Pittsburgh Pirates: Five Potential Rule 5 Draft Selections

AMARILLO, TEXAS - APRIL 10: Pitcher Levi Kelly #20 of the Amarillo Sod Poodles pitches during the game against the Midland RockHounds at HODGETOWN Stadium on April 10, 2022 in Amarillo, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
AMARILLO, TEXAS - APRIL 10: Pitcher Levi Kelly #20 of the Amarillo Sod Poodles pitches during the game against the Midland RockHounds at HODGETOWN Stadium on April 10, 2022 in Amarillo, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /
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WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 28: Pitching coach Oscar Marin #47 of the Pittsburgh Pirates walks to the dug put before before a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 28: Pitching coach Oscar Marin #47 of the Pittsburgh Pirates walks to the dug put before before a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 28, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Brendan White

The Detroit Tigers could see a handful of pitchers reach the Rule 5 Draft this off-season. They have multiple 25-year-old and younger arms that are part of their Triple-A team’s depth chart, some of which had quality seasons. There’s a possibility that the team leaves at least one of them unprotected, and that could be Brendan White.

White posted strong numbers for the Tiger Double-A affiliate. He also pitched a good amount of innings, racking up 67.1 frames. All told, the right-hander had a 2.67 ERA, 2.94 FIP, and 0.91 WHIP. White had a healthy 27.1% strikeout rate and allowed just three home runs all season. The pitching prospect had a 56% ground ball rate, which was the third-highest mark among the organization’s minor league pitchers with at least 30 innings under their belt. It also helps White posted a quality 6.3% walk rate.

White throws with some deception. His arm slot is about as low as you can get before getting into a side-arm motion. His big weapon is his wipeout breaker, which comes in with around 2900 RPM of spin. He doesn’t throw particularly hard, averaging out in the low-90s, but he commands his stuff well. His 6.3% walk rate is in line with his career average of 6.4%.

This was the first year the Tigers put White in a relief-only role. Eventually, he became a high-leverage reliever, closing nine games and finishing 21. White is definitely a player that, if left unprotected and available when the Pittsburgh Pirates are on the clock, the team should highly consider, given the lack of bullpen depth.

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