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Rule 5 Draft: Which Pirates Could Be Selected?

Pirates Prospects has a look at the Pirates minor leaguers who will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft in 2011. The Rule 5 Draft is designed to keep teams from hoarding good players in the minors, and it forces teams to either protect players with a certain amount of minor-league experience or risk losing them to teams who think they can keep a player on their active roster all year. Last year, the Pirates drafted Josh Rodriguez and lost Nathan Adcock.

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It had looked, at the beginning of the season, like the Pirates would have a ton of very difficult decisions to make at the end of the year about which players to protect, but that hasn't really proven to be the case, as guys like Tim Alderson, Andrew Lambo, Quincy Latimore and Diego Moreno haven't performed especially well. Four players (Starling Marte, Justin Wilson, Jordy Mercer and Rudy Owens) should pretty much be no-brainers to protect. After that, Pirates fans will be debating players like Lambo, Matt Hague and Brett Lorin. Rosters don't have to be set until the offseason, but the Pirates Prospects post will give you a good head start before those debates begin.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.