Pittsburgh (KDKA)- The Pittsburgh and owner Bob Nutting shocked the baseball world by signing both Gerrit Cole and Josh Bell before the midnight deadline.
Cole was expected but no one thought that Bell would sign with the Bucs.
Cole, who was the first pick of the draft, received $8 million, while Bell got $5 million.
Bell hit .548 with 13 home runs, 54 RBI, 54 runs scored with a 1.054 slugging percentage as a senior this year for Dallas Jesuit (TX) High School, where he helped lead his team to the Class 5A regional semifinals. He also struck out just five times in his 139 plate appearances this season.
The 6-foot-3, 206-pound switch hitter was rated by Baseball America as the top corner outfielder and fifth-best position player overall available in this year’s Draft. As a senior at Dallas Jesuit he was also named the 2010-11 Gatorade/ESPN Rise Texas Baseball Player-of-the-Year.
The Bucs have spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $16.5M on this years draft according to Tim William’s Pirates Prospects draft tracker.
How about the money ownership has spent over the last couple of weeks: Cole ($8M) + Bell ($5M) + 9th round pick Clay Holmes ($1M) + $5M for Lee/Ludwick at deadline = $19M committed in past two weeks.
With the addition of Cole and Bell, the Pirates signed 24 players from this year’s draft, including each of their top 10 selections.