Baseball America named three Pirates prospects to its list of the top 20 prospects in the Florida State League. Right-handers Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon ranked second and third behind Marlins righty Jose Fernandez. The surprise choice, though, was shortstop Gift Ngoepe, who ranked 20th in what appears to have been a fairly good year for the league. Ngoepe ranked just behind well regarded prospects like Slade Heathcott, Nik Turley and Wilmer Flores. First baseman Alex Dickerson did not make the list.
Pirates Prospects reported recently that Ngoepe is eligible for the Rule 5 draft. I'm not absolutely sure that's correct. Ngoepe signed on September 29, 2008, when he was 18, which means he would be eligible after five years. He began playing in 2009, so he's played four years. Unless 2008 counted, he shouldn't be eligible for another year.