Friday, November 20, 2015

40 Man Roster: Who Is On & Who Is Not

Today was the 40-man roster deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft on December 10th. We split the players into self-explanatory groupings, with a little explanation of the process at the end. The picks didn't fill the 40-man yet; there are 38 players on it as NH and crew scan the waiver wires and leave a little room for free agents. We'll start with the prospects on the Top Thirty list that were eligible for the draft:'s Top 30 Pirate Prospects Eligible for Rule 5:
  • No. 1 Tyler Glasnow, RHP
  • No. 3 Josh Bell, 1B
  • No. 7 Harold Ramirez, OF
  • No. 16 Barrett Barnes, OF
  • No. 17 Clay Holmes, RHP
  • No. 27 Luis Heredia, RHP
Added to the 40-Man Roster:
  • Josh Bell, 1B: Bell is the heir apparent at first. His bat works, although the Pirates are looking for some extra power. His glove...well, a work in progress for the converted outfielder. His future is tied to Pedro's - if the Big Bull is dealt this winter, Bell has a chance to get a June call up.
  • Tyler Glasnow, RHP: Glasnow is the next big thing. The towering (6'8") pitcher mostly did good things in a brief stint at Indy and may be a June call up if the back of the Bucco rotation falters.
Tyler Glasnow (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • Max Moroff, IF: Moroff  hit .293/.374/.409 with 17 stolen bases for the Altoona Curve while playing 2B, SS and 3B, showing just the kind of all-around versatility prized by the Buccos. He was the only no-brainer on the list, as he wasn't even among the Pirates Top 30 Prospects.
  • Harold Ramirez, OF: Ramirez hit .337/.399/.458 at Bradenton in 2015. He's got center field range, a right fielder's arm and shown a consistent good stick, so he's an insurance policy for Gregory Polanco. H-Ram is projected to develop into an everyday, possibly impact, player after he's gotten his taste of the upper level (he just turned 21).
Surprise Omissions (Guys That Stand a Chance Of Being Claimed):
  • Barrett Barnes, OF: Barnes is a solid ballplayer that projects as a fourth outfield type. He's spent more than his fair share of time in the tub, and it may be the Buccos just don't have a good enough read on him yet and hope no one else has, either.
  • Dan Gamache IF:  He's a lefty that hit .335 BA, but isn't a plug-and-play fielder like Moroff, limited to second and third. Gamache's stint at Indy wasn't as strong with the stick, batting .257 in 30 games. He passed through Rule 5 last year, but may be a fit for someone's bench this time around.
  • Clay Holmes, RHP: The Bucs are rolling the dice that injuries and lack of a work record keep him safely in the system this year. Holmes just came back from 2014 TJ surgery, working 36 IP in 2015. He throws a mid-nineties sinker that results in a lot of ground balls, just up the Pirate alley, so the FO must feel that his lack of innings will keep him in the organization, although someone may be willing to stick him in the pen for a year.
Not all the young guys needed to be added; several big-name prospects and depth players were already on the 40-man roster prior to today.

Already On the 40-Man Roster:
  • Keon Broxton, OF: Broxton got a taste in September and is one of several guys in the mix for a fourth outfield spot.
  • Elias Diaz: He got a cup-of-coffee call up, but is the top catcher in the system. His short term future will be determined by Fran Cervelli and whether he signs on past this season.
  • Willie Garcia OF: He's a toolsy free swinger who whiffs a lot and rarely walks, but he can lose some baseballs. He was at Indy at age 22; his future hinges on picking up some plate discipline while time is on his side.
  • Alen Hanson 2B: He took to second fairly well at Indy and can also play third and short. The fleet footed switch-hitter is Neil Walker's caddy, and isn't far from his call to the show.
Alen Hanson (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • John Holdzkom RHP: The Pirates like his arm; he rebounded from a wild child start to a decent season at Indy, but has had shoulder issues. Stiil, he can contribute to a bullpen in transition if healthy.
  • Nick Kingham RHP: The highly touted prospect had TJ surgery in May, so he's hors de combat until the summer.
  • Guido Knudson: Knudson is a waiver claim from Detroit, another grab bag in the Bucs annual collection of depth relievers.
  • Gift Ngoepe, IF: Ngoepe is a good glove, not-so-good stick infielder with decent wheels and a nice back story who will challenge P-Flo on the depth chart. He's already made it past the Rule 5 draft twice, but this was his minor league free agency year, so the Bucs added him rather than let him walk.
  • Jorge Rondon RHP: Another Bucco reclamation project; maybe the FO sees some Arquimedes Caminaro in him. He's a fastball (mid-90s)/slider guy and we'd expect to see the Pirates try to switch him from a four-seam to two-seam arsenal.
  • Tony Sanchez C: Tony's work behind the plate is adequate and his throwing problems well known. He's hit OK in the show, but Diaz needs to play. Sanchez is out of options, too. It's hard to see him making it to camp, much less through it.
  • Jameson Taillon RHP: The 2010 first-round pick (second overall) underwent Tommy John surgery and for all intents and purposes has gone two years without throwing in anger. He's back tossing finally, but realistically looks more like he has a 2017 ETA tho late this season is possible.
Bubble Decisions (The Close-But-No-Cigar Class):
  • Zack Dodson, LHP: Dodson had a decent year (7-10, 3.67) at Altoona and solid stuff, but has to show a breakout campaign. He may fly the coop anyway, as he declared for MiLB free agency.
  • Jin-De Jhang, C: He's a good stick, but has Reese McGuire behind him and Elias Diaz ahead. His D is iffy, too, although he did look sharp in the recent World Games.
  • Jose Osuna, 1B/OF: He can hit, but probably profiles more as a DH. He does show some power and is having a nice winter, so at 24 he may still have a future in Pittsburgh.
  • Jacob Stallings, C: Great glove and has control of the pitching staff. But his bat doesn't really play. He's valuable to an organization as a guy who can bring young pitchers along. The question is whether some club will take a flyer on a glove only bench backstop; it's not  that uncommon.
Sorry, Charlie (The No Way Jose Group of Eligibles):
  • Stetson Allie, 1B/OF: Allie hit .205 at Altoona with 100+ K. Bonus babies, as the FO is learning,  don't come with a guarantee.
  • Jason Creasy, RHP: He's workmanlike in the minors, but with nothing in his resume that really stands out.
  • Luis Heredia, RHP: Heredia posted a 5-6 record with a 5.44 ERA at Bradenton. He's only 21 and taking his career a little more seriously, but hasn't shown any of his potential yet.
  • Thomas Harlan, LHP: Harlan did a nice job transitioning as a starter in Altoona (6-3, 3.63). He may bear watching as he moves up, maybe returning to the pen.
  • Jeff Inman, RHP: He shows some potential, but has spent a lot of time down with injuries. He declared for minor league free agency.
  • John Kuchno, RHP: Kuchno is a groundball dawg, but with serious command issues.
  • Jhondaniel Medina, RHP: He pitched fairly well (3-2, 2.76 w/12 saves) for the Curve, tho he doesn't have a good K or BB rate. Still, he's just 22 and may come around.
  • Angel Sanchez, RHP: Sanchez had a breakout year at Altoona and Indy which unfortunately ended with TJ surgery. He has two options left and looks like a safe bet to slide through the draft since he won't be back until sometime in the 2017 season.
  • Eric Wood, 3B: Wood strikes out too much and had a steep learning curve at Altoona. LLike Medina, he's only 22 and has time to straighten out, especially playing a weak organizational position.
How Rule 5 Works:

Any player signed as an 18-year-old or younger in 2011 or as a 19-year-old or older in 2012 (and any player whose initial contract was renegotiated after signing) is eligible for the Rule 5 draft unless they were added to their team’s 40-man roster. A team that chooses a player in the Rule 5 Draft reimburses $50,000 to the team from which he was selected and put on the 40-man roster. The new team must keep the player on its Major League 25-man roster for all of the next season. That player must stay active and not on the DL for a minimum of 90 days. If not, he's offered back to the team he came from for $25,000. If the original squad doesn't accept the player back, he's placed on waivers.


WilliamJPellas said...

I never believed in Allie as a pitcher and it is worth noting that had he gone to college (I believe he was going to attend North Carolina), his college coach saw him as a position player who could occasionally help as a pitcher, NOT as a pitcher first. Once his pitching career flamed out and he transitioned back to being an everyday player, it looked like he might be able to make it. He never hit for a real high average in the minors, but considering how late he got started as a hitter, his power was intriguing and he looked fairly promising in his first taste of Double-A in 2014.

Alas, 2015 was a lost year for Allie, and he barely made it over the Mendoza Line. He's now 24, so if last year wasn't make or break for him, surely this year is. Ya never know, he might still journey on to The Show. Jamie Romak, another power hitting prospect in the Pirates' system who struggled terribly at Double A, is still kicking around on the fringes of the majors and he actually got a cup of coffee the past couple of years. Obviously we hope for more from Allie, and there's still time, but he has to get going this year to have any kind o realistic shot, I think.

Ron Ieraci said...

Sorry, Will, missed this post. Allie is young, but I don't hold out much hope. There have been some successful pitcher/position switches, but overall, the history is against him.