Pittsburgh Pirates 2011 Rule 5 Draft Eligible Players

The Pittsburgh Pirates protected six players from the 2011 Rule 5 draft, adding Matt Hague, Starling Marte, Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson, Jordy Mercer, and Duke Welker to the 40-man roster.  That left the following players eligible for the 2011 Rule 5 draft.

Eligible Players

The first group of players are first time eligible for the Rule 5 draft in 2011.

Tim Alderson
Calvin Anderson
Fraylin Campos
Michael Colla
Tyler Cox
Emmanuel De Leon
Jeremy Farrell
Zachary Foster
Andrew Lambo
Quincy Latimore
Brian Leach
Brett Lorin
Diego Moreno
Rogelio Noris
Aaron Pribanic
Jhonatan Ramos
David Rubinstein
Hunter Strickland
Cole White

The following players have previously been eligible for the Rule 5 draft, and are eligible again this year.

Eric Avila
Jesus Brito
Brad Chalk
Michael Crotta
Jose Diaz*
Michael Dubee
Miles Durham
Brian Friday
Noah Krol
Mike Loree
Jairo Marquez
Matt McSwain
Miguel Mendez
Eliecer Navarro
Anthony Norman
Matt Pagnozzi**
Josh Rodriguez
Yunesky Sanchez
Andy Vasquez
Kris Watts
Tim Wood*

*Pirates signed as minor league free agent this off-season, but still eligible for the Rule 5 draft.

**Can elect minor league free agency.

At-Risk Prospects

Tim Alderson - Alderson makes this list for name recognition purposes, due to being a former top prospect.  His move to the bullpen in 2011, and his mid-80s fastball by the end of the season makes it unlikely that he will be selected.  All it takes is one team to be interested enough to draft him, but even then I don’t see him bouncing back to his pre-2009 performances.

Colla went unprotected for the Rule 5 draft.

Michael Colla - After pitching in the AA rotation for most of the year, and putting up some impressive numbers, the Pirates left Colla unprotected for the Rule 5 draft.  Despite the success, Colla profiles more as a middle reliever in the majors.  He throws his fastball in the low 90s, sitting 90-92 in the Arizona Fall League, but does have a decent changeup which could give him a shot to be a long reliever or a spot starter candidate.

Andrew Lambo - He might be an attractive option for a team that wants to take a risk on a guy who was considered one of the top 50 prospects in baseball just two years ago.  Lambo is fairly young, but I think his chances of sticking in the majors all year would be slim if he is drafted.  He hasn’t hit well above the AA level, and he doesn’t have the speed or defense to make up for his lack of hitting off the bench.

Quincy Latimore - He’s got some of the best power in the system, although his strikeout and walk ratios, combined with his low average, negate any value his power gives him.  Latimore is capable on defense at a corner outfield spot, but ultimately he’s a one tool guy.  He’s young, so another team could take a chance on that power tool, although I don’t see him sticking in the majors all year on the off-chance that he is selected.

Brett Lorin - He had some impressive numbers in high-A this past season, but he also turns 25 in March and hasn’t pitched above high-A ball.  He’s similar to Nathan Adcock in that they both had good seasons in high-A and both went unprotected, although Adcock was two years younger.  Despite Adcock being protected last year, I think the odds of a pitcher making the jump from high-A to the majors all year are still pretty slim.

Diego Moreno - I could see a team taking a shot on Moreno due to his plus fastball.  Best case scenario is that he ends up a late inning reliever, and with the eligibility rules leaving mostly bench and bullpen arms, Moreno’s upside could look attractive to other teams.  He’s far from a guarantee, as he hasn’t had good results above high-A, but the tools are there.

Aaron Pribanic - The Pirates seem to favor sinker ball pitchers, protecting Michael Crotta last year, and currently holding Jared Hughes on the 40-man roster.  Perhaps Hughes being on the 40-man and Crotta being in the minors is why they left Pribanic unprotected.  Ultimately he profiles as a reliever, although he gets a ton of ground balls with his sinker, and in shorter outings he has been known to get his fastball up to 96 MPH, making him very similar to Hughes.

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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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  • http://www.facebook.com/taylor26554 John Taylor

    Thanks for the great coverage. I check this site all the time for the latest coverage. Would love to see a list soon of the best possible rule 5 possibilities.

  • Lee Young

    As always, good stuff from PP2

    My opinion is that Pribanic is the only one that might be taken. Would’ve been nice if Lambo had hit, but….

  • Anonymous

    They could lose 3 or 4 of the players they did not protect IMO.

    Will be interesting to see if the Pirates pick up someone this year in the rule 5 draft?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KKKRNZSI2KNHYKV74DIIGPBORA MarcH

    Losing anybody on this list would not bother me.  Even Lambo hasn’t shown enough that he will stick for an entire season.

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