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Pirates gain 2, lose 2 in minor-league phase of Rule 5 Draft

Jerry DiPaola
| Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, 1:15 p.m.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
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The Pirates selected two players and lost two others Thursday in the minor-league phase of the Rule 5 Draft during the last day of baseball’s Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. The team did nothing in the major-league portion of the draft.

Chosen were left fielder Randolph Gassaway off the Baltimore Orioles’ roster and right-handed pitcher Winston Nicacio from the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates lost Altoona’s Jordan George to the Chicago White Sox and catcher Rafelin Lorenzo to the Chicago Cubs.

Gassaway, 23, split time last season with two Single-A teams in the Orioles’ system, hitting a combined .268 with six home runs and 43 RBI. He was the Orioles’ 16th-round selection in the 2013 MLB Draft. Nicacio, 21, worked 68⅔ innings for two Single-A teams, striking out 60 and walking 38 while recording a 4-3 record, 4.72 ERA and 1.413 WHIP.

George, 26, hit .263 with five home runs and 43 RBIs in Double-A Altoona last season. He played left field and right field, first base and third base while also serving as a designated hitter. George was the Pirates’ 35th-round selection in the 2015 MLB Draft.

This was the second consecutive season Lorenzo, 21, was chosen in the Rule 5 Draft. He went from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Pirates last year.

During the 2018 season, he played for the Gulf Coast/RookieLeague Pirates and the Single-A West Virginia Power, hitting a combined .307 with four home runs and 16 RBIs in 33 games.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry at or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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