Pirates Prospects Who Are Eligible For the 2012 Rule 5 Draft

The Pittsburgh Pirates set their 40-man roster today, adding five players and protecting those players from the upcoming Rule 5 draft on December 6th. The list below includes the players who were left unprotected for the draft.

Before I get to the list, I want to point out a mistake on Gift Ngoepe’s eligibility. Ngoepe signed with the Pirates in late-2008 at the age of 18. This would have been his fifth Rule 5 draft since he signed, which is the first draft an 18-year-old signee would be eligible for. However, because he didn’t play in 2008, the 2008 season and the 2008 draft don’t count. He would still be eligible for his fifth Rule 5 draft, but that count begins with the 2009 draft, not the 2008 draft.

This situation came up a few years ago with Diego Moreno. Moreno signed after the 2006 VSL season ended. For that reason, he wasn’t eligible until the 2011 Rule 5 draft, rather than the 2010 draft. When I was looking at Ngoepe’s eligibility I forgot about Moreno’s situation. I was actually thinking of Starling Marte’s situation, where he wasn’t eligible because he signed after the 2006 draft took place. Since Ngoepe signed before the Rule 5 draft, I thought he would be eligible, not remembering the “Diego Moreno” rule. In short, the Pirates didn’t have to protect him, and he’s not eligible for the upcoming draft.

Of the guys below who are eligible, the notables are as follows:

Kyle Kaminska - This was probably the biggest surprise to me, even when I thought Ngoepe was eligible. It’s not that Kaminska has a history of strong numbers. It’s that the Pirates have invested a lot in him in such a short time, only to leave him unprotected. It’s hard to break down the Miami trade which sent a compensation pick and Gorkys Hernandez for Gaby Sanchez and Kaminska. We can’t pair the four pieces up and say what the Pirates traded for Kaminska. But you could argue that trading a compensation pick for Sanchez is a questionable move, and becomes less questionable if Kaminska pans out. The Pirates moved him to the rotation almost immediately, making a few adjustments which seemed to have worked. He had good results in limited time in Double-A, and then was one of the better pitchers in the league in the AFL. After all of that, it was a surprise to see him left unprotected.

Nate Baker

Nate Baker - Baker is a lefty reliever now, after having control problems this year and converting from a starter. He was much better in relief, seeing an increase in his velocity in the process. There’s a chance that he could get taken, since left-handers are in value, although I doubt he’d stick all year since he’s struggled with control problems at times.

Jeff Inman - I’m a bit surprised by Hunter Strickland being protected, just because he doesn’t really stand out from other guys on the list below. Inman, for example, is also a hard thrower with poor numbers in Altoona and has dealt with injury problems in the past. They’re two very similar pitchers, but the Pirates protected Strickland and left Inman unprotected. It’s not that Strickland didn’t deserve it. He’s got great stuff, as I noted in Spring Training on three occasions. I would say that Inman deserved it just as much, and would be just as much of a risk to be taken as Strickland.

Jarek Cunningham - No risk to be taken, due to his poor hitting in Double-A. He’s notable because of his power potential from the middle infield.

Eric Avila - Not a risk to be taken in the draft, although he’s notable for hitting for a .291/.328/.564 line and 11 homers in 165 at-bats after the break in West Virginia this year.

Michael Colla - He probably won’t be drafted, but I could see him as middle relief depth for the majors at some point next year.

Here’s the list of players who are eligible. The Pirates wouldn’t lose any of these players for good unless the player was drafted and the drafting team kept that player on the 25-man roster all year.

First time Eligibles

Ashley Ponce, SS
Benjamin Gonzalez, SS
Carlos Paulino, C
Elevys Gonzalez, 3B
Elias Diaz, C
Evan Chambers, CF
Francisco Aponte, 1B
Gavi Nivar, P
Jarek Cunningham, 2B
Jeffrey Inman, P
Joan Montero, P
Jodaneli Carvajal, 2B
Jorge Bishop, 2B
Junior Sosa, OF
Nathan Baker, P
Porfirio Lopez, P
Quinton Miller, P
Rinku Singh, P
Ryan Beckman, P
Samuel Gonzalez, C
Yhonathan Barrios, SS
Zachary Fuesser, P

Previously Eligible

Aaron Poreda, P
Aaron Pribanic, P
Anderson Hernandez, 2B
Andrew Lambo, RF
Andy Vasquez, LF
Charles Cutler, C
Eliecer Navarro, P
Emmanuel De Leon, P
Eric Avila, 3B
Erik Turgeon, P
Francisco Diaz,  C
Jeff Larish, OF
Jeremy Farrell, 3B
Jhonatan Ramos, P
Kenn Kasparek, P
Kris Johnson, P
Kyle Kaminska, P
Michael Colla, P
Quincy Latimore, LF
Stefan Welch, 3B
Tim Alderson, P
Zachary Foster, P

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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.

Today is the Deadline to Protect Rule 5 Players

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  • http://twitter.com/beatembuccos21 beatembuccos21

    Thanks for clearing up the status of Gifty. That’s a good thing that he isn’t in danger of being picked and it is also good that he isn’t chewing up a spot on the 40 man.

  • emjayinTN

    I think that Kaminska has done well since coming over in the trade, but I thought the Pick in next year’s draft and Gorkys Hernandez were for a former All Star 1B, Gaby Sanchez. Not only is he a gifted defensive 1B, he has the stats from 2010 and 2011 that belie the drop in 2012. With all that happened in Miami last year, I am thrilled to get Sanchez for so little.

    To pick Kaminska in Rule 5, a team will have to keep him full time in the majors for 2013 – that is a terrible gamble for a 24 year old who has not pitched beyond AA. Brett Lorin was picked by the D’Backs last year and they ended up offering him back; instead we took Robby Rowland who had a great year at Lo A, 9-5, 3.30 ERA and is still only 20 years old.

  • TonyPenaforHOF

    Is P2 going to do a comparative analysis of the Pirates 40 man roster vs. high performing teams like St. Louis or Tampa Bay? It should include how the player was acquired and when drafted.

    • http://daleberrasstash.blogspot.com/ Kevin Creagh

      That’s a good idea for an article. Once things are finalized heading into Spring Training, perhaps we can do something like that. I anticipate quite a bit of movement between now and then.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      Pretty much what Kevin said. Any analysis on the 40-man roster now means nothing. In just two weeks from now the roster will look much different.

      • http://twitter.com/beatembuccos21 beatembuccos21

        Are you expecting several moves between now and then or are you thinking some movement with the rule v draft?

        • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

          I’m expecting several moves. By the end of the winter meetings there should be some turnover, since that’s usually when the majority of teams start making moves.

  • TonyPenaforHOF

    For fans like me it would be helpful. I am at a crossroads with this team. I love the Pirates but I can’t keep watching them make bad decisions and producing bad outcomes. I think an objective piece would show the Pirates are not the best team in the league at drafting and developing talent. It would also show who is.

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