Matt Gorski and Malcom Nunez Highlighted As Rule 5 Prospects to Watch

Two names keep popping up from the Pittsburgh Pirates ahead of the Rule 5 draft, which will begin Wednesday night at 5:00 PM. While the Pirates have the third overall pick in the draft, giving them a chance to add 1-2 good prospects, there is also a chance that they lose prospects in the draft.

Baseball America wrote an article last week about the top names available in the Rule 5 draft. They have expanded on it four times since then. Their initial list of 15 names included outfielder Matt Gorski and first baseman Malcom Nunez. Jonathan Mayo posted an article about Rule 5 prospects to keep an eye on, and both Nunez and Gorski were among the 11 names he mentioned. Gorski got another mention today in a roundtable type article from Baseball America, discussing the Rule 5 draft. They plan to expanded their Rule 5 preview group again ahead of the draft.

Gorski showed off an impressive power display in the hitter-friendly park for Greensboro this season. He was promoted to Altoona, but a pair of hamstring injuries really sidetracked his second half. He finished with a combined .280/.358/.598 slash line in 81 games, with 24 homers and 21 stolen bases. He hit 13 of those homers in 20 home games with Greensboro. He also turns 25 this month, so he’s not a young prospect. The injuries this year and the lost 2020 season have both cost him development time.

Nunez played a majority of the 2022 season with the St Louis Cardinals in Double-A. He joined Altoona after the Jose Quintana trade, and then finished up with Indianapolis late in the season. Combined between all three teams, he hit .262/.367/.466 in 119 games, with 16 doubles, 23 homers and 69 walks. He turns 22 in March, so he’s still very young.

It should be noted that first basemen rarely get picked in the Rule 5 draft, and those who do don’t always stick with their new team. In fact, there isn’t a single first baseman taken in the last 20 years who has put up positive value with their new team. That doesn’t mean Nunez can’t be the first, but the odds are stacked heavily against him.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Can we just get rid of the rule 5 draft?


Not many ever get picked each year. It is designed to keep teams from burying kids that would never get a chance to play in the Bigs. See Clemente.


Seems like it hurts more kids than it helps, like Wei Chung Wang. I guess it does give some guys mlb experience that they may not have had otherwise and they’re eligible for the healthcare benefits and all that. But its just a hassle every year, and hate to have guys like Nunez exposed. And rule five picks rarely ever make a big impact. I’d be more than happy to see it abolished.


Not arguing the point. The problem is that it has evolved into teams taking flyers on kids that really aren’t close to being ready and letting them rot a year so that they can put them back in the minors the next year instead of taking a guy that is closer to being ready and letting him play. The latter is what the rule was designed for. I agree that what it has morphed into is not a good thing.


Is our 49 man full? If so, wouldn’t we have to drop someone to take a pick?


*40* man,


*The New Math* 🙂


And, ironically, I have a math degree from PSU, lol.


lol! I have a bean counter degree…. I be ‘countin all day every day……. The answer is…….4?


Hopefully Nunez can avoid being picked. Kind of foolish for the Pirates to risk losing him after he was part of a trade. There was plenty of dead weight on the 40 man that could have been cut to make room for him…….oh that’s right they did that after the deadline to pick up other dead weight.


A year ago everyone was certain that Mason Martin would be taken before the draft was cancelled. He flopped even in AAA. Nunez, Sabol and Gorski may all be redundant and it’s doubtful that 2 or 3 are selected leaving the others with the team. (I’m guessing Sabol can learn to play 1B). Additionally, Henry Davis may be someone to convert there if Endy is as good as we think. Cal Mitchell may be a solid option too and performed well at AAA. Triolo has been mentioned as well. I don’t see the end of the world if Nunez, Sabol or Gorski are picked.

Last edited 1 month ago by tventimiglio

I would absolutely take that package


If it’s all 4, then yes. Hancock durability worries me and Kelenic is a flop, but the other two could make it work.




Just had a thought. If one or two of our guys get taken and spend spring training and part of the regular season with the other team, but then get returned to us, could this be beneficial to them in the long run since they have spent some time getting a feel for the majors?


It depends on if they get to play. Often these guys are the last guys off the bench. That wouldn’t help much developmentally.


Mark Canha had played more 1B than any other position in the two years leading up to his Rule 5 selection, though he also had a lot of experience in the OF. I’d hate to lose someone of that caliber.


Grab Chaparro from the Yankees and I won’t mind losing Gorski, Nunez, or Sabol so much. Not that I want to lose anyone.

Last edited 1 month ago by madlock5

Why do we keep putting ourselves in the position of possibly losing our talented prospects?


We actually have a lot of talented prospects for once.


Having seen Matt Gorski play on several occasions, and witnessed his degree of athleticism—-And seeing the list of protected players, many of whom have no business being protected by any team—-If they lose Gorski, Cherington should be fired. It doesn’t matter if he is not ready for this year—He would be worth keeping simply for defense and base running.


Despite the teeth gnashing, I expect to not lose any one of any consequence.

b mcferren

will lose a record 6 guys


Lol. And how did those ‘record five’ do?

b mcferren

could have traded them and their hype for one ringer that would have made a difference


Dream on, lol. 😇😇 What could you get for prospect that weren’t even important enough to put them on the 40 man. Plus, we’re talking Dave Littlefield here, ya know. 😎😎

Last edited 1 month ago by leefieux
b mcferren

so when the first guy gets picked away from us, how many additional guys are we allowed to protect?


None. They can take as many as they want.


Spring Cleaning…

I have just a question why would they want him as part of the deal for Quintana and then not protect him??? Just seems a bit squirrely to me…

Last edited 1 month ago by RAS TN

Just betting that he won’t be taken.

b mcferren

to get a closer look?

isnt it quite skeptical that we would receive such a glorious return for just a three month rental?

Last edited 1 month ago by b mcferren

Who would yinz think to be the biggest loss or who you would least like to lose?


For me it’s Nuñez on both accounts. He got a Vogelbach comp from Fangraphs leading into last season, but he makes way more contact than Vogey. I think the chance he’s taken is slim, but the chance he sticks IF taken is better than you might think because he’s a pretty good hitter who’s still making positive adjustments, and he’s not even 22 yet.


Bolton is the one I would not like to lose and I think he is the one that has the best chance of being taken.


everyone. i’m a prospect hoarder!!

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