Rudy Owens, Diego Moreno Not Rule 5 Eligible

Owens is not Rule 5 eligible this year.

Jennifer Langosch reports today that, contrary to previous belief, Rudy Owens and Diego Moreno are not eligible for the upcoming Rule 5 draft.  Langosch explains the reasons in full, and as a summary:

-Owens was drafted in 2006, when he was 18, but didn’t sign his contract until May 30, 2007, when he was 19.  The Rule 5 date is June 5th of the year the player was drafted or signed, meaning Owens was considered an 18 year old for Rule 5 purposes, rather than a 19 year old.  That means that Owens is eligible for his fifth Rule 5 draft, rather than his fourth.  Since Owens was signed in 2007, he missed the 2006 Rule 5 draft, making the 2010 draft the fourth one that he’s been under contract for.

-Moreno is a similar situation.  He turned 19 on July 21, 2006, and was signed in August 2006.  However, he was 18 on June 5th, 2006, which means that, like Owens, he was considered an 18 year old.  He was in the system for the 2006 Rule 5 draft, which means this is technically his fifth Rule 5 draft.  However, Moreno signed after the 2006 VSL season, meaning his first year was considered 2007, rather than 2006.

Yesterday we learned that Starling Marte isn’t Rule 5 eligible for the upcoming draft.  Previously it was assumed that the Pirates had a major roster crunch on their hands, because of all of the first time Rule 5 eligible players.  With Owens, Moreno, and Marte off this list, the group of players who need to be protected has been cut down.  The list of first time eligible players:

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

The following players are also eligible from previous years:

Adenson Chourio
Anthony Claggett
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

Of the first time eligible players, the guys who need to be protected are Jeff Locke, Nathan Adcock, and Daniel Moskos.  You could also make an argument for Brian Friday, Eric Fryer, Kyle McPherson, Eliecer Navarro, and Tony Watson.

From the group of previously eligible players, you could make an argument for Michael Crotta, after the 2010 season he had.  Crotta wouldn’t be a big loss, since he projects to be a middle reliever in the majors.

Owens not being eligible isn’t a big deal.  He will likely be in the majors by mid-June, and will definitely arrive by 2012.  This just delays his addition to the 40-man roster.  The extra time for Moreno is nice, but might not make a big difference.  He should start the 2011 season in Altoona, and could be fast tracked to the majors, although a more conservative path has him arriving in 2012.

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Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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