By Jason Shetler
On Friday, the Pirates placed Tyler Glasnow, Josh Bell, Harold Ramirez and Max Moroff on the 40-man roster in an effort to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft in December. Here are some notable prospects that the Pirates did not protect that could be lost in the Rule 5.
Barrett Barnes: The Pirates received a first round compensation pick in 2012 after losing Ryan Doumit to free agency the offseason prior, and chose Barrett Barnes with that pick. The 24-year-old outfielder posted a .352 on base percentage with a .754 OPS and stole 17 bases in 95 games combined with High A Bradenton and AA Altoona. Barnes is currently the 16th best prospect in the Pirates system.
Clay Holmes: Despite being taken in the ninth round of the 2011 MLB Draft, the Pirates signed Clay Holmes for $1.2 million, which is far and away the most signing bonus money given to a player in that round. Holmes had been pitching extremely well until he had Tommy John surgery in Spring Training of 2014. He returned this year making nine starts for the GCL Pirates and Bradenton, posting a 2.48 ERA along with a 1.07 WHIP. The upside of Holmes might be enough for an MLB club to hide in their bullpen for an entire season.
Dan Gamache: Dan Gamache is quietly becoming a reliable offensive hitting infielder in the system. This past season, he hit .312 with an OPS of .768 in 104 games combined with Altoona and Indianapolis. Perhaps a team could look at Gamache as a potentially above average hitter off the bench at a very cheap cost.
Jacob Stallings: The Pirates have been developing good defensive catchers within the organization in recent years, and Jacob Stallings is one of them. 2015 was a strong year for Stallings behind the plate with Altoona, as he threw out 37% of would be basestealers while he did not have a passed ball all season. At the plate, he batted a career best .275 in 265 at-bats. Stallings certainly has the defensive skills to be a backup catcher in the bigs, so maybe he’ll get selected to be a reserve backstop for just the league minimum.
Jose Osuna: One of the more underrated prospects in the Pirates system over the past few seasons has been Jose Osuna. The Venezuelan born outfielder/first baseman played in 129 games total this year for Bradenton and Altoona, hitting .286 with a .764 OPS and 32 doubles.
Mel Rojas: The Pirates selected Mel Rojas in the third round of the 2010 MLB Draft. The son of the former Montreal Expos closer had a breakout season in 2014 where he posted a .794 OPS. This past season was more of a struggle for him, posting just a .669 OPS in 118 games with Altoona and Indianapolis. Rojas is currently playing in the Dominican Winter League for Tigres del Licey where he’s put up an OPS of .874, and has six home runs to lead the DWL. Scouts may suggest to their teams about taking a flier on him.
Stetson Allie: From hard-throwing pitcher to position player, Stetson Allie has arguably the best power in the organization. Allie made the switch from first base to right field in 2015. In 120 games for Altoona, he had a .665 OPS. He was very productive however against lefty pitching, posting an .846 OPS vs LHP. As mentioned, Allie showed off his power hitting 17 home runs. Perhaps a small market AL club in particular could consider Allie as a power bat off the bench who can hit left-handed pitching well, or even DH against a lefty on occasion.