2012 Rule 5 Draft Results: Pirates Pass; Pick One and Lose One in Triple-A Phase

The Pittsburgh Pirates opted to pass in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft today, which is the first time they’ve passed on a pick under Neal Huntington. They also didn’t lose a player in the draft. The Pirates can still pick in the minor league portion, which is coming up shortly.

UPDATE 10:28 AM: The Pirates took RHP Ethan Hollingsworth from the Kansas City Royals in the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft. Hollingsworth throws 89-92 MPH and had a 4.17 ERA in 73.1 innings last year with a 48:20 K/BB ratio. He had a 6.44 ERA in 29.1 innings in the PCL, with an 18:10 K/BB ratio.

The Pirates lost infielder Elevys Gonzalez in the Triple-A portion. Gonzalez was selected by the Dodgers. He had a great year at the plate in 2011, but couldn’t put up those numbers again in 2012. He’s athletic, and a strong defender at third base, but is unlikely to make it past Double-A unless he can get his hitting back to the 2011 levels.

UPDATE 10:32 AM: The Pirates passed in the second round of the Triple-A phase. We’re on to the Double-A portion of the draft.

UPDATE 10:34 AM: Every team is passed in the Double-A phase, including the Pirates.

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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, 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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  • John Dreker

    Hard to believe Gonzalez wasn’t protected on a minor league roster. In 2011 he had an .841 OPS as a 21 year old in High-A ball. Seems like they could’ve found room for him somewhere, just to see if last year was a fluke. He’s been playing Winter League ball too, trying to get back on track. Not a big deal, just a surprise. He at least looks like more of a prospect(barely) than Hollingsworth

    • Lee Young

      No great loss, imho, John.

      Hollingsworth is AAA depth.

      He’s been traded quite a few times. Former 4th round pick in 2008.

      Scouting reports credit Hollingsworth with average stuff, but good command. Clint Scoles from Pinetar Press reports that he has a sinking fastball in the 89-91 mph range and “fringy” breaking stuff.

      Gee….a sinking FB….sound familiar?

      • John Dreker

        There is probably more behind it. It’s hard to believe there wasn’t room for a guy who hit so well at High-A and age 21 just a year ago. I never got a chance to see him this year, but he looked real good at WV in 2010 and at least to me, his 2011 season wasn’t a surprise. It’s so easy not to lose a player like him in the minor league portion that there was probably something else, like weight issues or personal issues. For an organization that doesn’t mind giving failed 25-27 year old prospects chances, it’s hard to see them just giving up on one that just turned 23 without there being more to the story.

        Like I said up top, not a big deal, just a surprise. I certainly wouldn’t have liked it if they just dealt Gonzalez for Hollingsworth, but they basically did that, plus threw in $12k. Teams don’t get that money when they lose players, MLB does. The reason I even commented was just because you shouldn’t expect a player like him to be lost, usually guys like Hollingsworth are lost, older players that have been around.

  • jalcorn

    Surprising that we didn’t add a bullpen arm with so many question marks there.

    • emjayinTN

      j: I think (hope) that the club realizes that there is a logjam of pitching at AAA. Locke, Morris, Wilson, Leroux, McPherson. I want to see Locke in the Rotation and Morris and Wilson starting the season in the bullpen. Either Leroux or McPherson can be the possible 5th SP – McPherson only pitched 3 games at AAA last year before being brought up in Sep, so maybe the best option would be for Leroux to start the season in the Rotation and allow McPherson to work at AAA for at least the first half of the season.

  • Lee Young

    Elevys has left the (Pirate City) Building.

  • beatembuccos21

    Are there new rules on the Rule 5 draft? Or do you still only lose $25,000 if you pick a guy and then return him to his original team? If that’s the case then a selection should be made nearly every year so that you can take a long look at someone in Spring Training. If he is not going to work, return him and take the $25,000 hit. Or if you swing a big deal prior to ST, you can send him back – still out $25K – prior to really getting look at him, which wouldn’t be as good. But, in the scheme of things, $25,000 isn’t much money at all.

    Given that the Pirates did practically nothing while on the ground in Nashville, I would argue that the expense of sending the Pirates contingent to Winter Meetings is less valuable than taking a $25,000 flyer on someone. The Pirates could’ve accomplished as much – and saved a bunch of money – by participating via video conference.

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