Baseball America continued to update their list of the top players available in next week’s Rule 5 draft. Today was their fourth daily update and they added their fourth name for the Pittsburgh Pirates, though this one had a bit of a different arrival to the list.
The first list included 15 of the top names available. The Pirates had Malcom Nunez and Matt Gorski on that list. That was followed by adding Blake Sabol, giving the Pirates three of the first 25 names. Their third update didn’t have any Pirates, so we looked at players at positions of need, who might be good fits for the Pirates with the third overall pick (link has links to previous articles as well).
BA stretched their list to 58 names on Friday morning, as we get closer to the Rule 5 draft. Altoona outfielder Connor Scott was added, but as part of a group of special cases. BA included every first round pick who is eligible for the draft. Scott was taken 13th overall in the 2018 draft by the Miami Marlins.
BA had a very interesting note about the first round players. A total of 41 have been available since the 2012 Rule 5 draft. Only two of them have been taken, and only one stayed with their new team. That was Richie Martin with the Oakland A’s (selected by the Baltimore Orioles) and he has put up -2.0 WAR in three big league seasons.
Scott seems highly unlikely to be selected. The 23-year-old hit .247/.308/.390 in 109 games for Altoona, with 24 doubles, four triples and seven homers. He had ten steals in 16 attempts, after showing better base running numbers in previous seasons. While he made some solid defensive plays and saw action at all three outfield spots, he doesn’t have any tools that stand out, which would entice a team to take a player who isn’t ready for the majors, but has potential future upside.
Scott should return to Altoona for 2023, where he can try to have that breakout season the Pirates were hoping for when they picked him up in the Jacob Stallings deal.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.