The Rule 5 draft was this morning and in one of the more surprising and weird Rule 5 picks in a while, they lost left-handed pitcher Wei-Chung Wang to the Brewers. This whole thing is just bizarre, so let's start with the basics: Wang will be 22 in April, he's from Taiwan, and he's pitched a grand total of 47 1/3 innings of professional baseball on American soil, with all of those innings coming in the Gulf Coast League in 2013. Basically, his only experience is in the league that is as far away from the big leagues as you can get without being in Latin America.
Wang was signed by the Pirates in 2011, so it was shocking that he was even eligible for the draft. According to Tim Williams, the only reason he was eligible at all was because the Pirates' voided his initial contract after he had Tommy John surgery in 2012. Tim also reports that he's got pretty good stuff (his numbers were good in the GCL last year, but you'd hope that they would be since he was 21 years old playing with high school draftees and similarly aged international players), which might give him a chance to stick with the Brewers despite his complete and utter lack of experience, which would make this weird and crazy story even weirder and crazier.
Anyway, Wang was the only player the Pirates lost. That means they keep Zach Thornton, who they acquired in the Chris Resop trade and who burned his way through the minors as a reliever last year. They didn't take anyone, which was anticipated since they went into the draft with a full 40-man roster.no comments