The Pittsburgh Pirates should keep an eye on these five Rule 5 eligible prospects as they could be avaiable when the Rule 5 draft rolls around.
The Rule 5 draft gives every team with an open roster spot a chance to find a diamond in the rough. Minor leaguers signed at 18 years old or younger with at least five years of experience and not part of a 40-man roster are eligible for selection. Players who signed at 19 or older with four years of playing time and are not part of a 40-man roster are also eligible for selection. If a player is selected, they must be part of the team’s 26-man roster for the entire season.
Last year, the Major League portion of the Rule 5 draft was postponed because of the lockout. The Pittsburgh Pirates took a risk by leaving prospects such as Cal Mitchell and Tahnaj Thomas unprotected. It ended up working out in their favor because of the postponement, but they’ll be a little more cautious about who to protect this year.
But they’ll also have the chance to add a player to the active roster for almost no cost at all. It’s still relatively early, as 40-man rosters do not need to be finalized for more than another month, but let’s preview five players the Pirates should keep an eye on, as they could be available when the draft rolls around.