The 2009 Rule 5 Draft isn’t until December 10th this year, but it’s never too early to look at the eligible players from the Pittsburgh Pirates. All teams have until November 20th to set their 40-man rosters for the Rule 5 draft, which means all decisions need to be made by November 20th. Eligibility is based on when a player signed his first major league contract.
-If a player was 18 and under when he signed his first professional contract, he is eligible for his fifth Rule 5 draft
-If a player was 19 or older when he signed his first professional contract, he is eligible for his fourth Rule 5 draft
-Any players who were eligible in prior years are eligible in future years
-A player needs to be added to the 40-man roster to be protected from the Rule 5 draft
An example of eligibility, using current Pirates’ players:
-Justin Wilson signed his first professional contract in 2008 at the age of 20. His first Rule 5 draft was the 2008 Rule 5 draft that winter. That means he would be eligible for the 2011 Rule 5 draft, his fourth Rule 5 draft.
-Robbie Grossman signed his first professional contract in 2008 at the age of 18. His first Rule 5 draft was the 2008 Rule 5 draft that winter. That means he would be eligible for the 2012 Rule 5 draft, his fifth Rule 5 draft.
-Rudy Owens and Bryan Morris were both drafted in the 2006 draft. Both signed at the age of 19. However, Morris signed before the 2006 Rule 5 draft, and Owens signed after the 2006 Rule 5 draft. This means that Morris is eligible for the 2009 Rule 5 draft, and Owens is eligible for the 2010 Rule 5 draft, even though both players were taken in the same draft, and signed their first deals at the same age.
Here are the Pittsburgh Pirates prospects who have been previously eligible for the Rule 5 draft, and are eligible for the 2009 draft:
Angel R. Gonzalez
Rafael De Los Santos
Here are the Pittsburgh Pirates prospects who are eligible for the first time for the 2009 Rule 5 draft:
Michael CrottaMichael Dubee
Jared HughesMiles DurhamShelby Ford
Jim NegrychGorkys Hernandez
R.J. RodriguezRamon AgueroMatt McSwainBryan Morris
Jose De Los Santos
Alex PresleyCasey Erickson
I’ve placed several names in bold. These are names of players that I feel are significant, due to their seasons in 2009. Obviously the Pirates can’t protect all of these players, and there may be some cases where a player is selected and returned to the team (like we saw with Kyle Bloom this past season).
Here are the players I would protect:
Brad Lincoln - For obvious reasons.
Gorkys Hernandez - See Lincoln, Brad.
Bryan Morris - Can’t give up on him, and he’s sure to be taken and stashed in someone’s bullpen
Shelby Ford - 25 year old second baseman who has shown power, probably would be taken
Ramon Aguero - Consistently throws 95-96 MPH, definitely a candidate to be taken
Kyle Bloom - .186 BAA vs left handed batters in 2009 at AA, we’re thin with LHP