The Pittsburgh Pirates lost a decent amount of players, but also gained a few, so what players were involved in this year’s Rule 5 draft for the Bucs?
The Rule 5 draft went down on Wednesday evening. Overall, many players went on the move, especially for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates gained a few players but also lost a handful. Overall, there’s a lot to unpack, so let’s first see what the Pirates acquired in this year’s Rule 5 draft.
LHP Jose Hernandez
The Pittsburgh Pirates had the third overall pick in this year’s Rule 5 draft and used that on southpaw Jose Hernandez. Hernandez was a Los Angeles Dodgers’ farmhand who had a pretty decent 2023 campaign. Across 59.2 innings of work, Hernandez had a 3.32 ERA, 3.85 FIP, and 1.13 WHIP. The lefty had a healthy 27.8% strikeout rate, albeit with a mediocre 10.1% walk rate and 1.21 HR/9 rate. Hernandez averages out in the mid-90s with a strong slider. His change-up has a chance to be average as well, but he projects to be in the bullpen long term. Hernandez certainly is interesting and could be a decent southpaw the Pirates could call upon in 2023.
RHP Wei-Chieh Huang
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected two minor leaguers during the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft. The first is Wei-Chieh Huang. Huang is somewhat of a minor league journeyman, having started his career in professional baseball way back in 2015 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, then spending a season in the Texas Ranger system (including debuting in the majors 2019), and finally with the San Francisco Giants last year. Huang worked a total of 79.2 innings in a swing-man role, owning a 3.99 ERA, 4.15 FIP, and 1.28 WHIP. Wang had decent peripherals, including an outstanding 29.8% strikeout rate, 9.4% walk rate, and 1.03 HR/9.
OF Josh Palacios
The second player the Pittsburgh Pirates selected was outfielder Josh Palacios. Palacios had a decent season as part of the Toronto Blue Jay and Washington National Triple-A affiliates. In 342 plate appearances, Palacios batted .294/.379/.439 with a .368 wOBA and 121 wRC+. Palacios isn’t much of a power hitter and had just a .145 ISO, but he got a ton of base hits and walks. Palacios struck out at a minuscule 16.1% rate and walked in 10.2% of his plate appearances. He also stole 21 bags in 29 attempts. Palacios also has 82 MLB at-bats owning an OPS+ of 43.