The Pittsburgh Pirates protected Jeff Locke, Daniel Moskos, Michael Crotta, Tony Watson, and Kyle McPherson from the 2010 Rule 5 draft, although the following players were left unprotected, and are at risk of being selected by another team in the December 9th draft.
Eligible From Previous Years:
First Time Eligible in 2010:
Nathan Adcock: Adcock had a big year in 2010, with a 2.85 ERA in 68.1 innings during the first half of the season, along with a 68:18 K/BB ratio. He wasn’t as effective in the second half, with a 3.84 ERA in 75 innings at the high-A level, and a 45:20 K/BB ratio. That’s a bit of a concern when considering that Adcock has been at the high-A level for two seasons now. He has an 88-92 MPH fastball, and his best pitch is a hard, sharp breaking ball. He projects to either be a back of the rotation starter or a back of the bullpen reliever. Teams could pass on him due to the large jump from high-A to the majors, and due to his second half regression in 2010.
Eric Avila: Avila is a promising hitter, coming off a .277/.327/.472 line in 195 at-bats in the very pitcher friendly Gulf Coast Leaue at the age of 20. There’s no way that a team moves him from rookie ball to the majors, so he should be safe for at least another year.
Brian Friday: Friday is coming off a .257/.347/.378 season in 288 at-bats at the AAA level. So far in his career in the upper levels he’s displayed a lack of power, good on-base skills, some speed, inconsistent defense, and all while being prone to injuries. He projects as a backup middle infielder in the majors, although the Pirates have two better options in Pedro Ciriaco and Argenis Diaz, due to their defense. A team could take a chance on Friday, but he wouldn’t be missed, especially with guys like Chase d’Arnaud, Jordy Mercer, and Josh Harrison advancing to AAA in 2011.
Eric Fryer: Fryer is a strong defensive catcher, capable of being a Major League backup off of his defense alone. He had a good year at the plate in 2010, with a .300/.391/.474 line in 287 at-bats in the pitcher friendly Florida State League, although that does come with the disclaimer that he was 24 and in high-A ball. Fryer has been blocked by a lot of top catching prospects, such as Jonathan Lucroy in Milwaukee, Austin Romine and Jesus Montero in New York, and now Tony Sanchez in the Pirates’ system. That helps hide him, especially his 38% caught stealing rate in 2010, although there’s a chance that another team could take a flier on the athletic catcher as a potential backup option at the Major League level.