Pittsburgh Pirates: Five More Potential Rule 5 Draft Picks

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Pittsburgh Pirates
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Cody Laweryson

The next player to examine is Cody Laweryson. The Minnesota Twin pitching prospect is unranked but could be on radars when pre-season rankings start rolling out. Laweryson is coming off an outstanding season between High-A and Double-A and will definitely be on Rule 5 radars this year’s Winter Meetings.

The right-hander spent the year as a swingman, starting ten of the 35 games he appeared in. In total, he tossed 94.2 innings. However, those were very effective innings, as Laweryson owned a 1.62 ERA, 2.50 FIP, and 0.98 WHIP. Laweryson allowed just 7.3% of his opponents to draw a free pass. Batters had an extremely hard time even making contact, with a 30.2% strikeout rate and a .198 batting average.

Even better was his ability to limit home runs. In nearly 100 innings, Laweryson surrendered just two home runs. He wasn’t much of a ground ball pitcher, though, with a ground ball rate of just 38.5%. He had a 2% HR/FB ratio, which is a bit worrying. However, a 3.90 xFIP still isn’t terrible, and he makes up for it with decent command and strikeout rates.

He only sits in the 88-91 MPH range despite the overpowering numbers. His change-up is arguably his best pitch, given its extremely low spin rate. He primarily relies on deception and off-speed/breaking stuff to get outs. But he makes it work very well. It’s not as if 2022 was a breakout campaign for the right-hander. Laweryson also had a decent 2021 campaign and a great showing in 2019.