Pittsburgh Pirates Get Ready For Rule 5 Draft


Neal Huntington and the Pittsburgh Pirates at the moment have 34 players on their 40 man roster. They will need to make some decisions about their prospects and whether they are going to add any of them to the roster. The Major League Baseball Rule 5 Draft is coming on Thursday, Dec. 10.

There are two player drafts conducted each year by MLB. Many of you are familiar with the First-Year Player Draft, which occurs in June. The event deals with amateur players from the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The second and lesser known Rule 5 Draft concerns itself with professional players already in the farm systems of MLB teams. Just like the First-Year Entry Draft, the teams select in reverse order of the regular-season standings. Each round commences with the team owning the worst record and moving on eventually to the team with the best record. Any team that does not have any openings on its 40-man roster may not select anyone.

The way it works is that any team that chooses a player in the Rule 5 Draft reimburses $50,000 to the team from which he was selected. He is immediately placed on his new organization’s 40-man roster.

The receiving team must keep the player on its Major League 25-man roster for all of the next season. That player must stay active and not be on the disabled list for a minimum of 90 days.

There is a way for a player to return to the team that drafted him. If the acquired player does not stay on the Major League roster, he is then offered back to the team he came from for $25,000. If the original squad does not want the player back, the receiving team may then waive the player.

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The system helps to open doors for athletes who signed when they were 19 or older and played in professional baseball for four years. It also includes players who inked a deal at 18 and played for five years.

The one safeguard for the teams is that all players on its 40-man roster, regardless of other eligibility factors, are secure. They become ineligible for the Rule 5 Draft process. Here are four Pirates prospects that the team might consider protecting next month.

1) Tyler Glasnow, who is the Pirates’ No. 1 prospect, is the No. 7 prospect overall in baseball according to MLB.com. The 6-foot-8, 225-pound right-handed pitcher made his Triple-A debut this year with the Indianapolis Indians. The Newhall, California native struck out 48 over 41.0 innings pitched. Pittsburgh will not let the 22-year-old slip away.

2) Josh Bell concluded the 2015 campaign with Triple-A Indianapolis. The 6-foot-2, 235-pound first baseman rates as the Pirates’ No. 3 prospect and MLBPipeline.com‘s No. 1 first-base prospect. The native of Irving, Texas is Pittsburgh’s future on the right side of the diamond. The 23-year-old will make the 40-man roster.

3) Harold Ramirez lists as the Pirates’ No. 7 prospect and has been productive in his trip through the farm systerm. The 5-foot-10, 210-pound outfielder hit .337/.399/.458 in 80 contests for the Class A Advanced Bradenton Marauders in 2015. Pittsburgh may want to add the 21-year-old to the roster for safe keeping.

4) You do not find Max Moroff among the Pirates’ Top 30 prospects, according to MLBPipeline. The 6-foot, 175-pound infielder hit .293/.374/.409 with 17 stolen bases for the Double-A Altoona Curve last summer. The Maitland, Florida native played second base, shortstop and almost a dozen games at third for the Curve. Clint Hurdle and the staff like that kind of versatility. The 22-year-old might have a case to be protected by the Bucs.

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Potential Players To Be Considered: Right-handed pitchers Angel Sanchez, John Kuchno, Clay Holmes, and Luis Heredia. Catchers Jin-De Jhang and Jacob Stallings. The remaining trio is first baseman/outfielder Jose Osuna, outfielder Barrett Barnes, and infielder Dan Gamache.

Fans of the Jolly Roger might be interested in this side note. The Pittsburgh Pirates obtained Roberto Clemente from the Brooklyn Dodgers through this type of process. The Bucs made the 5-foot-11, 175-pound right fielder the first choice of the rookie draft that occurred Monday, Nov. 22, 1954.