Rule V Players
The following is not a list of all of the Pirates who will be Rule V eligible in 2012 but is a list of all the Rule V players who I could imagine a scenario in which they would be selected. This is not to say that all of these players will be selected and/or should be protected; it is just I see these players of having at least a slim chance of being selected.
Above I listed 20 players obviously the Pirates can not (or should not) try to protect all or even most of them. There are a couple of guys on there that would only be selected in the exactly right situation (in other words they are projects) and others could be chosen as a cheap bench or bullpen option.
The five players who are near locks to get added to the 40 man roster are Starling Marte, Jordy Mercer, Matt Hague, Rudy Owens and Justin Wilson. Of the remaining 15 Dubee, Friday, McSwain, Anderson, Farrell and Latimore stick out as 6 who won’t be protected (and probably won’t be chosen). That leaves Hughes, Alderson, Cabrera, Colla, Lambo, Leach, Lorin, Moreno and Pribanic. This is where the trade deadline could come into play.
The Pirates have an incentive to move those 9 players. The Pirates probably will be able to protect an additional one or two of the nine but will face the risk of losing some of them. Obviously not all 9 players would be selected in the Rule V draft but I could see any individual one being selected. So with all that being said I thought I would take a look at the upside of the 9 players and see what each could be worth. None of the 9 players will be able to fetch a top tier player as if that was the case they would be on the likely to be added list.
First lets look at the 6 players I specificall mention as unlikely to be chosen.
Michael Dubee, Matt McSwain – Both players were previously eligible but neither was obviously selected. The players have very little upside but are far enough along in thier development where they could potentially step in and fill a relief role for some club.
Brian Friday – Friday was also eligible for the Rule V draft this past offseason but also went unselected. He doesn’t have much upside but could probably step in and be a utility infielder capable of playing SS for some club. His value is probably similar to the Pirates Rule V draft pick this year, Josh Rodriguez (who is also eligible or the Rule V draft).
Jeremey Farrell – Farrell has a decent stick and can handle 3B. Man scouts believe eventually he will have to move to 1B though as his defense at 3rd isn’t the strongest. His bat has some potential and could possible be enticing to an AL team who would have an easier time hiding him on the bench. Specifically here I’m thinking the Toronto Blue Jays where his father is the manager.
Calvin Anderson – Anderson is a huge 1B. He is listed at 6-7, 240 lbs. Anderson can hit the ball a long ways and is having himself a pretty decent season this year. His power potential makes him intriguing and could entice some team to take a chance on him. However the fact he is only in A+ ball and that he is limited to 1B decreases those chances.
Quincy Latimore – Like Anderson Latimore’s interest comes from his power. He is only 5-10, 175 lbs (smaller than me) but he can absolutely crush the ball. Latimore is currently in AA and is a corner OF. The problem with Latimore is that the only thing he does well is hit for power. He is a poor defender, poor baserunner, he doesn’t hit for a good average and he strikes out about 25% of the time.
As you can see not really much trade value there. Dubee, McSwain and Friday might be chosen because they could fill out the bottom of a roster and Farrell, Anderson and Latimore might be chosen because they are projects with a potentially high upside. Now on to the main 9.
Jared Hughes – Hughes was eligible for this past Rule V draft but went unselected. Like Dubee and McSwain Hughes profiles as nothing more than a middle RP. However Hughes is more likely to be selected because he is father along in his development and could be considered sort of this year’s Michael Crotta. His trade value figures to be rather low.
Tim Alderson – Alderson was coming off a poor 2010 which took away most of his value but a strong 2011 out of the AA bullpen has returned him to prospect status. He no longer profiles as a top of the rotation starter but has the look of someone who could be a #5 starter or possibly a back of the bullpn reliever. Alderson could very well attract some trade attention and could probably be a piece for a mid tier rental.
Ramon Cabrera – Under normal circumstances I would consider Cabrera a near lock to be added. He is having a very good year in A+ and is a good catching prospect. However with is being likely that one of Snyder or Doumit returns the Pirates alread have 4 catchers (Snyder/Doumit, McKnery, Jaramillo, Fyer) slated for thier 2012 40 man roster. This does not even take into account the hopeful arrival of Sanchez later in the year. Simply put there is no room for Cabrera. Cabrera could attract a good bit of attention and could potentially be a key piece in acquiring an upper tier rental or mildly interesting longer term piece.
Michael Colla – Colla is similar to Hughes. He has consistently put up decent numbers but has really came on to the prospect scene this season with a good showing in AA. His trade value is porbably just a little more than Hughes. So think maybe a second piece to a trade.
Andrew Lambo – Lambo probably has the highest value of these 9 players. Once a top prospect Lambo is still young enough where a team could be intrigued by him. It is possible some teams could see him as a B grade prospect which would make him enough to get basically any rental (excluding the Jose Reyes of the world) on the market or even be a key piece of acquiring someone with a few years of control left (not a Pence type though).
Brian Leach – Leach is struggling this season which probably lowers his value and the likelyhood he would get selected. The Pirates seem to be high in Leach though so it remains a possibility he could be added. The Pirates probably value him more than most other teams making it highly unlikely he will be traded.
Diego Moreno – Prior to this season Moreno was considered one of the best RP prospects in the game. He has struggled this year in AA and is now back in A+. Needless to say these struggles have hurt his overall vlaue but he still has a very good arm, throwing his fastball in the upper 90s. If left unprotected I feel he is the most likely to be selected. Going into the season Moreno was considered a borderline top 10 prospect in the Pirates system and although his value is no longer anywhere near that he should still be able to fetch a fair return. His value s more than Alderson so I would imagine he should be able to be a key piece in acquiring a rental.
Brett Lorin and Aaron Pribanic – I lumped these two together because they were both acquired along with Nathan Adcock in the Jack Wilson trade. Both players are in a similar position to what Adcock was last year. They have played well enough to warrant being protected but are not the highest priorities. Pribanic is doing fairly well in AA and I would say he is the most likely of these 9 to be protected by the Pirates. Lorin is in A+ and looks to be this year’s Adcock. Both players are decent pitching prospects although neither profiles as more than a back of the rotation starter or strong bullpen arm. Pribanic value is probably higher since he is currently at AA. Either player could be an attractive piece in a trade for a rental.
Ranking By Trade Value
1. Andrew Lambo
2. Diego Moreno
3. Ramon Cabrera
4. Aaron Pribanic
5. Brett Lorin
6. Tim Alderson
7. Michael Colla
8. Brian Leach
9. Jared Hughes
The bottom 3 of Colla, Leach and Hughes figure to be nothing more than throw ins at this years trade deadline. The twosome of Lorin and Alderson probably could be a key piece in acquiring rentals (Pena, Willingham, Ludwick, etc). The threesome of Moreno, Cabrera and Pribanic could probably be a key piece that could fetch a little more (Beltran, Ramirez, Reynolds, etc). Lambos’ value is really depndent on what the other team sees. If they see just a project then his value is probably similar to thhe previosuly mentioned threesome. If they see a 22 year old with a lot of potential, who has done fairly well in AA he could be used as a key piece in acquiring a solid bat who could fill a whole for the next couple years .