Results tagged ‘ Rule 5 Draft ’

More fun with Rule 5 research

Jim Callis and I are dilligently working on digging up names that seem likely/possible to go in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft. That list will be live on the site later today. For now, I thought I’d play with the research I did on the Rule 5 Drafts 2006-2013. In a recent post, I talked about how pitching is always popular in Rule 5 Drafts. Now I want to look at team involvement.

It probably surprises no one that the Houston Astros are at the top of the list, with nine Major League phase selections since 2009. But they’re tied with the Phillies. The Nationals are next with eight, the Mets and Orioles at seven, the Pirates and Padres at six. Here’s the complete list.

TM #
SD 6
KC 5
TB 5
SF 3

There must be something in Los Angeles… Neither the Dodgers nor the Angels have made a Major League phase pick in the past seven Rule 5 Drafts.

OK, what about the flip side? Which organization has been raided the most? Houston and Seattle are the two teams who haven’t had a player taken from their systems. The Angels make up for not taking any players by having the most taken, at 10. The Yankees, Red Sox and Indians have each been raided nine times. Again, here’s the complete list:

TM #
LAA 10
TB 7
SF 4
LA 3
KC 2
SD 2

Pitching all the rage in the Rule 5

A couple of days ago, I wrote a preview on the Rule 5 Draft that included some numbers on how many Rule 5 picks since 2006 (when the rules dictating roster protection changed) stuck in the big leagues the following year and/or remained in the big leagues (hint: more than you probably thought).

Now here at the lovely Dolphin & Swan in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, I had some time to play with the research a little more. It shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise that a vast majority of players taken in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 have been pitchers. To be precise, of the 121 players taken from 2006-2012, 88 were pitchers. Most of them (61) were right-handed. Here’s the breakdown, keeping in mind the infielders groupings are little loose as many of those taken played, or were asked to play, multiple positions (for instance, there are a few guys who are listed as “INF”):

RHP     61
LHP     27
OF        10
SS          6
C            5
2B         4
1B          3
INF       3
3B         2

That’s a breakdown of all the guys taken. What about the guys who stuck inn the big leagues the next year, a total of 38 players? Here’s how that looked:

RHP    21
LHP      7
SS         3
OF        2
1B         2
2B        1
C          1
INF      1

What’s the takeaway from all of this? If you’re looking at Thursday’s Rule 5 picks and trying to guess which ones have a shot, go with the pitching.

And that’s one to grow on.

The latest Rule 5 talk

Yes, there is some. Maybe not the intrigue of where Albert and C.J. will sign, but people are talking about tomorrow’s Rule 5 Draft. Here’s some of what’s being talked about regarding the draft.

  • The Houston Astros might be shopping the No. 1 overall pick. That doesn’t mean they don’t want two players, but perhaps might be able to swap the pick, collect some extra cash, and still make two selections. Jiwan James of the Phillies is getting a lot more buzz, either as a No. 1 pick or a player the Astros is very interested in. James has only been a position player for 2+ years.
  • It seems more and more likely the Padres will lose Drew Cumberland. The very talented infielder hasn’t played since 2010, having retired because of an inner-ear issue. As I hear it, Padres doctors haven’t cleared him to play, but Cumberland has a doctor who has.
  • The Kansas City Royals cleared a spot on the 40-man with their trade with the Pirates and they have their eye on a left-handed reliever. Don’t know which one, but Cesar Cabral of the Red Sox has been mentioned in general quite a bit.
  • While most people expect the Cubs to lose Ryan Flaherty, they could also lose infielder Marwin Gonzalez, who can play second, shortstop, third and even left field. He hit .288 in 2011 and spent half the year in Triple-A.
  • The Pirates might lose reliever Diego Moreno, the right-handed reliever who’s pitched very well in winter ball.
  • Teams looking for lefties might take a look at the Indians’ T.J. McFarland or Josh Smoker of the Nationals. Hard-throwing southpaw Philippe Valliquette, despite not having pitched in 2011, is getting a good amount of attention, with the Blue Jays perhaps hoping he’s available when they pick.

Rule 5 and the World Series

I know, it’s a connection everyone has been dying to talk about. But in my world, it’s fairly interesting.

Everyone always talks about the Rule 5 Draft as being a low-risk endeavor. It tends to be low-reward as the vast majority of players taken, from the Major League phase on down to the two Minor League phases, don’t ever make it. Even the ones taken in the big-league phase, the ones who have to stick on a 25-man roster all season or be returned, they largely do get returned and/or don’t ever stick in the bigs for any length of time. Those who do make it are, then, the exception rather than the rule.

So, to me, the fact there are four players among the 50 on the two World Series rosters is significant. I don’t know what the percentage of Rule 5 players to make it to the big leagues is, but 8% of World Series participants is pretty good, no?

The Rangers are “loaded” with Rule 5 talent, though only one of the three (that’s 12 percent!) was a player they themselves took in the annual December draft. Of course, the big one is Josh Hamilton. The MVP candidate was taken in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft in a bit of a surprise. His story is well-told by now, but he hadn’t played above A ball and he hadn’t played much at all for a variety of reasons. Technically, he was taken by the Cubs, then sold to the Reds on the day of the draft. After that one season in Cincy, he was dealt to the Rangers for Edinson Volquez and Daniel Ray Herrera.

Darren O’Day was plucked from the Angels by the Mets in the Major League phase of the 2008 Rule 5 Draft. After just four appearances and three innings in New York, the Mets tried to slip him through waivers in April 2009. The Rangers swooped in and claimed him and O’Day has rewarded them with a 1.99 ERA over the past two seasons (Think the Mets could’ve used that kind of bullpen help this year?).

Alexi Ogando is an interesting case, and the one player actually taken by the Rangers in a Rule 5 Draft.  At the time Texas took Ogando from the A’s in the Triple-A phase of the 2005 Rule 5, he was a strong-armed outfielder who hadn’t played above short-season ball. He was caught up in a visa scam and that forced him to remain in the Dominican Republic for a number of years. When the Rangers took him in the Rule 5, they immediately converted him into a pitcher and he worked in relief for three different summers in the Dominican Summer League (he didn’t pitch in 2008) as the Rangers tried to figure out a way to get him to the United States. He was finally reinstated and allowed to return to the U.S. this year, making the jump from the DSL to Double-A. After a 2.05 ERA in 18 games between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Oklahoma City, Ogando got called up and he’s been there since.

The one Rule 5 alum on the Giants roster is Javier Lopez, who has proven to be an invaluable cog in the San Francisco bullpen since he joined the team in a deadline deal with the Pirates. The lefty was taken back in the 2002 Rule 5 Draft, selected from the Diamondbacks by the Red Sox. When Boston realized there was no room for Lopez, they dealt him to the Rockies and he went on to have a 3.70 ERA in his rookie season.

The point of all this? Maybe it’s just that you never know where contributors are going to come from. That, and maybe everyone should pay a little more attention to the Rule 5 Draft when it comes this December.

Rule 5 extravaganza

The Rule 5 Draft begins on Thursday at 9 a.m. ET. All signs point to it not being the strongest crop in the world, but there’s been plenty of activity recently in terms of names being mentioned, trades, etc. Consider this your warehouse for our Rule 5 content, with links to all of our Rule 5-related stories below.

First read is the Rule 5 Names to Know story recently posted on

Now, the latest buzz…

The name being mentioned most often in the top spot is still Marlins OF John Raynor. An interesting rumor is that the Yankees (they’re technically getting the pick from the Nats in the Bruney trade) will have the Nats take their own player, lefty reliever Zach Kroenke, to give back to them. … The Pirates were going to take someone at No. 2 and it seemed like they were looking at a position player. There was some buzz about it being a catcher, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. …   The Royals, it seemed, were contemplating making room on their 40-man to make a pick at No. 4, with a lefty reliever being a possibility. Maybe that could be Kroenke if he’s available. … Cleveland has the No. 5 selection and might be looking at pitching. Maybe Diamondbacks RHP Hector Ambriz would be a fit there. … Word is the Diamondbacks are looking at a reliever with the sixth pick. I’m digging for a name. … Technically, the Astros have the No. 8 pick, but the selection will be sent to the Marlins as the player to be named later in the Matt Lindstrom deal.

That’s it for now. Look for more updates all night via my twitter account @JonathanMayoB3.

Now, for some links:

Talk to you on Twitter…


Looking back at the Rule 5ers, Part 3

I love a good series, don’t you? Here’s the next installment of what we’ve had to say about those taken in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft.

darren_oday.jpg15. Darren O’Day (Taken by Mets from Angels)
2007 review (Climbed the Ladder):

The University of Florida product split the season between Rancho Cucamonga and Arkansas and was strong at both stops. He finished 7-4 with an organization-best 21 saves and held opponents to a .195 average. He went on to post a 2.38 ERA and two saves over 11 1/3 innings in the Arizona Fall League. O’Day has some size (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) but isn’t overwhelming, striking out 48 over 53 1/3 innings during the regular season.

2008 preview (Under the Radar):

A non-drafted free agent signed in 2006 after his senior year at the University of Florida, O’Day has in many ways already exceeded expectations. The submariner reached Double-A in his first full season and led the Angels organization with 21 saves. He complements a 90-mph fastball with an excellent slider that moves down in the zone. He has excellent command and has proven to be unflappable in tough situations. He’s working to improve on getting lefties out by sinking his breaking ball away from them or back-dooring his slider. He may not close at the next level, but it’s looking more and more likely that he’ll be able to help a big-league ‘pen soon.

eduardo_morlan.jpg16. Eduardo Morlan (Taken by Brewers from Rays)
2007 preview (Climbing the Ladder/Others to Watch):

RHP Eduardo Morlan, a 2004 third-rounder out of high school in Miami, has seen time both starting and relieving. Just 21 years old, he has a fine fastball and good breaking stuff. At Beloit last year he posted a 2.29 ERA in 28 games, 18 starts, striking out 125 in 106 innings.

2007 review (Climbed the Ladder):
Note: Morlan was traded from the Twins to the Rays following the 2007 season in the Matt Garza-for-Delmon Young swap.

The club’s third-round pick in 2004 out of high school, the Cuban-born Morlan had seen time starting and relieving, but was moved to the back of the bullpen in 2007. He combined for 18 saves between Fort Myers and New Britain, striking out 92 and walking just 17 in 65 2/3 innings while posting a 3.15 ERA. Morlan added 12 2/3 scoreless innings of relief in the Arizona Fall League.

robert_mosebach.jpg17. Robert Mosebach (Taken by Phillies from Angels)
2006 preview (2005 Draft Recap/Best of the rest):

RHP Bobby Mosebach (9) was 3-3 with 4.57 ERA at Orem, striking out 52 batters in 65 innings.
(I know, not exactly insightful, but wanted to let you know he had been mentioned the spring following his draft)

derek_rodriguez.jpg18. Derek Rodriguez (Taken by Rays from White Sox)
2006 preview (2005 Draft Recap/Best of the rest):

RHP Derek Rodriguez (13) had a 3.82 ERA, 36 K’s and just seven walks in 35 1/3 IP for Bristol.
(Rodriguez was actually a 14th round pick. Hey, we all make mistakes sometimes)

That’s it for the Major League phase. I’ll do some digging on those Minor League phasers (set the phasers to stun?) and report  back tomorrow.

Looking back at the Rule 5ers, Part 2

We got through three picks from the Major League phase yesterday. Let’s tackle a few more:

ben_copeland.jpg10. Ben Copeland (Taken by A’s from Giants)
2005 Review (Draft Recap):

Copeland was the 132nd player taken in the draft — but the first taken by the Giants, who lost their first three choices as compensation for signing free agents Armando Benitez, Mike Matheny and Omar Vizquel. The 21-year-old outfielder from the University of Pittsburgh clocked a successful month in the Arizona League, hitting .436 in his last 10 games there to give him a .333 average. He carried that hot hitting into the Northwest League, where left-handed swinger batted .306 with 13 extra-base hits (five doubles, four triples and four home runs) and 23 RBIs in 29 games. Overall, the fourth-round pick hit .315 with five homers, 37 RBIs and four stolen bases in five attempts.

2006 Preview (2005 Draft Recap):

The Giants’ first selection in the draft didn’t come until the 132nd pick in the fourth round but that didn’t seem to stop them from landing a productive player. Copeland led the Big East — not traditionally a college baseball powerhouse conference — in many offensive categories and set several school records at Pittsburgh. He hit five homers and drove in 37 runs in 181 at-bats last season, splitting time between the Arizona and Northwest Leagues. He’s a slightly better than average outfielder, committing two errors in 67 chances overall, having played mostly center field in the Arizona League before spending the bulk of his time in left upon his promotion. “He did an excellent job for us last year and he knows how to hit,” Jack Hiatt said. “In fact, recently in an intra-squad game [Noah] Lowry came over to pitch from the Major League team and Ben got the only two hits off him. He’s a good-looking kid.”

2006 review:

Copeland had a productive sophomore season in the pros, hitting .281
with five homers and 71 RBIs for Augusta of the South Atlantic League.
The Giants didn’t have a pick until the 132nd selection in ’05, and
they seemed to have made a wise one in Copeland, who was a dominating
force at The University of Pittsburgh.

2007 preview (Climbing the Ladder — Others to Watch):

Finally, on this loaded San Jose team, look for what Hiatt calls “the trifecta” of outfield prospects who move up together from Augusta: Ben Copeland, Michael Mooney and Antoan Richardson. That trio really defines the depth Hiatt talks about. Copeland, the club’s first pick in 2005 (fourth round), hit .281 with 71 RBIs for the GreenJackets in 2006, Mooney batted .287 with 74 RBIs and the speedy Richardson .292 with 66 steals and was caught just nine times.

james_skelton.jpg11. James Skelton (Taken by Diamondbacks from Tigers)
2008 preview (10 Spot):

Ivan Rodriguez will be 37 this year, while Vance Wilson turns 35. That both of Detroit’s catchers are getting a bit long in the tooth can only help Skelton, who is the best of a thin crop of catching prospects. Skelton was a 14th-round selection in 2004 and has snaked his way through the Tigers’ system, hitting .309 last year with seven homers and 52 RBIs at West Michigan. He hit .306 over the past two seasons (he spent 2006 in the New York-Penn League).

His seven errors put him in the middle of the pack among Midwest League catchers, but Skelton did throw out 43 percent of those attempting to steal, the third-highest percentage on the circuit. He worked well with the young pitchers the Whitecaps had last season and should continue to grow with them this year at Lakeland.

2008 Review (Kept Their Footing):

Skelton missed time with a hand injury in June but still managed to hit .303 in 87 games between Lakeland and Erie. He had a wonderful strikeout-to-walk ratio (73-to-83) that contributed to a .456 OBP. He doesn’t have much pop — he had five homers and 34 RBIs — but if he gets on base and scores runs (65 this season), he’ll stick around.)

zachary_kroenke.jpg12. Zachary Kroenke (Taken by Marlins from Yankees)
2005 review (Draft Recap):

After a wild ride with the University of Nebraska in the College World Series, Kroenke joined the Baby Bombers and went 1-1 with a pair of saves and a 2.54 ERA. While he helped Staten Island reach the postseason, he was shut down, as well, because of an injury to his glove hand.   

2006 preview (2005 Draft Recap):

The University of Nebraska product is a lefty with a good arm, and that’s always something worth working with. He’s got some pitch-development work to do and he struggled with command in his brief debut. But the Yankees think there’s a good core there and they’ll try to polish him at either Charleston or Tampa.

Looking back at the Rule 5ers

Got this idea when my esteemed colleague Jason Ratliff found info about Minor League phase selectee Anthony Hatch in an old Blue Jays organization preview. Hmm, I thought, I wonder how many of these guys we’ve written about over the past couple of years in our previews and reviews. Those things are fairly exhaustive, so I figured there was a good chance we’d written about several of these guys over the years. Lisa Winston mentioned one in her recent discussion of Terrell Young over on Got MiLB? It’ll get repeated here. I’ll start with the Major League phase guys and move on from there. It’s interesting (at least to me) to go back and see what we were saying about these guys in years past (Many thanks to another fantastic co-worker, Kristen Zimmerman, for locating the archived previews and reviews).

1. Terrell Young
(Taken by Nationals from the Reds)
terrell_young.jpg2007 preview (Under the Radar section):

The 21-year-old was the Reds’ 10th-round pick in 2004 out of high school in Mississippi. The club has taken things slowly with him and consider him very much a work-in-progress but love his upside. He finished ’06 as a closer at Billings, limiting opponents to a .145 average in 23 1/3 innings as he posted a 2.70 ERA and struck out 32, though his command was an issue with 20 walks. He should start the year in the Dayton bullpen.

“He may have the best arm of the bunch at Dayton,” Terry Reynolds said. “He’s got a real power arm and he can develop a second pitch (either a curve or a slider to be determined) he could really be a guy to watch. He was so overpowering in the closer role that it didn’t matter that he didn’t have a second pitch.”

3. Everth Cabrera (Taken by Padres from Rockies)
everth_cabrera.jpg2008 review (On the Radar):

The switch-hitting middle infielder, who saw 84 games at second and 34 at shortstop at Asheville, led the Minors with 73 steals, the second time in three years a Tourists player has achieved that feat (Eric Young Jr. did it in 2006). He batted .284 in that span.

4. Donnie Veal (Taken by Pirates from Cubs)
2006 preview (2005 draft recap):

Veal is probably used to lofty expectations, as he’s been compared to
Dontrelle Willis sincedonnie_veal.jpg he was in high school. Veal, like Willis, is
very aggressive and has a very extroverted personality. He pitches with
that passion and is very polished for a young hurler coming from a
junior college (Pima Community College). He could join Pawelek as a
nice 1-2 combination in Peoria, though there is a chance the
21-year-old will be pushed up to Daytona.

2007 preview (Climbing the Ladder):

In his first full season, the second-round selection in 2005 has emerged as perhaps the top starting pitching prospect in the organization. Just 22, Veal led the organization in ERA (2.16) and strikeouts (174) between two Class A stops at Peoria and Daytona and limited hitters to a .175 average, best in the Minors.

He throws the best curveball in the system, a fastball in the low 90s, and he is working on a change-up. With an aggressive delivery and personality, he is fun to watch and his numbers improved following a midseason promotion. The Cubs hope to see the same development when they bump him up to the Southern League to start 2007.

“He’s probably the best pitching prospect in the system,” said Oneri Fleita. “All he needs to do is tweak his command. That will come with time, and then you’ll see him quickly. He’s a young lefty with tremendous stuff.”

2007 review:

The young southpaw led all starters in 2006 with a .175 batting average against and posted a 2.16 ERA and 174 strikeouts between two Class A stops. He struggled with consistency in Double-A, going 8-10 with a 4.97 ERA at Tennessee, though his 131 strikeouts was good for a share of the organization lead. With his outstanding curveball and low 90s fastball, the 21-year-old will probably start ’08 back at Double-A but could move up as soon as he shows his stuff again. That shouldn’t take long.

2008 preview (10 Spot):

It was an extremely tough offseason for Veal, who just a few years after losing his mother, lost his father as well. That puts his struggles on the mound during the 2007 season in proper perspective.

Veal had difficulty commanding his pitches for much of the season, walking 73 in 130 1/3 innings. He did strike out 131, showing that the stuff was still very much there. The Cubs don’t want to make this comparison for obvious reasons, but Randy Johnson walked 128 in 140 Double-A innings back in 1987. The Cubs feel that Veal’s stuff — a mid-90s fastball, slider and changeup — combined with a tremendous work ethic should help him overcome his disappointing 2007 season. Time often sorts things out when you’re left-handed and have that kind of an arm. The Cubs didn’t want to add stress to Veal’s spring by bringing him to big-league camp and they’ll likely ease him back with another go-round at Double-A to find out where he is both physically and mentally.

2008 review (Kept Their Footing):

It was Veal’s second go-round in Tennessee, and while the numbers didn’t get appreciably better, he deserves credit for persevering following his father’s death. The southpaw still has outstanding stuff and if he can harness it with better command, he’ll have a very bright future. At age 24, there’s still plenty of time for him to figure it out.

Come back for more Rule 5 stuff tomorrow…


No. 1 pick is… has learned that the Washington Nationals will take RHP Terrell Young from the Reds organization with the first pick of the Rule 5 Draft today. Young was a 10th round pick in the 2004 draft. He’s got a big arm who had a very good second half in 2008. He’s very athletic and competitive on the mound and has three above-average pitches.

 Enjoy the draft…

Late night Rule 5 tidbits

Before calling it a night — have to rest up for the big Rule 5 draft in the morning (be sure to check out our broadcast on at 8:30 a.m. Vegas time) — I figured I’d throw a couple of interesting names and rumors at you.

There were rumors the Nationals were going to trade the No. 1 pick — with some clubs interested in moving up to take Cardinals reliever Luis Perdomo — but they plan to use it to make their own selection. In fact, don’t be surprised if they take more than one player in the Major League phase. They are at 38 on their 40-man roster, so they have room for two.

Look for the Mariners to take a position player at No. 2, perhaps Yankees shortstop Reegie Corona.

The Padres, picking No. 3, also appear set to make multiple picks. Most feel they are after arms. If that’s the case, they could have an interest in Yankees RHP Ivan Nova. If they decide to go after a position player, they might like stolen-base king Everth Cabrera. Cabrera’s name has been mentioned quite a bit lately and if the Padres want him, they might need to take him with that No. 3 pick.

Look for the Pirates to go with an arm at No. 4 and the Orioles, last I heard, were shopping that No. 5 pick.

Some other names popping up late (some have been mentioned in the past, but were getting some buzz in the lobby late):

James Skelton, C, Tigers
Corey Wiimberley, INF, Rockies
Chuck Lofgren, LHP, Indians

This goes along with Donnie Veal continuing to get some major attention and Jordan Brown also being mentioned…

I’ll try to blog one more time in the a.m., time permitting before the 8:30 a.m. broadcast.

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