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UPDATE: Rule 5 top pick Josh Rodriguez makes the Pirates

Mar 27, 2011, 4:50 PM EDT

josh-rodriguez-pirates-spring Getty Images

UPDATE: So much for all that. Now general manager Neal Huntington has announced that Rodriguez will make the Opening Day roster after all.


Prior to the Rule 5 draft in December the Pirates talked about not being particularly excited about their options with the No. 1 pick and then made a selection that was widely panned, taking infielder Josh Rodriguez from the Indians.

In recapping the draft, Baseball America described Rodriguez as an “offensive-minded utility type” and “bench fodder, not a potential regular.”

Four months later Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette writes that Rodriguez “probably will not make the 25-man roster out of spring training” and the Pirates must offer him back to the Indians if he doesn’t remain on the major-league roster all season.

That may seem like a misstep by the Pirates, particularly since everyone is so used to their making missteps over the years, but ultimately the Rule 5 draft is a crapshoot where the success stories are few and far between and even teams with the No. 1 pick rarely strike gold. In fact, the No. 1 pick in the Rule 5 draft failed to stick in the majors all season in 2010 (Jamie Hoffman), 2009 (Terrell Young), 2008 (Tim Lahey), and 2007 (Ryan Goleski).

There have been plenty of worthwhile Rule 5 selections during that time, including stars like Josh Hamilton and Joakim Soria, but it looks like the No. 1 pick will fail to stick for the fifth straight season.

  1. jstrizzle - Mar 24, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    Johan Santana was also a Rule 5 draft pick for the Twins.

  2. nps6724 - Mar 24, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    As was Dan Uggla.

  3. dodger88 - Mar 24, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    Roberto Clemente was arguably the best rule 5 pick up ever; unfortunately the Pirates took him from the Dodgers.

  4. sportsdrenched - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    Being a Royals Fan I know more about the Rule 5 draft than I should. Soria was a good pick-up. However, the Rule 5 guys usually come up, do OK for a few weeks and then fall back to obscurity.

    The Royals pick this year Nate Adcock has had a nice spring. Will probably make the club. But it’s still anyones guess if he’s still around in July.

  5. spudchukar - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Checking out the Royals boxscore yesterday, I noticed Adcock’s name. Is he any relation to the Braves former 1Bman, Joe?

    • dodger88 - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:08 PM

      No relation as far as I can tell.

  6. Brian Murphy - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    But who will fill the nation’s “J-Rod” void????

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