The 24-year-old Veal spent the entire 2008 season with Double-A Tennessee, where he went 5-10 with a 4.52 ERA (145.1ip/73er) in 29 starts while being named to the Southern League mid-season All-Star team. The southpaw also recorded a total of 123 strikeouts, which ranked fourth among Southern League hurlers.
Veal was originally selected by the Cubs in the second round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft. In 2006, he was named the organization’s Minor League Pitcher-of-the-Year along with Rich Hill, while also being rated by Baseball America as Chicago’s second-best prospect. While pitching at the Double-A level in 2007, Veal recorded 131 strikeouts, which was tied for first among all Cubs minor leaguers and ranked fifth in the Southern League.
Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster now stands at 39 players.
The Pirates also made the following made moves in the Minor League Phase of the Rule Five Draft
Selected left-handed pitcher Andres Santos in the first round off the New York Yankees’ Trenton roster…Santos went 3-2 with a 1.85 ERA (48.2ip/10er) in 13 games (nine starts) this past season with the Dominican Summer League Yankees 2 team.
Selected right-handed pitcher Rafael Quintero in the second round off Cleveland’s Double-A roster…Quintero posted a 5-1 record with one save, a 1.36 ERA (46.1ip/7er) and 48 strikeouts in 23 starts last year with the Dominican Summer League Indians.
Selected right-handed pitcher Gerardo Esparza in the third round off Seattle’s Double-A roster…Esparza went 4-5 with one save and a 1.81 ERA (69.2ip/14er) in 15 games (13 starts) in 2008 with the Venezuelan Summer League Mariners…Esparza ranked third among all VSL hurlers in ERA and fifth in strikeouts (59) and innings pitched.