First-round pick Jameson Taillon met with reporters this afternoon at PNC Park and said he was happy the post-draft contract negotiations — he smiled and called it “an interesting process” — are over.
“There was never a doubt in my mind,” Taillon said. “I knew we’d get something done.”
Taillon will be sent to short-season Class A State College as an observer and then will pitch in Instructional League in Florida. He probably will begin his pro career next season at Low-A West Virginia.
“I have two breaking balls I consider advanced,” Taillon said. “Right now, I have a curveball that’s a 12-6 break and a slider. I’m trying to eliminate the bigger break from the slider and maybe make it more of a cutter, get the velocity up and break some bats now that it’s wood bat.”
About a year ago, Taillon first met Stetson Allie, the Pirates’ second-round pick. The two power right-handers could form a 1-2 punch in rotations the next few seasons as they rise toward the majors.
“It will be fun to go through the Pirates’ system with him,” Taillon said. “There’ll be some friendly competition.”
»»» The Pirates have not yet officially announced the signing of 16-year-old Mexican pitcher Luis Heredia, but team sources have confirmed that a deal is in place. The Pirates will pay a $2.6 million bonus for Heredia, with the bulk of that money going to Veracruz of the Mexican League, which owned his rights.
Heredia’s bonus shattered the franchise record for an international player of $400,000 given to outfielder Exicardo Cayones in 2008.
The Pirates were among the top half-dozen teams, in terms Heredia has not been been pitching in organized pro games in Mexico, but has stayed on a routine. Recently, he pitched in an international tournament against Japan.
“It was the first time he’d faced (players in) his age group in a long time,” GM Neal Huntington said. “He’s been pitching against older players, although the competition level hasn’t been great.
“It will be great to get him back into facing players who are older than him. But now it will be professionals that are two, three or four years older than he is. We believe he will be able to hold his own, but we’ve got to put him in position to develop properly.”
The Pirates will send him to the Florida Instructional League this fall and then to an instructional league in the Dominican Republic.
Because of his age, Heredia is not eligible to pitch until next summer. Heredia is expected to attend minor league spring training camp in 2011, then get more tutoring in extended spring training. When he’s old enough to play, Heredia could begin his career in rookie ball in Bradenton, Fla.
Huntington has not seen Heredia pitch in person.
Lineups for tonight’s game:
Marlins (59-60) – 1. Emilio Bonifacio ss, 2. Logan Morrison lf, 3. Gaby Sanchez 1b, 4. Dan Uggla 2b, 5. Mike Stanton rf, 6. Cody Ross cf, 7. Wes Helms 3b, 8. Ronny Paulino c, 9. Alex Sanabia (1-1,4.63) rhp
Pirates (40-80) – 1. Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Jose Tabata lf, 3. Garrett Jones 1b, 4. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 5. Ryan Doumit rf, 6. Chris Snyder c, 8. Argenis Diaz ss, 9. Paul Maholm (7-11, 4.86) lhp