The Rule 5 draft was completed this morning, with the Pittsburgh Pirates selecting Josh Rodriguez from the Cleveland Indians. I reviewed Rodriguez earlier today right after the pick was made. With J.J. Hardy and Jason Bartlett off the board, it’s looking more and more like Ronny Cedeno will be the starting shortstop for the Pirates in 2011.
Rodriguez had success at the AAA level in 2010, and could step in to the majors in 2011 as a utility player, capable of playing second, short, third, and the outfield. There’s also an outside chance that Rodriguez could surprise and become the starting shortstop, although it’s more likely that he ends up a super utility player. Even if the Pirates add a shortstop and move Cedeno to the bench, Rodriguez could compete for the second infield spot.
The Pirates did lose a player in the draft, with Nathan Adcock being selected by the Kansas City Royals. Adcock was one of three minor league pitchers acquired as part of the Jack Wilson/Ian Snell trade in 2009. He had a 3.38 ERA in 141.1 innings in high-A in 2010, with a 7.2 K/9 and a 2.4 BB/9. Adcock turns 23 in February, and was going to be on pace to move up to AA in 2011. Kansas City will likely try him in the bullpen, although I doubt he’ll be able to stick the entire season in the majors. Hopefully the Pirates will get him back and allow him to get a good amount of playing time at the AA level.
Pittsburgh took two players in the minor league portion of the draft. They selected outfielder Brad Chalk with the first pick in the AAA phase, and catcher Travis Scott with the first pick in the second round. Chalk and Scott will provide minor league depth in the upper minors at two positions the Pirates are thin at. Scott was signed by the Los Angeles Angels as a minor league free agent a few weeks ago before the Pirates drafted him.