2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Rule 5 Eligible Players

Owens is one of many players who needs to be protected for the 2010 Rule 5 draft.

The biggest issue with the upcoming roster crunch will be the players who are eligible for the 2010 Rule 5 draft, which takes place on December 9th, 2010.  The following is the complete list of Pittsburgh Pirates players who are eligible for the Rule 5 draft.

The first group of players are eligible for minor league free agency, which I went over yesterday.  If these players re-sign with the Pirates as minor league free agents before the draft, they would be eligible.

Brian Bass
Doug Bernier
Rodolfo Cardona
Yung Chi Chen
Dana Eveland
Hector Gimenez
Corey Hamman
Derek Hankins
Mitch Jones
Erik Kratz
Jean Machi
Kevin Melillo
Dustin Molleken
Brian Myrow
Greg Picart
Jeremy Powell
Milver Reyes
James Skelton
Jonathan Van Every
Tyler Yates

The next group of players have been previously eligible for the Rule 5 draft, but aren’t eligible for minor league free agency yet.

Adenson Chourio
Anthony Claggett
Jose De Los Santos
Craig Hansen
Melkin Laureano
Michaelangel Trinidad
Michael Crotta
Adam Davis
Michael Dubee
Miles Durham
Casey Erickson
Shelby Ford
Jared Hughes
Matt McSwain
Jim Negrych
Jordan Newton
Kris Watts

The biggest name from this group would be Michael Crotta, with the season he had this year between AA and AAA.  Crotta doesn’t really project as more than a middle reliever, so the loss wouldn’t be huge if he was drafted.  He was eligible for the first time in 2009, but didn’t have the success during the 2009 season that he saw this year.  I wouldn’t say that anyone here is at risk of being selected.

The third group will be eligible for the first time this year.

Nathan Adcock
Eric Avila
Jesus Brito
Brandon Holden
Jeff Locke
Starling Marte
Austin McClune
Miguel Mendez
Gerlis Rodriguez
Gabriel Alvarado
Maurice Bankston
Tom Boleska
Brian Friday
Eric Fryer
Erik Huber
Chris Jakubauskas
Ryan Kelly
Noah Krol
Jairo Marquez
Kyle McPherson
Diego Moreno
Danny Moskos
Eliecer Navarro
Anthony Norman
Rudy Owens
Andy Vasquez
Tony Watson
Duke Welker

I’ve gone over these guys several times, so the summary of who I think should be kept is below:

Definitely need to be protected: Nathan Adcock, Jeff Locke, Starling Marte, Diego Moreno, Daniel Moskos, Rudy Owens

You could make an argument for: Tom Boleska, Brian Friday, Eric Fryer, Kyle McPherson, Eliecer Navarro, Tony Watson

Fryer, McPherson, and Navarro might be too far from the majors to be at any risk of sticking the entire season.  I talked about this issue the other day, along with Tony Watson’s chances of being protected.

One interesting name that hasn’t been talked about a lot is Eric Avila.  Avila had a big year this year in the Gulf Coast League, hitting for a .277/.327/.472 line with seven homers in 195 at-bats, which is good for the very pitcher friendly GCL.  Avila was signed in 2006 at the age of 16, and spent three years in the Venezuelan Summer League.  In his final year, the 2009 season, he hit for a .315/.358/.494 line with nine homers in 267 at-bats.

By comparison, Starling Marte was also signed in 2006, and only spent two years in the Dominican Summer League, before moving to the US in 2009.  Marte started the 2010 season in Bradenton, due to his success last year.  Marte is a year older than Avila, but obviously ahead, since Avila would optimistically project to be in West Virginia next year at the age of 21, while Marte was a level higher at the same age.

Avila doesn’t really stand a chance at being drafted, as there’s no chance he jumps from the rookie league to the majors.  However, a strong year next season could put him on the map, especially if he moves up to full season ball in West Virginia and has success at the level.

The Pirates definitely have space on the 40-man roster to protect the six guys in my first list.  They also have space to add one or two of the guys from the second list.  However, there are only 40 spots on the roster, and 25 of those spots have to go to the major league team.  You also need a few spots for major league depth.  Finally, you can’t assume that every available spot will be open by November 20th, the deadline for players to be protected from the Rule 5 draft.  For example, the Pirates are expected to non-tender Zach Duke, but the non-tender deadline is a few weeks after the Rule 5 deadline, and the Pirates will most likely try to trade Duke before making any decisions on whether to tender him a contract.

That might mean losing the opportunity to protect someone like Tony Watson, but at the same time it could give the Pirates a chance to acquire a prospect better than Tony Watson.  Due to that reason, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pirates leave some guys unprotected, and just hope that those players don’t get drafted, and don’t get protected the entire 2011 season.  That would allow the Pirates to try and get some sort of a return on guys like Duke or any of the other non-tender candidates.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Lee Young

    Hmmmmmmm….you make a good point. However, depends on what we’d have to give up to get Saunders.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing Owens or Locke, but maybe the brass doesn’t want to risk their growing pains?

    Bedard certainly hasn’t been sharp since his back injury.

    • Matt Beam

      Growing pains? The worst that either could do is exactly what we’ve seen from Lincoln for the past 3 starts now…Owens should be starting Sat. at home vs the Tigers. I would have preferred to see him get his feet wet today vs. a far less imposing lineup in CLE, but oh well

  • Matt Beam

    4 ER’s through 3.1 IP today, can we please officially end the Brad Lincoln as a SP experiment? He is far to hittable when pitching more than 1-2 innings. Why not given Rudy Owens a shot at starting and put Lincoln back in the bullpen where he seems to thrive?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_46YTB5OO4O7UM2OVB44UZSTXNA Nate

    Pretty bad when I’d rather they run Jo-Jo out there than former 1st rounder Lincoln. Put in the pen where is comfortable/successful.