In a reversal from last year, the Pirates will soon have their top draft picks under contract with time to spare.
The team agreed to terms with first-round draft pick Austin Meadows, a source said Thursday. Meadows is scheduled to take a physical today, and the deal could be announced as early as this afternoon.
Once Meadows signs, the Pirates will have agreed to terms with nine of their 11 selections in the first 10 rounds with two weeks remaining before the July 12 signing deadline.
The Pirates selected Meadows, a center fielder from Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga., with the ninth overall pick in the draft. Meadows had committed to Clemson, but indications were he planned to sign when he was among the top 10 players selected.
Meadows was expected to agree to a bonus at or near $3,029,600, which Baseball America reported was the assigned slot value for the No. 9 selection.
The Pirates have saved money for Meadows by signing other players chosen in the top 10 rounds for bonuses that fall short of slot value.
The Pirates received the No. 9 pick as compensation for not signing Stanford right-hander Mark Appel, whom they took eighth overall last year.
The Pirates already signed their other first-round pick, high school catcher Reese McGuire. McGuire, the 14th overall selection, who agreed to a $2,369,800 bonus, according to Baseball America.
Meadows hit .535 with four home runs and 14 doubles for Grayson High this season.
"The athleticism, the size, the speed, that combination is one of the things that really, really stands out," Grayson coach Jed Hixson said. "He obviously has the baseball talent to go with that, but the athleticism is what I think separates him from other players."
Bill Brink: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @BrinkPG.