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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 Rule 5 Draft Results

The Rule 5 draft is about to begin, capping off the 2015 Winter Meetings. The Pirates have two open spots on their 40-man roster, although they didn’t make a move last year, and are set up in position where it might not make sense to make a pick this year. There are a few guys that they could lose. We previewed the draft this morning, with all of the eligible players. As the draft takes place, we will have live updates on any players they select, or any players they lose.

UPDATE 10:08 AM: The Angels selected Deolis Guerra, who was just signed back as a minor league free agent on Monday. Since the Pirates signed him before the Rule 5 draft, he was eligible. It’s possible that the Angels tried to sign him, and when he picked the Pirates, they decided to give him a 40-man spot through this avenue. It’s not a loss at all, since the Pirates could sign another guy as bullpen depth out of Triple-A.

The Pirates passed on making a pick.

UPDATE 10:14 AM: The MLB phase is over. Clay Holmes and Barrett Barnes remain in the organization, along with everyone else not named Deolis Guerra.

UPDATE 10:17 AM: I had this written on Guerra in the Prospect Guide:

Guerra emerged as a bullpen depth option for the Pirates last summer, before being shut down with a knee injury. He was briefly lost on waivers to Cleveland before that knee injury rescinded the claim, and led to the end of his season. Prior to that, he found success in Indianapolis with improved off-speed stuff. His fastball tops out in the low 90s, but his changeup was a plus offering, and really helped the fastball play up. He relied heavily on the changeup in the majors, throwing it 38.8% of the time. Guerra should return to a bullpen role with Indianapolis, and will give the Pirates some early season bullpen depth.

UPDATE 10:24 AM: The minor league portion has begun. Basically this is a chance to get free upper level organizational guys. The Pirates passed on this last year.

UPDATE 10:27 AM: Miami took Patrick Johnson, who was signed by the Pirates out of indy ball, and was rated one of Baseball America’s top ten prospects in indy ball this year. Here is a write up of his signing.

Seattle took Isaac Sanchez, who we graded as having a chance to make the majors as a reliever, although he wasn’t considered for the top 50. Here is his writeup from the book:

Sanchez signed for $180,000 as a 17-year-old in 2010 and came with an excellent scouting report that had him hitting 92 MPH with his fastball, showing strong command of his changeup, and a big-breaking curve that was his best pitch. Since then he has worked 90-93 MPH, touching 94 with the fastball. He has been unable to translate that potential into success on the field for long stretches until this past season with Bradenton. From late May until late August, he had 25 straight appearances without allowing more than one earned run, with many of them being multi-inning outings. Sanchez has had strong ground ball rates in the past, which helped because he hasn’t been a big strikeout pitcher. This season however, he was more of a fly ball pitcher, yet he allowed just one home run all season. That might work in the Florida State League, which is pitcher-friendly, but he will need to keep the ball down as he hits the upper levels of the system. He should pitch out of Altoona’s bullpen in 2016 and he has the potential to make it to the majors as a middle reliever.

UPDATE 10:35 AM: The Pirates took Alfredo Reyes, a shortstop, from the Mets. He hasn’t played above short-season ball that much, and doesn’t have a good bat, with a career .602 OPS. These picks are made to fill needs in the system, for the purposes of fielding a team, and maybe having a microscopic chance of a MLB player. In this case, the Pirates are thin at shortstop in Altoona after the JaCoby Jones trade. They’ll have Chris Diaz at the level, but he’s a defensive option with no bat. Reyes is the same, and will likely be a backup until 2015 first round pick Kevin Newman arrives, which could be in the second half of the season.

UPDATE 10:41 AM: Pirates pass on making a second pick in the Triple-A phase.

UPDATE 10:47 AM: The Triple-A phase is complete. The Double-A phase is taking place, although most teams are passing.

UPDATE 10:49 AM: The Pirates passed in the Double-A phase. The phase is now complete, ending the 2015 Rule 5 draft.

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.


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OK, I am confused again.

Patrick Johnson was in the Indy league last year. Pirate’s sign him. He is taken in the Rule 5 draft. So…

Does that mean that anyone in Indy ball is draft eligible? Or did the Pirate’s error in signing him previous to the Rule 5 draft which now that he was associated with a Major League club, made him eligible for the draft?

I still can’t get how you can sign a player who basically a FA, then lose him two days later. Why bother to sign them if the contract isn’t worth the paper it is written on?

“I’m so confused..”

John Dreker

Johnson used to be with the Rockies, so he had enough minor league time in to be Rule 5 eligible. The Pirates purchased him from an Indy ball team, but if they wanted to make sure he didn’t get picked, they had to add him to the Indianapolis roster. They didn’t because he was so far down on their depth chart that they had 35 better Rule 5 eligible players to protect. For comparison sake on the 35 roster spots, our preview included about ten players who at least had a shot to be picked. Now add another 25 we didn’t bother mentioning.

When you get taken in the minor league portion, it shows how far down you are for that team. The chances of a player drafted in the minor league draft making Major League contributions(other than a cup of coffee) are minuscule at best, less than 1% based on past history.

As for losing Guerra, that doesn’t happen often, but it means they made $50K just for signing him. Angels could have picked him up off waivers, they could have signed him and put him on their 40-man roster, but they skipped the easy steps and decided to pay extra to be forced to keep him on the 25-man. Not sure what type of thinking goes into that, but it’s almost as if they liked him but didn’t know he was available for free for the last month


….doesn’t make much sense does it? Nor does paying Albert Pujols 4 kazillion dollars in hindsight


Thanks for the explanation!


Tim … Any truth to the report (that I’m making up) that Stark actually paid off the Angels to take Guerra because he didn’t “like the cut of his jib.”


I read that too!!!

Arik Florimonte

Thanks for the writeup! Heading over to Pirate Chat now to hear the complaints about picking up Reyes.

Kris Mosley

Wait a minute, Barnes and Holmes didn’t get picked…

Wait a minute keeping the likes of Sanchez, Florimon etc, over Barnes and Holmes on the 40 man wasn’t a mistake….

Last month I swore everyone thought NH was idiotic for possibly losing Barnes and Holmes…

Were idiots for not putting them on the 40 man and starting their option clocks….

I know everyone here loves the Pirates, but most people only see 1/30 of the full MLB story….

Everyone tends to overvalue our prospects in relation to the rest of MLB, and everyone tends to pick at the flaws of the PBC because they follow them closely, while ignoring if you paid as much attention to the other 29 teams they have just as many if not more flaws…

The Rule 5 draft has come and gone, and guess what guys the team is still in a good place..


Regardless of the outcome of the Rule 5 draft, how does one decide to protect a Florimon over a Barnes or Holmes – when there is a risk of any of them being picked? If Floriman gets picked, so what? If Barnes or Holmes get picked, you lose a potentially decent prospect who may yet factor in your future.
The results of the draft doesn’t dismiss that question….I would love to hear NH answer that question…

Arik Florimonte

Now they have the option of keeping both Holmes and Barnes for an extra year, instead of adding them to the 40-man when they’re no where near ready.

Joe S

I can answer that one. If they are put on the 40 man they start using options that limits their time in the organization. Or if it’s decided to take them off the 40 man later it more quickly exposes them to a dfa


That’s funny, it sounds to me that you are saying, even thou you prove you were right I still think you are wrong!


You need to understand how the rule 5 draft works. How likely is it that a team is going to select a player who hasn’t even sniffed AAA coming off TJ surgery and commit a spot on their active 25 man roster for the entire season which is what they must do to select a player. If a team does do that they are essentially telling their fan base we know we suck so we are building for the future.

The Pirates rightly played the odds because once a player hits the 40 the clock to get them to the MLB changes you can’t just take someone off if you need a spot due to injuries or acquisitions you must release them and potentially lose them

mitch t

Because teams are more interested in drafting bullpen chaf like Guerra who can help them out of spring traing than waste salary and a roster spot on a guy who will most likely be ruined as a prospect by the RV process. NH gets it. So far so good.

Luke S

A ton, if not all, of those taken in the ML portion had played some time in AAA.

Which isnt shocking, since the outliers of teams taking a AA guy tend to work out not so great the majority of the time.


Remember Chris Shelton- He made me hate the process for about 2 months one year until the league realized he can’t really hit


Lol. Just when I showed some moderate interest in Patrick Johnson.

Oh well, no biggie with Guerra.


You were like Donald Trump trying to think of a Muslim athlete while tweeting in response to Muhammed Ali.


Benedicts influence?

enrique romo

jim benedict picking our pocket already!

Michael Sanders

I think Isaac and Johnson could have made an impact with the Pirates later this year. It’s a shame we just lost them after signing them.

Luke S

Good stuff. Of course a Pirate gets selected that isnt one of the 2-3 that we all spent about 2 days discussing getting taken.

Best of luck to him.


John/Tim, great coverage all around.

One step closer to pitchers and catchers reporting.


Thanks for the timely report. I am overall quite pleased and surprised at the same time!

Patrick Kelly

Most importantly, Osuna survived the draft.

Bill W

Lee Foo I hope you do not get selected. I think you have a future with PP. NMR I don’t know what to tell you buddy but it looks like you might get sold to the KBL. Just stay in the southern part.


I have the body type of a guy who seems to thrive in the league.


Bartolo Colon?


A young Colon. Give me some credit. 😉


Nobody wants to waste a 40 man spot on me??

I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooo depressed this morn.


Heard you don’t run out GBs.


you’re assuming I can HIT ground balls….

They didn’t call me “K-Foo” for nothing.

dr dng

Lee, what are your thoughts on the signing of Juan Nicasio?


I thought that was for your pitching prowess!

Bill W

Yes he has an attitude also!

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