Bucs Grab Outfielder In Rule 5 Draft

John Raynor

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced they have selected outfielder John Raynor off the Florida Marlins' Triple-A roster (New Orleans) in the Major League Phase of the Rule Five Draft.

In 2009, the 25-year-old Raynor hit .257 (115-for-447) with 24 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 36 RBI, 63 runs scored and 19 stolen bases during his first season with New Orleans.

"John Raynor is an athletic outfielder, with some threat at the plate," said Pirates GM Neal Huntington. "He has the speed and defensive capability to play all three outfield positions and has the upside to project as a potential everyday outfielder in the future. He will compete for a bench role in spring training."

After being selected by the Marlins in the ninth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Raynor made his professional debut with Jamestown and was named to the New York-Penn League All-Star team that season after hitting .286 with 21 stolen bases, which ranked third in the league.

In his first full season of professional baseball in 2007, he was named the South Atlantic League's Most Valuable Player after hitting .333 with 13 home runs, 57 RBI and 54 stolen bases with Greensboro. He was also named Florida's Minor League Player-of-the-Year that season while being named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team and to Baseball America's Low Class-A All-Star team.

Raynor paced the Marlins minor league system with 104 runs scored and 48 stolen bases in 2008 while also hitting .312 with the Carolina Mudcats. He also ranked fourth among Florida farmhands in hits (141), a .402 slugging percentage and 62 walks while being tabbed by Baseball America as the "Fastest Baserunner" in the Southern League, where he was named to both the mid-season and post-season All-Star teams.

Raynor has produced a career average of .299 (461-for-1543) with 89 doubles, 20 triples, 36 home runs, 165 RBI, 313 runs scored and 142 stolen bases in his four seasons of professional baseball.

A team claiming a player in the Rule 5 must pay $50,000 and keep that player on the 25-man roster all season. If the player does not stay on the roster, he must be offered back to his original team at half-price.

In the Minor League portion of the Rule Five draft the Pirates selected shortstop Rodolfo Cardona from Baltimore's farm system. In 66 games combined between low A, high A and Double-A, Cardona hit .218 with 24 RBIs and 23 runs scored last year.

Though the Pirates left a number of players unprotected heading into the Rule 5 Draft, the organization had no players taken from its system in either phase.

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