The Pittsburgh Pirates are in a prime time seat for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. So we will take our annual peek at some of the players that interest us.
The video we posted blow is an insane baseball brawl, that lasted ten minutes and ejected 17 players. One of those players was Jeremy Horst who was twice a selection of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Amateur Entry draft in 2003 and 2004. That alone might be enough to chase the Bucs away, but Horst could be an interesting selection for a number of reasons.
Horst is 6′ 4,″ 220 pound left-handed pitcher that was left off the 40-man roster by the suddenly pitching rich Cincy Reds. After going to college, he was selected by the Reds with the 649th pick in the 2007 June Amateur Entry Draft.
Horst was tremendous this season with the AA Carolina Mudcats. With the Mudcats, Horst gave up just 35 hits in 43 innings, and had a WHIP of 1.02– he walked only nine batters while striking out 46. His 2.09 ERA in 27 games earned the Cheyenne, Wyoming native a promotion to AAA Louisville where he threw 14 innings.
Some might say it doesn’t make sense for the Pirates to pick a player with such little experience at the AAA level? Well look at the Bucs system, what lefty reliever stands out? Danny Moskos? He threw 17.1 innings in AAA Indianapolis, allowed 26 hits, 20 walks and was sent back to AA.
Unlike Moskos, Horst had success at the AAA level where he played in six games, making two starts. The Pirates could have a young lefty to groom for a year, it’s at least an interesting scenario to consider. Especially since Wil Ledezma, 19.2 IP/25 hits/1.57WHIP/22K, doesn’t make my heart flutter as the Pirates LOOGY.
It also would be a soft blow to the top dog in the NL Central, who rolled the dice thinking Horst wouldn’t be selected.
Will it happen? Doubtful. Relief pitchers are easy to find on the heap.
However, selecting Horst could be different. He’s healthy. He hasn’t pitched a pile of innings in the minors. Horst also had some recent success in the Arizona Fall League where he threw 13 innings this year for Peoria, striking out nine and allowing 12 hits while posting a solid ERA. The Pirates could make him a starter as well, not just a lefty specialist.
And it might do one more thing. With Horst on the Pirates roster, Danny Moskos just might make it to the bigs too. He would realize he has to focus and put up a solid year at AAA Indy instead of the awful performance fans watched last season.
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If you like baseball fights and can handle the Blair Witch effect, here is a fan video of the fight.