During the MLB Rule Five Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired New York Mets selection, right-handed pitcher Luis Oviedo from the New York Mets in exchange for cash considerations.
Ben Cherington and the Pittsburgh Pirates were busy during this year’s MLB Rule Five Draft, adding two young pitchers to the organization. After pitching dominated the draft in June, Cherington and company continued to keep priority in adding more arms to the organization by selecting Los Angeles Angels prospect Jose Soriano with the first-overall selection and then trading for New York Mets’ pick nine overall selection Luis Oviedo.
The 6’4”, 170 pound, 21-year old Venezuelan Oviedo was ranked as the Cleveland Indians 10th ranked prospect heading into the 2018 MLB season but had a nagging back injury that held him back during the 2019 season. That season he saw time in Low-A posting a 5.16 ERA over 21 games, however he was dealing with an injury so we shouldn’t worry too much about those numbers.
Oviedo looks to join the Pirates bullpen and finish developing his four pitch repertoire consisting of a fastball, changeup, slider, and curveball. The fastball is consistent mid to high 90s topping out at 98 MPH just a month ago in Venezuelan winter league action. His second best pitch looks to be his curveball, while also mixing in his average slider and changeup. Personally, I would really like to see his slider develop into another solid strikeout pitch at the major-league level and we know that Pirates’ pitching coach Oscar Marin loves to have his guys throw the slider a lot, so maybe that’s something we see Oviedo work on this season.
Had Oviedo not suffered the back injury that continued to bother him he very well could still be within Cleveland’s top ten prospects and with his potential if healthy he could have even cracked the MLB top-100 prospect list in my opinion.
With this trade the Bucs are adding another very projectable live arm to the organization with little risk. My only concern with Oviedo is that he needs to regain his control and consistently it the zone, if that happens this pick will surely be a steal. After picking up two young pitchers with potential, the Rule Five Draft has my stamp of approval for the Pittsburgh Pirates.