On Tuesday evening, the Pittsburgh Pirates added four prospects to their 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft
6:00 PM EST on Tuesday was the deadline for MLB organizations to protect prospect who were eligible for the Rule 5 Draft from next month’s draft. In order to do so these players would need to be added to an organization’s 40-man roster. Tuesday evening, the Pittsburgh Pirates added four prospects to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft.
These four prospects were catcher Endy Rodriguez, starting pitcher Mike Burrows, relief pitcher Colin Selby, and infielder/outfielder Jared Tirolo. Rodriguez and Burrows come as no surprise. Two of the top prospects in baseball at their respective positions, they would have been slam dunks to get selected by another organization. Selby should not come as the surprise that he once may have after the minor league/AFL seasons that he had. The biggest surprise of the four was Tirolo.
AS we said above, seeing Rodriguez and Burrows comes as no surprise. Sooner rather than later Rodriguez could find himself as the starting catcher for the Pirates, and Burrows should be a mainstay in the starting rotation by next summer.
To some, protecting Selby may come as a bit of surprise. However, when you dig a bit different it probably should not. Selby had a strong minor league season and followed it up with success in the AFL. He flashed multiple plus pitches this season and relief pitchers are always vulnerable to the Rule 5 Draft as they are easy to hide in team’s bullpens. Remember, if an organization adds a player in the Rule 5 Draft they must remain on their active roster for the entire season or else they will be returned to the organization they were drafted from.
Triolo comes as the biggest surprise. The right-handed hitting Triolo can play third base, shortstop, and the outfield. At third base he is a Gold Glove caliber defender, however, with Ke’Bryan Hayes having that spot locked down his future with the Pittsburgh Pirates will be as a utility player.
With Double-A Altoona last season Triolo hit for a .282/.376/.419 slash line with a 121 wRC+ in 495 PAs. His high on-base percentage was driven by a very strong 12.7% walk rate and his strikeout rate of 17.6% was below league average. He also spent much of the season batting leadoff for the Curve.
In order to make room for these four players on the 40-man roster the Pittsburgh Pirates designated catcher Tyler Heineman, right-handed pitchers Jeremy Beasley and Junior Fernández, and left-handed pitcher Manny Bañuelos for assignment. This keeps the Pirate 40-man roster full.