Pittsburgh Pirates: Rule 5 Eligible Prospects Who Could be Traded
By Marty Leap
Right-handed pitcher Cody Bolton
At one point in time Cody Bolton was looking like one of the top pitching prospects in the Pirate farm system. Bolton got off a tremendous start in the 2019 season when he pitched to the tune of a 1.61 ERA, 1.91 FIP, 5.9% walk rate and a 28.9% strikeout rate in 61.2 innings pitched across 12 starts at the High-A level.
This earned Bolton a promotion to the Double-A Altoona Curve. With Altoona Bolton pitched 40 innings in 9 starts. Bolton struggled with the Curve posting a 5.85 ERA, 4.67 FIP, 9.6% walk rate and a 19.8% strikeout rate.
Bolton pitched at the alternate training site in 2020. The plane for Bolton in 2021 was to start the season pitching out of the bullpen in the minors. Unfortunately, a knee injury cost Bolton his 2021 season. Without this injury, Bolton likely would have been in place to make his MLB debut during the 2021 season.
This has now put Bolton in a bit of a no man’s land in the Pirate farm system. He is no longer the highly rated pitching prospect that he once was, and, while it’s not completely he fault, he has been passed up by other pitchers.
Due to this, Bolton could also be a candidate to be traded. Teams would certainly be enticed by Bolton in the Rule 5 Draft which could lead to the Pirates looking to trade him before facing their 40-man roster crunch.