In this morning’s Rule 5 Draft, the Royals selected right-handed pitcher Nathan Adcock out of the Pirates organization with the fifth overall pick. Adcock was part of the Jack Wilson/Ian Snell trade between the Pirates and Mariners in 2009.
Adcock was the fifth round pick of the Mariners in 2006 and at 6’5″ 190 lbs, he’s pretty big. According to Jim Callis at Baseball America, Adcock could develop three average to solid pitches and become a starter. Before 2009, his was rated the best breaking ball in the Mariners minor leagues, a sharp curve with a lot of drop. His fastball is in the 88-92 mph range, but with his size and some work, as he fills out, he could add a lot of velocity to that pitch.
The general idea is that Adcock could be a #3-5 starter or back of the bullpen guy in the majors. As a Rule 5 pick, the Royals either have to carry him on the active roster all season or return him to the Pirates. They could also work out a deal that allows them to stash him in the minors, which is probably what will happen, similar to their selection of Edgar Osuna last year. Osuna was selected from the Braves system but pitched most of the year in Double A and never touched the majors. Since Adcock is only 22 and hasn’t pitched above High A, I’d say he’s not ready for the big leagues yet. Nathaniel Stoltz at Call to the Pen agrees that Adcock is not ready for prime time.
Adcock has a career 4.19 ERA in 486 innings pitched, mostly as a starter. He improved his walkrate in 2010 and has a steady 7.2 K/9 over his career.
In the Triple A part of the Rule 5 Draft, the Royals selected Heath Rollins out of Tampa’s system. Rollins, 25, had a rough 2010 season in Triple A, but over his career in the minors he has a 3.56 ERA in 589 innings and a 7.3/2.5 K/BB ratio, using his rates per nine innings pitched. He’s got a fastball in the 90-93 range and is most likely a bullpen arm down the line.
No Royals were selected in the major league portion of the draft, so Paulo Orlando is safe after his breakout 2010 and Mario Santiago sticks around as well after a stellar Arizona Fall League showing. Rowdy Hardy and Starling De La Rosa were selected in the minor league portion by Atlanta and Texas respectively.