Pittsburgh Pirates: Early Look at Potential Rule 5 Draft Related Roster Moves

BRADENTON, FLORIDA - MARCH 16: Ji-Hwan Bae #81 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a picture during the 2022 Photo Day at LECOM Park on March 16, 2022 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
BRADENTON, FLORIDA - MARCH 16: Ji-Hwan Bae #81 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a picture during the 2022 Photo Day at LECOM Park on March 16, 2022 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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BRADENTON, FLORIDA – MARCH 16: Mason Martin #73 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a picture during the 2022 Photo Day at LECOM Park on March 16, 2022 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
BRADENTON, FLORIDA – MARCH 16: Mason Martin #73 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a picture during the 2022 Photo Day at LECOM Park on March 16, 2022 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Players likely to be left off the 40-man

Mason Martin was left off the 40-man roster because he was a defensively limited first baseman with massive red flags. Things haven’t changed much from 2021, except those giant red flags have turned into flashing red LED lights. Martin’s numbers at Triple-A this season have been downright anemic, with him batting just .207/.284/.421, leading to a .306 wOBA and 82 wRC+. The power is still here, with Martin demolishing some moonshots en route to 15 homers and a .213 isolated slugging percentage. But his astronomically high 36.6% strikeout rate makes it impossible to make his light-tower-power a real threat.

The Pirates will likely be willing to let Carter Bins attempt to pass through the Rule 5 Draft. Acquired in the Tyler Anderson trade, Bins is batting just .198/.286/.383 at Triple-A, leading to a .298 wOBA and 78 wRC+. Bins is striking out almost as often as Martin with a 36.5% strikeout rate but has a well below average 7.9% walk rate, unlike Mason, who comes in at 9.5%. Although Bins does have the upside as a sound defensive catcher who has the chance to hit for some power, the Pirates will, of course, prioritize Endy Rodriguez over Bins and even possibly Gutierrez.

Bins and Martin are likely easy calls. The Pirates can find better catchers than Bins. Even Jason Delay has surpassed Bins, given that he’s providing an amiable bat and plus-plus defense behind the plate. First base-only prospects are rarely selected in the draft, let alone first base prospects with glaring issues.

Plenty more guys in the system will be left off simply because they’re organizational depth, like Will Kobos, Eli Wilson, Francisco Acuna, and so on. The only notable pitching prospects who probably aren’t going to be heavily considered are lefties Omar Cruz and Trey McGough. The chances that both get selected are low, even if the Pittsburgh Pirates lose one, the organization will continue with current plans.

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