Pirates pick Bell sold on Pittsburgh’s future



PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pirates second-round draft pick Josh Bell is eager to prove his hefty signing bonus was a wise investment.

The 19-year-old outfielder received a $5 million bonus to join the Pirates rather than head to college at Texas. He said Friday he realized the best education for him as a baseball player lay in the minor leagues and not with the Longhorns.

Bell hit .548 as a senior at Jesuit (Texas) High School with 13 home runs and 54 RBIs. He told teams initially he had no interest in being drafted, but the Pirates took him with the 61st overall pick then won him over during the negotiating process.

Bell signed just before the deadline on Monday night, about the same time Pittsburgh signed top overall pick Gerrit Cole.