Ball Boy Talk: Rule 5 Draft Recap

Rule 5 draft marks the end of this year's Virtual Winter Meetings. Teams with open 40-man roster spots can select a player with four to five years of pro experience from other organizations if said player hasn't been given a spot on the 40-man roster. Players who signed at 18 years of age or younger but have five years of experience can be selected, as can players signed at 19 or older who have four years of experience. Each selection costs $100K, but teams don't need to make picks. Clubs must carry chosen players on their active rosters (or the major league injured list) throughout the 2021 season. Otherwise, the player must be placed on waivers; if no other team steps into Rule 5 rights, they are offered back to his original club.

It is worth noting none of these players have seen actual game action since the end of the 2019 season. The 2020 MiLB season was canceled.

The Rule 5 order is based on the reverse order of last season's standings. Here are this year's results: The full results, including the minor league phase, can be found here.

Come on in and get to know if your team lost a great piece or if they gained one.

First Round

1. Pittsburgh Pirates: Jose Soriano (Angels)

The 22yo also has yet to play above the A level. In his four seasons in the MiLB, he holds a 2.76ERA, 4.01RA9, 1.30WHIP with 218K-134BB over 238IP. Soriano profiles with his 6'3" frame to be a durable SP with upside. But they could end up in pen as a swingman.

2. Texas Rangers: Brett de Geus (Dodgers)

The 23yo reliever hasn't pitched above the high-A level in his two MiLB seasons and looks primed to make the massive leap to the MLB in 2021 with the club. Geus has a 4.51ERA/5.17RA9/1.31WHIP with 130k-40BB over 123.2IP.

3. Detroit Tigers: Akil Baddoo (Twins)

The 22yo CF has yet to play above high A ball and will have spring training to get ready. In his MiLB career, he has slashed .249/.357/.422. The kid can get on base, and when he does, he moves as he has 47SB to 12CS over 1018PA.

4. Boston Red Sox: Garrett Whitlock (Yankees)

The 24yo pitcher had made it to the AA level over the last two seasons. At the AA, he has made 16 starts with a 2.78ERA/4.00RA/1.16WHIP with 61K-25BB over 205.1IP. Overall, Whitlock may be a massive steal for the Red Sox rotation for many seasons to come.

5. Baltimore Orioles: Mac Sceroler (Reds)

The 25yo has three seasons of experience in the MiLB. He has pitched in 56 games, with 47 of those being starts with a 9-16 record. He owns a 4.07ERA, 5.27RA/9, 1.28WHIP with 252K-75BB over 239IP. Sceroler looks to be in line for a bullpen role with the O's in 2021.

6. Arizona Diamondbacks: Zach Pop (Royals)- Trade to the Miami Marlins

The 24yo has spent three seasons in the MiLB and has reached and spent two seasons at AA. In his time at AA, he owns a 1.97ERA, 2.25RA/9, 0.96WHIP, 28K-10BB over 32IP during 22 appearances. It is no surprise why the Marlins went after Pop and got him from the D-Backs.

7. Kansas City Royals: Pass

8. Colorado Rockies: Jordan Sheffield (Dodgers)

The 25yo has reached the AA thus far after four seasons in the MiLB. His career numbers in the MiLB aren't great as he holds a 4.56ERA, 5.15RA/9, 1.51WHIP with 240K-128BB over 211.1IP. The career 5.5BB/9 will need to come down if he wants to stay on the MLB roster. In his work at AA has been much better as he owns a 3.58ERA, 3.82RA/9, 1.54WHIP over 37.2IP with 48K-32BB. Sheffield will fill a need in pen for the Rockies in 2021 and hopefully beyond.

9. Los Angeles Angels: Jose Alberto Rivera (Astros)

The 23yo has played in 3 seasons at the MiLB level. He owns a 3.63ERA, 4.30RA/9, 1.20WHIP, 185K-74BB over 161.1IP in 40 games with 21 starts. Thus far, the Dominican-born pitcher has substantial numbers in his career, a big 6'3" frame that he has yet to grow into as he is listed at 160ILBs. With time and going into an MLB training program, the Angels may have found an essential piece of their pen for many years.

10. New York Mets: Luis Oviedo (Indians), traded to Pirates for cash considerations. Across four seasons in the MiLB, the 21yo has yet to play above the A level. In his time in the MiLB, he holds a 4.66ERA/1.33WHP with 265K-96 over 258.2IP as an SP. I can easily see Oviedo as a reliever going forward.

11. Washington Nationals: Pass

12. Seattle Mariners: Will Vest (Tigers)

An exciting prospect as a two-way player. The RHP/SS/LF. The 25yo holds a 3.88ERA/1.23WHIP with 142K over 132.1IP as just a reliever. He hasn't taken a swing in the MiLB level, but at college, he slashed .177/.295/.213 over 201PA.

13. Philadelphia Phillies: Kyle Holder (Yankees)

The 26yo was a 1st round pick back in 2015 and has yet to play above AA. He has played six seasons at the MiLB level, and in his AA experience with the Yankees org, he slashed .261/.328/.388 over 604PA, and by the numbers shown, he gets on base. Holder can play SS, 2B, and 3B and be used as a Utility INF in 2021.

14. San Francisco Giants: Dedniel Nunez (Mets)

The 24yo has three seasons of MiLB experience thus far in his young career, reaching High-A ball. Over his three seasons, he owns a 4.47ERA, 4.96RA/9, 1.31WHIP, 176K-55BB over 165IP. Nunez is one of many selected from the draft that hasn't played above the High-A level and will attempt to leap the MLB. Nunez should factor into the rotation/pen mix.

15. Houston Astros: Pass

16. Milwaukee Brewers: Pass

17. Miami Marlins: Paul Campbell (Rays)

The 25yo has three seasons of MiLB experience in his career so far and has reached the AA level at that time. In his career at the MiLB level, he owns a 3.12ERA, 3.36RA/9, 1.09WHIP, 188SO-60BB over 233.1IP with 33 starts mixed in. At the AA alone, he holds a 3.36ERA, 3.47RA/9, 1.09WHIP with 63K-20BB over 85.2IP in 16 total games with 11 starts. The righty should find himself well in the mix for rotation with the Marlins, if not in pen as a long reliever.

18. Cincinnati Reds: Pass

19. St. Louis Cardinals: Pass

20. Toronto Blue Jays: No 40-man roster space

21. New York Yankees: Pass

22. Chicago Cubs: Gray Fenter (Orioles)

The 24 has four MiLB seasons under his belt with a 16-9 record over 49 starts but have appeared in 70 games total. He has pitched to a 3.21ERA/3.68RA/9 and a 1.15WHIP over 230IP with 266K-97BB. Fenter looks to be primed to compete for either a pen spot or rotation spot come the 2021 season.

23. Chicago White Sox: Pass

24. Cleveland Indians: Trevor Stephan (Yankees)

The 25yo has spent three seasons at the MiLB level and has reached AA over that time. He owns a 3.70ERA, 3.96RA/9, 1.18WHIP, 275K-73BB over 238.2IP. He has 55 total appearances, with 53 being starts. The righty profiles to be a good back of rotation arm for the Indians; if not, he will slide nicely into the bullpen with his ability to get strikeouts.

25. Atlanta Braves: Pass

26. Oakland Athletics: Ka'ai Tom (Indians)

The 26yo has spent five seasons at the MiLB level while reaching AAA during that time. Over his MiLB career, he owns a slash line of .270/.360/.444 over 1989PA. Tom can play all 3 OF positions and well posted a .973FLD% or better at each with eight or fewer errors. It looks like the A's aren't straying too far from the Billy Beane system getting a guy who gets on base, plays good defense, and has high minors experience. Look to see Tom in the Oakland OF in 2021.

27. Minnesota Twins: Pass

28. San Diego Padres: No 40-man roster space

29. Tampa Bay Rays: Pass

30. Los Angeles Dodgers: Pass

Second Round

5. Baltimore Orioles: Tyler Wells (Twins)

The 26yo has played three seasons in the MiLB reading AA back in 2018. During his time at the AA, he has posted a 2-2 record with a 1.65ERA, 1.65RA/9, 1.06WHIP with 39K-14BB over 32.2IP. The sample size is minimal, but there is a considerable upside here for O's, and I look to see Wells in the rotation come opening day.

26. Oakland Athletics: Dany Jimenez (Blue Jays)

The 27yo Jimenez has very little data on him on baseball-reference. The Dominican-born righty made his MLB Debut in 2020 with the SF Giants, who selected him for the 2019 Rule 5 draft. He then returned to the Blue Jays in August and didn't return to the MLB level. In 2020 he has 1.1IP with a 6.75ERA/8.44FIP, 1K, 3BB, and 1ER. We will see where he fits in with the A's in 2021.


Thank you guys for being with me today. I hope you enjoyed the blog today. Please stay tuned through the winter; we have more Around the Horn, Yearly Reviews, Ball Boy Talk, and of course, the Podcast. Don't forget to share it with a friend.

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