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Pirates poised to pick Bullington

By John Perrotto
June 1, 2002

PITTSBURGH--The Pittsburgh Pirates have been trying to rebuild around pitching ever since Dave Littlefield took over as general manager 11 months ago. They apparently will continue that trend Tuesday in the first-year player draft.

Pirates sources indicated Saturday that the Pirates will most likely take Ball State University righthander Bryan Bullington with the first overall pick. The Pirates have spent the past week debating whether to select Bullington, Chesapeake (Va.) Greenbrier Christian Academy shortstop B.J. Upton or Surrey, British Columbia (Canada) Fraser Christian School lefthander Adam Loewen.

Bullington said Saturday he had not heard anything official from the Pirates.

"I don't know anything for certain at this point other than I'm under consideration," Bullington said. "I'm just flattered that are thinking about using the first pick on me. There are some great players who have gone in that No. 1 spot in the draft. To think I might be in that same company is really something."

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Bullington was 8-2 with a 2.19 ERA in 10 games, nine starts, this year for Ball State. He struck out 89 in 70 innings while issuing only eight walks.

Bullington, noted for his poise on the mound and low-key attitude off it, admits he is getting excited for draft day. He will be sitting at home with his family and friends, following the draft on the Internet.

"It's going to be a big day and it will be fun to see how it unfolds," Bullington said. "I'll just be honored if I go in the top part of the first round. If I get picked first, well, that would be really great."

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