Rule 5 Draft: Pirates Draft LHP Tyler Webb, Eric Wood Doesn’t Get Drafted

The Pittsburgh Pirates made a selection in the Rule 5 draft for the first time since 2011, drafting left-handed pitcher Tyler Webb with the 13th pick in the draft.

Webb was one of the top prospects named in JJ Cooper’s preview of the Rule 5 draft. He was a tenth round pick in 2013, and has been in Triple-A for parts of the last three seasons. Last year, the 25-year-old had a 3.59 ERA in 72.2 innings, with a 10.2 K/9 and a 2.8 BB/9.

Cooper said that Webb could be useful as a lefty specialist. He throws 90-92 MPH with a slider and a changeup, and has held lefties to a sub-.600 OPS in each of the last two seasons. That’s interesting, since the Pirates currently have four left-handed options in the bullpen.

They have Tony Watson, Antonio Bastardo, Felipe Rivero, and Wade LeBlanc. There have been rumors that Watson and/or Bastardo could be shopped, so the addition of Webb adds further depth if that happens. In order to keep Webb, the Pirates would have to keep him on the active roster all year, or try to work out a trade to keep him if he’s offered back to the Yankees. There’s also the possibility that the Pirates could trade him, since the left-handed relief market is thin this off-season.

The Pirates didn’t lose anyone in the MLB portion of the Rule 5 draft, and that includes Eric Wood. There was concern that they would lose him, especially after Cooper listed him as a top prospect. I explained last night why he was unlikely to be taken, since third basemen rarely get selected.

UPDATE 9:21 AM: The Pirates passed on making a selection in the Triple-A portion of the draft. They lost left-handed pitcher Cesilio Pimentel to the Braves. Pimentel is an organizational guy who could have a shot to reach Double-A. He pitched in West Virginia last year, and had a 2.65 ERA in 51 innings, with an 8.5 K/9 and a 2.6 BB/9. He can hit 90-91 MPH and has a low-80s 12-to-6 curveball that can get strikeouts. His command of his pitches doesn’t project to get him far beyond Double-A, and he’ll mostly be a bullpen depth option for one of the Braves’ minor league affiliates.

UPDATE 9:35 AM: The Pirates lost two more players in the Triple-A portion before the draft completed. The Yankees selected right-handed pitcher Colten Brewer, and the Red Sox drafted left-handed pitcher Josh Smith.

Brewer is the more notable prospect, getting $240,000 as an over-slot prep pitcher in the 2011 draft. He can hit 96-97 MPH, and has mostly worked as a starter, which was his role in Bradenton this year. There have been some disciplinary issues, with him getting suspended by the team twice this year for short amounts of time. I never received official word on why he was suspended, other than an indication that it was attitude. He also temporarily retired in 2014, before returning in 2015 to give baseball another shot. We had Brewer as a 20 upside, making him a non-prospect. He’d do better in a bullpen role, but would need better command of his fastball in order to become a prospect who can reach the majors.

Smith spent most of the year with Altoona, and had a brief appearance in Indianapolis. He’s an upper level reliever who didn’t have a shot at the majors, due to poor control and a lack of stuff. He can touch 90-91, but mostly sits in the upper 80s. He will probably give the Red Sox some bullpen depth in a similar role between Double-A and Triple-A next year.

All three of the players lost today had 20 upsides in our upcoming Prospect Guide.

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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Harry S

Well the Pirates got the pitching help they needed. It’s like Jeff Locke took a $3 million pay cut to stay with the team. Pirate Fest should be lots of fun. Wonder if the BMTIB will show up.

Y2JGQ2

For the Record- Shoulder Labrum surgery is horrible. 5 1/2 weeks out, still can’t sleep at night due to the pain, and…….mobility is about at 40%…….it aches pretty much all day……and this is no setbacks. Hard to believe I should be able to throw in 12 weeks or so

Blaine Huff

Webb will never break camp with the Pirates…that would make him Super 2 eligible.

Darkstone42

Super 2 eligibility isn’t likely to be a concern for a player like Webb. LOOGYs aren’t exactly the highest paid players in the Majors, and they’re very replaceable, even if he does get expensive faster as a Super 2.

Blaine Huff

that was a “Nutting’s cheap” joke 🙂

BuccosFanStuckinMD

Tyler Webb was a good choice – he is not going to light up the radar gun, but he has some AAA experience, has more than one pitch, and seems to know what he’s doing on the mound.

I wish the Pirates would have done what the Orioles did – grabbed Anthony Santander in Round 2…..he is raw, but had a huge season last year in High A. can play 1B and OF – has power and speed combination – good size. He would have been worth a gamble in my opinion….can play more than one position (unlike Jaso), has power potential (unlike Jaso), and is faster and more athletic than Jaso – and a lot cheaper! These are the kind of kids teams like the Pirates need to gamble on – low risk (Rule 5 draft picks are cheap) and potential high reward. What is there to lose? If he doesn’t cut it, you offer him back to Cleveland….

dr dng

Considering the price and how we got him,
this Tyler Webb looks ok. Lets see how this
works out.

deacs

Off topic a little I just noticed the tweet about Jim Bowden calling the Eaton deal the worst deal he’s ever seen at the winter meetings. And while I agree this is an overpay, possibly a huge one, I’ve never really taken him too seriously after he proposed the Bucs send Mercer, pre TJ Kingham and Polanco to the White Sox for Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez. I’m pretty sure he had a Marte for Victorinio or something the year before. I love those articles.

leefoo

I am definitely not a Bowden fan. His best article was “The Art of the Trade” (or some name like that).

Lots of articles out there about those 3 pitchers.
Some say:
Giolito’s stock is down. Will it rise back up?
Many think Lopez’s best place is in the ‘pen.
The other guy’s ceiling (foogot his name) is a #4 or middle reliever.

Perhaps not as big of a haul as first thought?

Or….they all could become quality rotation pieces and Bowden looks like a genius?

Bill W

He used to work at PBC and was overlooked for a position I believe and I think he is jaundiced against the Buccos.

Mike G

Syd Thrift found him on Thanksgiving on the computer buying concert tickets, and thought he was the ultimate employee, working on a holiday.

Bill W

Yes it was Donnie Iris Christmas Show at the Syria Mosque.

Mike G

Beaver Falls’ finest, good guy, too.

Phil W

Is there any chance Rivero gets stretched out to be a starter? He seems to have 3 solid pitches and can work effectively against both right and left handed hitters.

Micbg77

How do the trades of rule 5 picks work exactly? I noticed a couple of teams have already traded guys that they drafted today. Do the same Rule 5 requirements apply after a guy gets traded to another team?

BuccosFanStuckinMD

Rivero needs to show he can pitch effectively in high leverage situations before he can be considered anything more than raw potential.

leefoo

You mean like Hanrahan, Meek, Grilli and Melancon? None of those were proven closers when we got them.

BuccosFanStuckinMD

That is true, but they all had more success and consistency than Rivero has shown to date. He’s young, so I have high hopes for him – but, his numbers with games on the line were awful last year – before and after the trade to the Pirates…

Darkstone42

Rivero in 2015: 3.44 xFIP
Rivero in 2016: 3.55 xFIP

He got there different ways, fewer walks in 2015 and more strikeouts in 2016, but he’s been a remarkably steady pitcher over his first 125 innings.

deacs

Are you ready to trade Watson and hand over the reins in the 9th? The walk and K rate spiked after the trade. To be fair it was only 27 innings. I’d be a little nervous to put him in there but his stuff is remarkable.

voteforpedro

None of those guys had shown any consistency. That’s how we got them.

BuccosFanStuckinMD

No, Melancon was a very good setup man before we made him the closer. Same with Grilli….

Scott K

Melancon was both good and bad as set up man before being acquired by Bucs.

Brian Z

they are saying BEFORE we got those players, they weren’t good. That’s how we got them. Yes they became good setup men before the Pirates converted them to closers but before they got to the pirates they were so-so

BuccosFanStuckinMD

Bastardo needs to go….but he has precious little trade value….

leefoo

I hear we could’ve gotten Niese from the Mets for him.

BuccosFanStuckinMD

How about if the Mets take Bastardo and his contract back, with nothing in return?

piraterican21

The foo man is on fire!

Bill W

Foo is an enigma! He is a computer generated person that uses algorithms to make rudimentary responses to these comments. They will have him at Pirate Fest serving coffee Friday 9-10.

leefoo

Go watch Westworld. That’ll tell you what I really am.

RonHeb72

Apparently I went to a baseball game with a figment of my imagination. I mean you are computer generated and do not exist.

Bill W

Cafe Americano per favore!

mouse

There seemed to be very little Pirate activity at the winter meetings. I thought we’d at least hear something about Watson. Is this something where GMs start to work on deals but don’t finish them until later?

Bill W

The potential of trading him held things up, Cutch had no power to approve or deny a trade imo.

Bill W

I know I believe Cutch has gone through enough the past 3 weeks. I did not want someone yelling at him at Nutting Fest.

tom2125

Cutch needs to be boo’ed at pirate fest. All joking aside, Hopefully he was a fire lit underneath him about being under valued this offseason, coupled with the pathetic play he gave this past year.

BuccosFanStuckinMD

Whether Wood was picked or not is irrelevant….to protect Jason Rogers over him was dumb.

PiratesFan1975

No it wasn’t dumb at all. It proved to be correct but you won’t pull your head out of the sand to see it, or take your fingers out of your ears while yelling lalalalala. To waste a 40 man spot and waste an option on Wood like you’re suggesting is dumb. Rogers can still be cut. The 2 things aren’t connected…… and shouldn’t be. You were wrong. Get over it.

leefoo

There was little to no chance of him being taken. It was a good move by NH.

BuccosFanStuckinMD

And why was protecting Rogers and say Gift, smarter moves than protecting Wood and/or Barnes?

RonHeb72

To add to Tim’s point its not really protecting Rogers and Gift as they were already on the 40 man would have to go through waivers (which they still can at a later date if necessary). They are easier to lose as they would not require to be kept on the 25 man roster or be offered back they could simply be optioned to AAA where Wood and Barnes would need to be kept in the Majors all season by which ever team drafted them.
You are not comparing apples to apples here. They were deemed low risk to be claimed as most position players are since they are harder to hide in the majors and as it turned out they weren’t. Its always a risk but on the flip side they were also not players that had we lost we would be looking at the death of the future of the program of either. Its not like they were Marte, Polanco, or Bell type of prospects. They may contribute but that is also yet to be determined.

Jeff A

I rarely post but you are forcing my hand. Tim has for weeks explained in a rather clear manner why Wood would not and need not be protected. Turns out that a large majority (all but one GM ,ours) agreed with Tim and not you. Yet you continue to defend your position. Do us all a favor and just stop. I generally enjoy those that post but you give me a headache.

piraterican21

This person is a ray of sunshine!

Blaine Huff

I won’t lie…I was a little worried. Glad he’ll be around for ’17 so the team can see if he’s legit.

leefoo

I wasn’t too worried about a guy who hit .249 in AA. Remember that Reese McGuire also hit well in the AFL.

Blaine Huff

Top three picks have never been above A-Ball. And, oddly enough, they’re all on their way to San Diego.

leefoo

That was unexpected, to say the least.

dk79

Tim,

How do you see the starting pitching market working out? Is there a chance the Bucs, try and trade for depth options with upside, from the Dbacks, Red Soxs, or Rays? Like Henry Owens LHP Red Soxs, or maybe even taking a flyer on Shelby Miller Dbacks, Or?

BuccosFanStuckinMD

In hindsight that is easy to say Tim, but these decisions had to be made BEFORE the draft – not AFTER – hindsight is 20/20 so I don’t get your comment. Rogers didn’t need to be protected either – and if someone did take him, so what? Nothing lost.

Ken

Great explanation – but CluelessFanStuckinMD isn’t interested in facts or logic. You and NH are right. He is wrong.

Bruce Humbert

Is there a way to place a value on a guy like Wood – I am thinking that the Bucs might have been happy getting $100K for him at this point in his career.

On the other hand I really don’t see any value in Rogers – do you really think someone would have claimed him had they tried to sneak him thru waivers?

Bruce Humbert

Thanks – is there a place thes values are summarized?

Robert J

Not to mention also having to burn an option this year.

leefoo

BFMd would never admit he is wrong.

deacs

To be fair he admitted to being wrong about SRod. Pretty sure that was him.

gashuffer

so i’m the only one to admit i like wood

gashuffer

that didn’t come out right.

BuccosFanStuckinMD

You are clueless Fool, I mean Foo, I have admitted when I have been wrong, on this site, more than a few times….

Stephen Brooks

Dunning-Kruger.

leefoo

Maybe we’ll trade Watson or Fat Bastardo?

Robert J

Bastardo will have a good year.

leefoo

If it is in Pgh, I sure hope that you prove prescient.

Bill W

There is a town in Italy called Bastardo. The residents wanted to change the name because of the obvious negative connotation. They voted on Putana. But the EU said they could not do it so they still are fatherless.

roccofinute

Putana is the Italian word for “whore”!! Best to stay with Bastardo I would think.

leefoo

Waitaminnit…..Wood didn’t get selected? But BFinMd said he was a goner??!!

I am completely shocked!!! 🙂

Todd Tomasic

Nice pick. Watson or Bastardo can go anytime. Plus LeBlanc is cheap & can be released in spring training

emjayinTN

Watson is becoming too valuable as part of a trade. As the Kenley Janson saga plays out, the Dodgers could possibly want ‘Cutch and Watson for Cody Bellinger, Jose De Leon, Alex Verdugo, and Brock Stewart.

LloydBeFree

Wow, LLOYD was now hoping the trade stuff would die down since it seems that Cutch’s trade value is low. If he and Watson could bring this back though…………..Damn

bucs1971

Good points, emjayinTN. Very possible!!

piraterican21

Don’t forget JHay and it will be one of the most talked about trades ever. Or at least in the last few years, the always popular 10 player trade!

turks44

come on, cutch’s value is the lowest its been ever.

capnick

Ummm not sure there is truth to that

leefoo

umm….I agree. 🙂

Bobby L

If Watson is traded who do you think replaces him as closer?

You’ve thrown very good prospect names out in a theoretical trade and that would make for a nice trade.Still lacking the veteran presence for a SP.

Cutch probably has to be moved for any kind of payroll relief to add to the roster.

rjgrinde

In this scenario:
Closer = Rivero (which may or may not turn out well)
Major League Starting Pitcher Return = Brock Stewart
Top Prospect Starting Pitcher Return = De Leon
Top Prospect 1st Base Return = Bellinger

I actually dig that return but, it will never ever happen.

Y2JGQ2

if we trade watson and cutch, who cares who the closer is? The better question is, how awesome will we be in 2019?

JustABitOutside

This idea that a veteran pitcher is needed has been overstated. Pirates had a team ERA of 4.03 (Yes, I know there are more useful metrics) over the second half of the season with Cole missing many starts and a handful of guys making their first appearance. There is a need for one of those guys to eat innings or for someone else to. However, there is no guarantee the generic veteran pitcher is more likely to do that than, say, Chad Kuhl

leowalter

Ha ha ha…….seriously ?

JustABitOutside

At this point, the Pirates would be dumpster diving for help or signing someone with upside but poor medical history (Ross). No guarantees. Rolling the dice on reasonably high upside youth is not a considerably wose position to be in, and is cheaper. You can reply with an idiotic “haha really?” but one has to wonder if it would be wiser to spend $7-11 million on a bottom feeder/medically challenged pitcher, or roll the dice on a higher upside young pitcher who is playing for the league minimum.

rjgrinde

Brock Stewart is a very promising young starting pitcher who could profile as more than just an “innings eater” but possibly a #3 or even a low end #2 guy.

emjayinTN

I was thinking a “Closer by Committee” even with Watson, so giving Rivero the ball would be OK with me.

I think the veteran presence will have to be Gerrit Cole, with Taillon and De Leon 2/3, Kuhl 4, and Hutchison 5. Many others to also consider at No. 5, and if they get Nova for the $12 mil average, they can insert him as the 2, and let De Leon mature at AAA until June.

leefoo

DeLeon?

Edward C

All the concern about Wood for naught. Webb looks interesting. I wonder why the Yanks didn’t protect him?

freddylang

Just don’t tell us that he is the next Brandon Wood.

TNBucs

I was worried about Wood, more that he’d be drafted on a flier and then would bounce around as teams tried to get him through waivers like what happened to Bautista years ago.

Last year Holmes was the one I was worried about, and more so than I was about Wood. Here a year later we’ve added him to our 40-man and in hindsight it would seem that a team should have drafted him last year. A team like the Braves, Brewers, Phillies, or Reds who were pretty clearly not going to be contending could have used him out of the pen and now have a quality arm in AAA.

leowalter

Nobody in MLB would have used Holmes “out of the pen” this past season. Only unlike Tim, I am not going to waste my time explaining why to you.

TNBucs

Using Holmes out of the pen last year would have been much less far-fetched than a team, a contender no less, using Wang out of the pen.

BuccosFanStuckinMD

You just don’t get it Tim – or you refuse to get it.

It is irrelevant whether Wood was drafted or not today….its the fact that the Pirates FO, in their infinite wisdom, thought that protecting guys like Rogers and Gift made more sense than protecting Wood and Barnes. Rogers is just a journeyman AAAA player, and a mediocre one at that.

Maybe NH is trying desperately to save face given he foolishly traded two decent young prospects for Rogers….Broxton would make a nice 4th outfielder and Supak was a pretty good looking young starting pitcher prospect, who the Pirates spent a second round pick on.

Kirk M

So every other GM is as clueless as you constantly insist NH is since they didn’t draft Wood to take advantage of this clearly obvious gaff, or . . . . . NH accurately determined how this would play out, he didn’t lose any assets, and you might be – – I don’t know – – wrong here?

Big picture, maybe NH should go (I personally very much disagree), but clinging to things like this as an example of it . . . . damn . . .

leowalter

Nobody ” gets it “, or anything else, but you ? Did your Mom repeatedly tell you just how smart you are all through your childhood ? SMFH…

EWS34

In an election year, StuckinMD takes a stand and sticks to it. If nothing else they are consistent. .

Y2JGQ2

*comes on stage and takes the mic from Tim, drops it, and leaves*

domdidominic

Shit, Tim. Don’t save our comments. We only want to hold you accountable for what we say, please don’t hold us accountable …..
I think I now have my favorite part of the rule 5 draft, ‘Responses from Tim!’

michaelbro8

Personally, I think you do get it…

LloydBeFree

Tim,

In LLOYD’s book……you da man!!!!

Edward C

There already is and I love it.

mitch t

BRILLIANT! You should start one of those Tim 🙂

SufferinBuccotash

Can’t believe the other 29 GM’s passed up a player that is a combination of Pie Traynor, Brooks Robinson, Wade Boggs and Mike Schmidt. They’re so stupid….

Blaine Huff

It looks like the Yanks didn’t protect a lot of guys…they were raided for 4 players in the first 13 picks with three of them being pitchers.

mitch t

Looks like the Yankees’ AA-AAA bullpens are devastated as is their Spring Training catching depth. I’m sure somewhere out there YankeesFanStuckinMD is crazy mad!

Stephen Brooks

I think the YankeesFan would more likely be stuck in MA, but otherwise right there with you.

Edward C

I noticed that on a second look. Must have some roster issues.

Bobby L

Dave Littlefield must have been in charge of the Yanks roster management.

leefoo

Those who remember Larry Doughty remember his mismanagement of the waiver and Rule V processes.

piraddict

I had forgotten Larry Doubty, and I was here for his whole GM career.

Blaine Huff

hahahaha, I was going to make a Chris Shelton reference.

Curious about the Yankee the Reds took second overall…a 20 year old A-Ball catcher who missed all of 2015 and had just 214 PAs last season.

deacs

You beat me to the Shelton reference.

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