A successful Rule 5?

At the conclusion of last December’s Rule 5 Draft, there was a considerable lack of buzz. And it wasn’t just because all everyone wanted to talk about was Albert Pujols signing with the Angels.

It was, by all accounts, a fairly lackluster Major League phase of the draft. Or, at the very least, it was a brief one, with just 12 players selected. There’s been talk about how the extra year teams now have (compared to the past) to decide whether to protect a player on the 40-man roster has made it much more difficult to find real hidden talent. Teams are doing a better and better job of making good decisions in that regard, so there were only a dozen guys taken this past year and the chance to find impact talent seems more unlikely.

But if you want to look at percentages (and this is baseball, so why wouldn’t we?), the 2011 Rule 5 Draft is looking like a really good one. Without looking — no peeking now — who can guess how many of the 12 players taken in December have been returned to their original teams? Keep in mind that it’s typically very difficult for a Rule 5 player to stick. Make your mental guesses now…

Did any of you guess 1? That’s it. Just 1 of the 12 is back with his original team and that was the No. 2 pick, Terry Doyle, who was sent by the Twins back to the White Sox. Doyle is now starting in Triple-A Charlotte. The other 11 players have stayed in some capacity. No. 11 pick Brett Lorin isn’t in the big leagues, but the Diamondbacks worked out a deal with the Pirates so they can keep him. He’s now pitching on a very deep Double-A Mobile staff. There are four guys on the disabled list, which enables teams longer to have to make a choice. And there are six on Major League rosters making contributions. Marwin Gonzalez is getting consistent playing time with the Astros. Here’s the complete list and what their status is, with the understanding that what happens the rest of the way, particularly with the injured guys, will go a long way toward determing just how successful this draft was.

Pick Current Org Level Note
HOU: Rhiner Cruz, RHP, Buffalo (NYM) HOU MLB
MIN: Terry Doyle, RHP, Charlotte (CWS) CWS AAA
SEA: Lucas Luetge, LHP, Nashville (MIL) SEA MLB
BAL: Ryan Flaherty, 2B, Iowa (CHC) BAL MLB
KC: Cesar Cabral, LHP, Pawtucket (BOS) NYY DL (traded by KC to NYY)
CHC: Lendy Castillo, RHP, Lehigh Valley (PHI) CHC MLB
PIT: Gustavo Nunez, SS, Toledo (DET) PIT DL 60-day
ATL: Robert Fish, LHP, Salt Lake (LAA) ATL DL
STL: Erik Komatsu, OF, Syracuse (WAS) STL MLB
BOS: Marwin Gonzalez, SS, Iowa (CHC) HOU MLB (traded by BOS to HOU)
ARI: Brett Lorin, RHP, Indianapolis (PIT) ARI AA
NYY: Brad Meyers, RHP, Syracuse (WAS) NYY DL

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