guys on basically everyone’s draft board. Naturally then, the Royals pick fourth.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.