UPDATE: According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, Taillon will receive “a bit more than $5 million” from the Pirates.
9:05 PM: According to Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates have agreed to terms with No. 2 overall pick right-hander Jameson Taillon. The pitcher’s father informed the paper of the signing.
Terms haven’t been released, but the 18-year-old right-hander was considered the best high school pitcher available in June’s draft.
Taillon has those two key words everyone talks about with a young pitcher: Tall and projectable. Standing at 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds, he already has three plus-pitches in his arsenal, including a fastball that touches the high-90s, a slider and a curve.
It’s only natural that we’ll hear comparisons to other Texas right-handers like Roger Clemens and Josh Beckett. Kyle Drabek, now a property of the Blue Jays, was drafted by the Phillies out of the same high school as Taillon, The Woodlands, in the 2006 draft.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.