The Rule 5 draft is always a big topic for Pittsburgh Pirates fans.  Ever since the team lost five players in the first six picks of the 2003 draft, fans have focused on who the Pirates need to protect.  The 2011 draft will be the first draft where college players taken in the 2008 draft will be eligible.  The Pirates' approach over the last few years, with their focus on the 2008 draft, and the trades they have made, has created what many have referred to as a roster crunch.

I talked earlier in the season about keeping the roster crunch in perspective.  The Pirates aren't exactly at risk of losing anyone important.  Guys like Starling Marte, Justin Wilson, and Rudy Owens will be protected with ease.  It's the guys on the bottom half of the list that raise questions.  Guys like Brett Lo...

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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.