J.J. Cooper at Baseball America put together a list of the notable players available in the upcoming Rule 5 draft. No Pittsburgh Pirates players were among the top ten players available, but two got mentioned as notable options. Jose Tabata got mentioned based solely on his contract, while Yhonathan Barrios was among the hardest throwing pitchers that weren’t protected.
Cooper mentions that Tabata has $8.5M left on his contract over the next two years so he won’t be picked. That seems like a safe assumption.
Barrios was signed as a shortstop before switching to the mound during the 2013 season. Shortly after making the switch, it was reported that he hit 99 MPH and has since hit triple-digits. He has only reached High-A ball, and with very little pitching experience, he would be a big gamble for some team. There are also numerous other pitchers(14 to be exact) listed as hard-throwers, so he doesn’t really stand out. Among the group are five other pitchers that have hit 100 MPH, players with much more experience and guys that throw mid-90’s in the starting role.
We posted an article last week covering the top prospects in the system that were left unprotected.