Today is the day for teams to protect players for the upcoming Rule 5 draft. Teams have until midnight to add players to the 40-man roster, or risk those players being exposed in the draft this December. The first time eligible players this year are high school players from the 2008 draft and college players from the 2009 draft.  The Pirates currently have six open spots on the 40-man roster. They could clear more spots if needed. Other teams will be clearing spots to protect their prospects, which means the Pirates could also use a spot to claim players on waivers. That happened last year when they claimed Brian Jerolomann and Jeremy Hefner.

Below is the list of eligible players, and my thoughts on who should be protected tomorrow. Teams have until midnight tonight to add players to th...

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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.