I was hoping the Pirates might get Carlos Correa...obviously, those hopes were dashed when the Astros took him first overall.
Mark Appel at # 8 was a no brainer. Despite the difficulty in possibly signing him in lieu of the new CBA, I say sign him no matter what. Forfeit the first round pick next year to get it done, if you have to. That in and of itself would be a cost saver on the back end. Getting a potential # 2 starter into the rotation in a couple of years would be well worth the cost and price in the extra pick.
Yes, the draft is purported to be deeper next year, but it is doubtful a talent of Appel's quality would fall to # 9 next year. Take him while you can and get him into your system faster in hopes of getting him to the show in a couple of years. If drafting a HS player next year with the first round pick, it could take that player 4 - 6 years to reach the bigs. Pirates fans are tired of waiting.
Also, the Pirates were said to be set on a bat in the first round this year until Appel unexpectedly fell to them. If going above slot to sign Appel and forfeiting next year's first round pick, then spend the money now and sign Cuban FA outfielder Jorge Soler, who a lot of scouts like better than the Oakland A's Yoenis Cespedes.
Soler would be a great addition to the system, giving the Pirates four legitimate corner outfield prospects in Soler, Barrett Barnes, Josh Bell, and Robbie Grossman.