No Pirates Mentioned Among Top Names For Upcoming Rule 5 Draft

On Tuesday afternoon, J.J. Cooper from Baseball America posted a thorough list of the top players available in the upcoming Rule 5 draft and among the 46 names listed there was something missing from the list, no players from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also points out that over the last nine Rule 5 drafts, only 47 total players have stuck with their new team and this particular class isn’t a strong one.

While his list obviously doesn’t guarantee that the Pirates won’t lose any players, it does show that there are a lot of better names out there than Clay Holmes and Barrett Barnes, and that this year should be a down year for players retained by the team choosing them. It could also mean that not many teams make picks in the first place. Since the Pirates have the 29th overall pick, it is unlikely they could find someone who is worth drafting, even if multiple teams ahead of them pass on their picks.

Both Holmes and Barnes have their flaws which likely kept them off the list, since neither is a sleeper prospect. Both received seven-figure bonuses when they signed, so they are fairly well-known among people who cover prospects. Holmes has barely pitched above Low-A ball, missing an entire year with Tommy John surgery. Prior to that, he had some control issues, which were improving near the end of the 2013 season, but still an issue. Barnes has been hampered by injuries since signing and even this season, when he played a career-high 95 games, he still missed three weeks at the beginning of the season. Barnes also doesn’t have the huge upside you look for from someone who will likely shorten your bench all season.

  • I think Clemente was taken out of Montreal in rule5 draft, or whatever they had back in the day. I don’t know what ML team Montreal was with. If I’m right, is there ever been a better rule5 pick?

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    November 25, 2015 11:46 am

    If any of these guys are available (all bullpen prospects at this point), they may be worth a gamble to see if one could stick:

    Reymin Guduan, lhp, Astros (23): Armed with a fastball that can touch 100 mph, Guduan is one of the safer bets in this year’s Rule 5 draft to be picked as he’s one of the 10 hardest-throwing lefthanders in the world. But he’s much less certain to stick. Guduan’s fastball/slider combo gives him the building blocks to be an excellent reliever one day, but he has significant control troubles that became more apparent as he climbed the minor league ladder and faced tougher hitters and smaller strike zones.

    Jose Martinez, rhp, Diamondbacks (21): Martinez has less than 40 innings of full-season time thanks to injuries, including a stress reaction in his elbow in 2014. He has a great arm (he’s touched 99 mph at his best) and was once among the Diamondbacks’ Top 10 prospects but has little full-season track record and already has shifted to a relief role.

    Michael Heesch, lhp, Cubs (25): A 6-foot-5 lefty with a 91-94 mph fastball that plays up even a little more because he does a good job of hiding the ball in his delivery, Heesch held lefthanders to a .197/.267/.265 line last season. He’s yet to reach Double-A and his delivery isn’t always in sync, but he has has potential as a lefty matchup reliever.

    Phillips Valdez, rhp, Nationals (24): Like most of the pitchers in this category, Valdez has yet to pitch in Double-A, but he has had solid success in Class A. Valdez has a mid-90s fastball that will touch 96-97 mph and he has shown solid control. Valdez’s breaking ball is slurvy in its break but it tightens up at times and he’s developed his changeup that has become a viable third pitch.

    and for a real long shot as a first base option:

    Ronald Guzman, 1b, Rangers (21): Signed for $3.45 million in 2011, Guzman still has loud tools, but a team picking him is going to have to be well aware that Guzman lacks the present skills help a big league club right now. Guzman is limited to first base only, and while he has power potential, it’s yet to show up in games. However, he hit .283 while reaching high Class A in 2015 and had 47 extra-base hits.

  • do you mean the sky has already fallen, that we have a poor minor players nobody wants.?

  • Sticking with my predictions – think Rojas and Barnes and Osuna are better Rule 5 choices than the guys MLB has as outfield options – Holmes is the kind of arm that the Phillies can sit on the end of the bench and have as a useful starter in 2017 or 18

    • Think that it’s pretty clear that you skipped the article and the link, unless you’re just incredibly stubborn, but there are clearly much better options than any of the players we left unprotected.

      You’re free to express your opinion on the decisions made by our management team. I’m also free to express my opinions of your opinions. They’re very pessimistic. The buccos have a better chance of winning a championship in your lifetime than most other teams, and a much better chance under this management team than previous. Enjoy what you can today. Don’t let the past poison you’re future.

      • 36 years without winning even a Division Flag (-:

        • 36 years without a title. 3 straight divisions flags in 90-92, and 3 WC births since then. I imagine several teams haven’t had 6 playoff births in that time. If you get over the fact that they weren’t really even trying for about 15 years in the middle of the 20 year streak it makes it much more enjoyable to follow them.

    • Teams don’t want pitchers on their major league rosters who have barely pitched two years. I could see someone taking a shot at Barnes because injuries tend to not affect hitters as much as pitchers. Didn’t we all get juiced up over McPherson a year or two ago as well when the FO left him unprotected?

    • You have never even seen any of the three you mention play for any length of time, so how can you judge their abilities ?

  • Yankees are wanting to trade Ivan Nova, how about a Pedro for Nova trade. He is a reclamation project who was good a few years ago and even decent at the beginning of last year. Pedro is a Bronx guy who would hit a lot of Homers as a dh over a tiny right field

  • What about Fuenmayor? He’s already injured so you wouldn’t have to protect him all year – just three months. And he might be a decent bat off the bench

  • Just going to throw it out there…

    If the Pirates protected a 24 year old Stolmy for a season and still made the playoffs…no reason they shouldn’t take a chance on a significantly younger pitcher in Rule 5.

  • It could be genui?

  • Maybe the Buccos can snag Kyle Drabek.

  • Not necessarily a good thing that no one wants your prospects though, right?

    Who was the last guy they lost? Adcock? Thought there was a guy after him.

    • I don’t disagree with what you’re saying. In general, in my opinion, many posters to this website grossly overestimated the talent level of all Pirates prospects and frankly, overestimate the value of prospects in general.

      You’d think that most prospects are ready for the majors immediately if your sole source of information about prospects came from the comment section of this website. I can’t think of too many rule five players who’ve made a significant impact in the majors in general, let alone from the Pirates organization. Maybe I’m wrong.

      In any event, I don’t think this year’s rule five draft will significantly impact the Pirates success or failure within the next few years

      • Im with you. I definitely went overboard with Holmes it seems.

      • Look I agree with all you are trying to say but any time the Rule V draft is talked about lightly on a Pirates site I think it’s an obligation for someone to say something like well there was that one guy who did pretty good. His number is up there at the top of the stadium and there is a statue of him outside. Plus he has a few things named after him like an award, a wall and a bridge.

        • Lol. I did not know that little tidbit of Pirates history. You inspired me to Google it!

          I get your point but that was a different place, different time with different rules. The Pirates might lose somebody in this year’s rule five draft and whoever that is my play more than a little bit in the major league, I don’t know, but I don’t think for one second that the Pirates gave up on a second incarnation of Roberto Clemente this week. That’s all I am saying

          • It’s somewhat rare still but there have been some more recent rule 5 gems. Pretty sure Trevor Hoffman was one. The Bucs also lost Joey Bautista the first time via rule 5. Who knows, maybe without that wrench in his development he ends up breaking out while still a Buc.

        • Carnegie?

      • There you go, again, being logical

    • Andrew Oliver to PHI last year. Wei-Chung Wang to MIL the year before.

  • The “genius’s” on here may be wrong. Heaven forbid!

  • You mean the sky isn’t falling?!?!

    Go figure….