By Jason Shetler
According to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, the Pirates have agreed to terms with their first round pick Cole Tucker for a signing bonus of $1.8 million, which is below-slot money. Tucker had a commitment to Arizona, but instead will begin his pro ball career. The deal is expected to be made official on Wednesday.
The Tucker selection was surprising since Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Keith Law had him going mid-second round while Baseball America projected him to go early in the third round. The switch-hitting shortstop has good bat speed from each side of the plate and has terrific speed on the basepaths. Defensively, he has a strong arm with enough athleticism to stick at short.
Tucker is the first infielder the Pirates have drafted in the first round since Pedro Alvarez in 2008, and the first shortstop taken since Chad Hermansen in 1995.