Pirates select three players in Rule 5 draft
The Pirates selected infielder Josh Rodriguez with the first overall pick in the Rule 5 draft on Thursday from the Cleveland Indians.
Rodriquez, who can play shortstop, second base, third base and outfield, has the opportunity to make the Pirates opening day roster for 2011.
It cost the Bucs $50,000 to acquire Rodriguez and must remain on the 25-man roster the entire season or he will be offered back to the Indians.
If the Pirates do not sign an upgrade for shortstop, he could be used as a utility guy.
“It’s an intriguing combination,” Huntington said. “He does a lot of different things well. He just fills a nice need for us right now. We like him as a guy to compete to make our club as a middle-[infield] utility player with upside to potentially become an everyday player.”
Rodriguez batted .293 with 12 homers and 46 RBIs in 86 games with Triple-A Columbus during the 2010 season.
The Pirates did lose right-hander Nathan Adcock by the Kansas City Royals (5th overall).
Adcock was acquired by the Seattle Mariners in the Jack Wilson trade in 2009. He went 11-7 with a 3.38 ERA in 27 games (26 starts) with high Class A in Bradenton, Florida.
“He has an average fastball with the ability to get groundballs, and there is a chance that he’ll stick,” Huntington said. “We knew by not protecting him that there was a pretty good chance of him being selected. We’re disappointed to lose him, but we couldn’t protect them all.”
The Pirates also selected two players in the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft: center fielder Brad Chalk from the Padres’ and Catcher Travis Scott from the Angels.
Chalk spent 2010 with three levels: Class A where he went .191 in 26 games, Double-A where he went 214 in 65 games and Triple-A where he finished the season with a 313 average in 27 games.
“He’s a former high pick that still showed some tools,” Huntington said of Chalk, a second-round choice in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. “We figured he was worth the acquisition cost.”
Scott was with High A and Double-A for an injury plagued 2010 season where he hit a combined 254 in 37 games.
The Bucs did not select any players in the other levels of the Rule 5 draft.