Bucs protect 4 prospects from Rule 5 Draft
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates on Friday added a trio of top prospects and their Minor League Player of the Year to their 40-man roster, protecting them from being selected in next month's Rule 5 Draft.
Right-hander Tyler Glasnow, first baseman Josh Bell and outfielder Harold Ramirez -- three of the Pirates' Top 10 prospects -- were added to the Bucs' roster Friday night, as was infielder Max Moroff. After making those moves, the Pirates have 38 players on their 40-man roster.
Glasnow and Bell are only a step away from playing in Pittsburgh, and Moroff is coming off a breakout season in which he was named Pittsburgh's Minor League Player of the Year.
Glasnow, the No. 7 prospect in all of baseball, has top-of-the-rotation potential. The 22-year-old righty was promoted last season to Triple-A Indianapolis, where he is expected to begin the 2016 season. Glasnow went 7-5 with a 2.39 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 22 Minor League starts this year.
Glasnow will likely be joined in Triple-A by Bell, MLBPipeline.com's top first-base prospect. The Bucs' No. 3 prospect participated in the All-Star Futures Game and finished last season in Indianapolis. He hit .317 with an .838 OPS overall and appears to be the Pirates' future at first base, though he still has some room for improvement defensively.
Ramirez, Pittsburgh's No. 7 prospect, hit .337/.399/.458 in 80 games for Class A Advanced Bradenton last season. He led all Pirates Minor Leaguers in batting average in 2015, and he's hit .304 with 66 stolen bases in his Minor League career.
Moroff was a 16th-round Draft pick in 2012. The 22-year-old, primarily a second baseman, batted .293/374/.409 with 17 stolen bases for Double-A Altoona last season.
The Rule 5 Draft will take place on Dec. 10 in Nashville, Tenn., at baseball's annual Winter Meetings. There are dozens of eligible players within the Pirates organization alone, but only a few get picked each year, because teams run the risk of losing their selections if they don't keep those players on their roster for a full season.
A few notable Pirates Minor Leaguers were not added to the roster before Friday's deadline, leaving them exposed for other clubs to select in the Rule 5 Draft. That group includes outfielder Barrett Barnes (their No. 16 prospect), right-hander Clay Holmes (No. 17) and righty Luis Heredia (No. 27). Right-handers Angel Sanchez and John Kuchno, catcher Jacob Stallings, infielder Dan Gamache and outfielder Jose Osuna were also left unprotected.