Rule 5 Updates: Elvin Ramirez, Trades

The Rule 5 draft is tomorrow afternoon, and there are a few updates on the Pirates’ first overall pick.

Dejan Kovacevic mentioned this morning that Elvin Ramirez, a right handed pitcher with the New York Mets, is a guy to keep an eye on.  Buster Olney tweeted that Ramirez is widely expected to be the first pick in the draft tomorrow.  Ramirez was the #26 prospect in the Mets’ farm system heading in to the 2009 season.  He’s got a fastball that’s been clocked at 94-98 MPH this off-season in the Dominican, where he has a 2.18 ERA in 20.2 innings this year, along with a 26:4 K/BB ratio.

The big issue for Ramirez has been a lack of control.  In 73.1 innings in high-A during the 2010 season he had an 8.0 K/9 and a 5.3 BB/9 ratio.  He moved up to AA for 6.2 innings, with a 7:6 K/BB ratio.  I would think that Wynn Pelzer would be a better choice, since Pelzer also has good velocity, is highly rated in the Orioles’ farm system, and has better control numbers with the chance to start.  Pelzer also has more than 6.2 innings above A-ball.

Neal Huntington had some comments today about the Rule 5 draft in his press conference, focusing on the idea of trades.  Huntington mentioned that the team is focused on both position and pitching prospects with the pick.  He also said that teams have called asking if they’re open to trading the pick, either completely or trading down.  The hype surrounding Ramirez might not necessarily mean he will end up with the Pirates.  It could give the Pirates some value with their top pick in trade talks.

-Just a thought, but I wonder if the Rule 5 pick will play a role in the Pirates’ attempts to acquire a shortstop.




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