By and large baseball fans have a great understanding of the MLB First-Year Player Draft. However, many have heard, but few understand the Rule 5 Draft. It happens every December, and it allows teams to have a chance at players that many Major League organizations would otherwise “hoard” in their minor league system. Many of these players are MLB-ready, and have a chance to finally crack the Major Leagues.
Just as the First-Year Draft, the Rule 5 Draft selection order is based on each team’s win-loss record from the previous season. Eligibility criteria for the Rule 5 Draft are as follows: Players who were signed at 19 or older and have played professional baseball for four years, and players who signed at 18 and have played professional baseball for five years. Of course, there are protections. Players on a team’s 40-man roster are ineligible, regardless of other eligibility measures. For a team to be eligible to draft, it must have a vacant spot on its 40-man roster.
The Process: Teams take turns drafting players. Each draftee costs $50,000. After being drafted, the selected player must stay on the team’s Major League (25-man) roster for the entire ensuing season. If the player does not stay on the 25-man roster then he must be offered back to his original team at $25,000. Double-A or Single-A players are also draft-eligible to play for an organization’s Triple-A affiliate for $12,000 while Single-A or lower players can be drafted to play for Double-A affiliates for $4,000.
There’s no questioning Robert Clemente as the greatest Rule-5 Draft pick. Numerous players have made great impacts as of late. Not only does this draft allow players to immediately jump onto a 25-man roster, but it allows teams the chance to add a blossoming prospect to their minor league affiliations. We’ve seen many Rule-5 Draft picks make impacts in the past few seasons, such as: Odubel Herrera, Hector Rondon, Ender Inciarte, Ryan Flaherty, Delino DeShields, Jr, Logan Verrett, and Ryan Pressly.
Top-5 Targeted Players:
Yimmi Brasoban, RHP, San Diego Padres
There’s no questioning the righty has talent and life on his fastball. He’s averaged 95 MPH on his fastball with a slider sitting in the high-80s. Dynamite relievers are always in high demand, and getting Brasoban could be a blessing. At 22, Brasoban spent a majority of 2016 in Double-A. He was shutdown early in the Dominican Winter League after experiencing elbow and forearm issues. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection (PRP) in the hopes of avoiding injury. While I haven’t read any reports on MRIs, this could be an issue to pay attention to. After battling an elbow injury myself that lead to Tommy John Surgery, this is something worth monitoring. The best case scenario for the Padres is teams being scared away. At 22, Brasoban is still young. With his electric stuff, it’s safe to say paying $50,000 to draft Brasoban won’t break any organization’s bank.
Jordan Guerrero, LHP, Chicago White Sox
There’s nothing like having a left-handed starting pitcher. While Guerrero is projected to be a back-end starter, there’s no questioning his ability. He’s been able to get guys out, but control was an issue after moving to Double-A. Still, he has potential and that won’t shy teams away from taking a shot on him during Thursday’s draft. Even if he’s destined for the bullpen, there’s nothing more valuable than a lefty who can get hitters out while stranding runners on base.
Eric Wood, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates
2016 saw Wood’s OBP, SLG, OPS jump to .339/.443/.782 from .303/.305/.608 in 2015. He hit 16 HR which was a career-high. To prove it wasn’t a fluke, Wood kept hitting during the Arizona Fall League. He’s been in the minors since 2012, and looks to have finally put it together. The former sixth round draft pick could be a steal for teams looking for some help. Teams that immediately come to mind are Tampa Bay (allowing them to move Longoria while his stock is high), Oakland, and San Diego. It’s still puzzling that Pittsburgh would allow Wood to be available.
Daniel Gibson, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Gibson is more of a finesse lefty. He’s not going to overpower hitters, but he’s shown the ability to get strikeouts with his secondary pitches. He moved all the way to Triple-A in 2016 before seeing his numbers fall. This was to be expected as he faced hitters that have already become familiar with Major League pitching. A player that’s shown the ability to move up through the minor leagues is enticing to any team looking for a cheap acquisition. There’s no reason Gibson isn’t selected in Thursday’s draft.
Calten Daal, SS, Cincinnati Reds
Daal has shown the ability to get on base and steal bags in the minor leagues. A career .280 hitter, Daal has had success up to Double-A. While he’s not going to hit for power, he could be seen as a poor man’s Alcides Escobar. There’s no questioning he can play second base, and at $50,000 there’s no reason why a team won’t take a shot on Daal.
Notable Rule 5 Draft Picks:
Author’s Note: On November 30, 2016 MLB and MLBPA agreed on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Rule 5 Draft pick prices are set to increase to $100,000.
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Major League Fantasy Football Show: Join Ej Garr, Corey D Roberts, and Coach Jeff Nelson live Sunday December 11th, 2016 from 11am-12:30pm EST for episode #79 of Major League Fantasy Football Radio. This is a live broadcast and we take callers at 323-870-4395 press 1 to speak with the hosts. We will be breaking down key matchups, discussing fantasy start/sit, some DFS, and handicapping as well.
Jeff is the defensive coach for Freedom H.S. in PA, an 8 year veteran of Major League Fantasy Sports, and 3 time champion.
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