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Box regular Marc pinch-hits and offers us his view of some of the prospects available in next month's Rule 5 draft. Thanks, and take it away, Marc.

December 13 Major League Rule 5 Draft

Here is an explanation of the Rule 5 draft from Baseball America.

There are some big names available in this year's Rule 5 draft, including 6'9'' lefty Andy Sisco, 6'7'' rehabbing lefty Luke Hagerty, Moneyball darling Brant Colamarino, as well as a 23-year-old catcher Mike Napoli, who hit 29 home runs and drove in 118 runs in high A ball. There are also a number of former first rounders including LHP Royce Ring, RHP Colt Griffin, IF-OF David Espinosa and RHP Ben Fritz, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

The group has some interesting names, but the players are somewhat inexperienced from traditional Rule 5 standards. In the past three years* (of 60 players picked), teams have preferred to pick mostly double-A players (38 per cent) and triple-A players (32 per cent). In the past three years, the most likely players to be drafted and stick with the drafting team for the whole year came from double-A (43 per cent) and high-A (43 per cent).

*Three year span chosen due to popularity/growth of draft in recent years.

Thirty-eight of the 60 players chosen over the past three years were pitchers (63 per cent). Fifteen of those (39 per cent) stayed with the drafting team for the whole season. Seven of 22 hitters (32 per cent) chosen in the last three years stuck with their new team.

Best players chosen (past):
2003 - Chris Shelton (DET), Luis Gonzalez (COL), Hector Luna (STL)
2002 - Wil Ledezma (DET), Luis Ayala (MON), Javier Lopez (COL)
2001 - None

Best Picks (Arguably) All Time:
Pitcher - Johan Santana (taken from low-A ball)
Hitter - George Bell

2004 all draftable roster (*some players played at multiple levels; level chosen where players spent majority of their time):
       		AGE	LEV	ERA	  IP	HITS	BB-K	 (2003 BA rank)
SP - Andy Sisco 21 A+ 4.21 126 118 65-134 (CHC #4)

Sisco is a 6'9'' monster lefty with low-90s heat, but he has developed slowly since being made a second round draft pick four years ago. He has better upside than most players available in the draft, which could make him a top pick.

SP-David Pauley 21      A+      4.17    153.3     155    60-128  (SD #8)

The Padres are probably holding their breath that Pauley does not get picked up based on the fact that he has not pitched above single-A ball. He has high-80s to low-90s heat and a plus change up, which is his go-to pitch. He needs work on his other pitchers and he has to learn to effectively mix his pitchers to keep batters off balance.

SP-Vazquedano   23      A+      3.95     68.3     65     21-60  (BOS #28)

Jose Vazquedano hails from Honduras and could be the first native of the country to play in the majors. He is a sinker-style pitcher, whose best pitches are his sinking fastball and change up. He has not possessed a good breaking ball in the past, although his numbers this year suggest that it has improved, at least a little. He needs to pitch more, as he moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation last year.

SP-Davis Romero 21	  A-	2.53	 103.3	  77	 30-108	  (TOR - )

Listed at 5'10'' 140 lbs, Romero probably gets stopped by security at visiting ballparks a lot entering the locker room. It is also why the Jays probably felt safe to leave him off the roster. He does not possess the desirable pitcher's body, but he gets guys out and he has gotten better every year. Unless his body fills out, Romero's career will likely have to blossom in the pen.

SP-Ricky Nolasco 22	   AA	3.70	 107	 104	 37-115	   (CHC #20)

Nolasco has always put good numbers up on the board, but he does it with slightly above-average stuff and a traditional three-pitch repertoire (fastball, curve, change). A late season creaming in triple-A (9.30 ERA in nine starts) may have cost Nolasco a spot on the 40-man roster. Future is likely in the pen, where he can utilize his sinking fastball more effectively.

RP-Colt Griffin   22	   AA	4.02	  31.3	  29	 16- 26	   (KC #5)

Griffin was highly sought after as a senior in high school after showcasing a 100 mph fastball. Unfortunately he had not idea where it was going. The Royals now have Griffin throwing in the mid-90s and have moved him to the pen where he can concentrate on his two plus-plus pitchers (fastball and slider). For a guy with great stuff, he does not strike out a lot of people and is still more of a thrower than a pitcher. Big upside, but less polished than others available.

RP-Royce Ring    24	   AAA	3.63	  34.3	  37	 12- 22	 (NYM #13)

What you see is what you get with Ring. The former big-time college closer is not going to get much better but he should be able to find a niche in the big leagues as a solid lefty reliever who can give you an inning or get out an important lefty. He likely not succeed as a closer, though. In college, Ring threw consistently in the low 90s but now works with a high-80s fastball and a slider that sweeps in on lefties.

RP-McGinley      26	    AA	3.72	  72.6	  61	 15- 83	 (NYM - )

Blake McGinley survived a late-season promotion to triple-A (4.05 in 26.3 innings) and showed that he could probably survive as a second lefty in someone's bullpen. His numbers have always been decent in the minors and, as we all know, a good lefty is hard to find.

RP-Ben Julianel  25	    A+	2.58	  59.3	  52	 24- 70	 (NYY #29)

Julianel does not have much of a fastball (85-89 mph) but he has a tough slider, which makes him tough on lefties. A perfect candidate for a loogy role in the majors.

RP-Luis Ramirez  22	    SS	4.76	  51	  46	 12- 75	 (BAL - )

Ramirez has moved very slowly and only pitched in short season ball this season but he burst into the limelight early this year by striking out 12 straight batters (a minor league record). In total, Ramirez struck out 75 batters in 51 innings, but he does not possess more than average stuff at best. A stats-loving team might take a flyer on him, but it would likely be a mistake.

RP-Thompson     22	    AA	2.98	  90.3	  78	 14- 65	 (TEX #15)

Erik Thompson has a 90-95 mph fastball and a good slider, although it is inconsistent. Could probably benefit from having a reliable off-speed pitch.


Pos.-Player    Age       Level   BA      Slug    OBP (club-BArank)

C-Napoli       23	   A+	.282	.539	.393 (ANA - )

Mike Napoli's numbers invoke an image of Adam Dunn, or maybe Rob Deer. He flashed big time power this year with 29 homers and 118 RBI in his second go at single-A+ ball. He also struck out 166 times, but walked an impressive 88 times. The biggest question is whether or not it was a fluke or a young player finally 'figuring it out.' Napoli will have to rely on his bat, because his glove is not that great. But power hitting catchers are not exactly a dime a dozen and he could have a nice career as a Matt LeCroy type player.

1B - Sing       23         A+    .270    .571    .399 (CHC - )

Brandon Sing has always had promise, but it was not until he hit 33 home runs in the Florida State League this year that people really took notice. The Cubs likely would have protected him if it were not for A) their abundance of prospects and B) some guy named Dopirak. It was also Sing's third attempt at single-A+, but he is only 23 and walked more than 80 times.

2B-Gautreau     25	  AAA	.274	.500	.333 (SD #27)

Jake Gautreau had a bright future ahead of high as a former first round pick, but colitis played a big part in a numbers dip in 2003. Gautreau took a big step forward in 2004 and showed that he can compete even with the disease. He could fill a spot on someone's bench filling in at 2B and 3B and a starting gig at 2B would not be out of the question either.

3B-Blanco       23	  AA	.245	.455	.300 (CIN #22)

Tony Blanco started off sizzling in 2004 at single-A+ ball, but a promotion to double-A quickly ended that. Blanco did not embarrass himself at double-A but he probably is not ready for the big leagues. He has all the tools to succeed but has not found a way to put it all together yet. He has a great arm, plus power and good bat speed.

SS -Guzman      20	  A-	.306	.413	.334 (PIT #24)

Javier Guzman took a big step forward in 2004 batting over .300 and utilizing his speed to swipe more than 30 bases. He is a big gamble to pick out of low-A ball but he has great defensive skills and he does all the little things well as a batter. That said, he is too much of a free swinger for someone with limited power at this stage in his career, although he could add more power as he fills out.

LF - Stavisky    24	  A+	.343	.550	.413 (OAK - )

A little old for single-A+ ball, Brian Stavisky nonetheless put up eye-catching numbers in 2004. He plays the outfield well enough that he can field all three outfield positions, which makes him an ideal fourth outfielder.

CF - Romero    21	  A+	.292	.405	.387 (MIN #13)

Alex Romero is the typical young, toolsy Minnesota outfielder. Romero has plus speed and is starting to fill out and hit for more power, although he may never have enough power for a corner outfield spot. He also does not play the best centre field, which might turn him into a solid fourth outfielder. He has a lot of room for improvement and knows how to handle the bat.

RF-Rudy Guillen 21	  A+	.264	.339	.313 (NYY #3)

A year ago, this toolsy outfielder was rated third in the Yankees system by Baseball America and sought after by numerous teams in trade proposals. Fast forward a year and Guillen can had for a song. Guillen looked like a young Magglio Ordonez (who was also left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft before he broke out). He has speed and raw power and excellent defensive instincts, but Guillen is the ultimate free swinger and even the minor league pitchers have been able to take advantage of that.

DH -Colamarino 24	  AA	.273	.438	.333 (OAK - )

He will not win any races, but Brant Colamarino possess power potential and knows how to get on base. In 183 single-A+ at bats in 2004, he hit .355 .601 .450. Colamarino likely profiles as a DH, first baseman or below average left fielder.

C - John Suomi 23	  A+	.295	.440	.345 (OAK - )

Suomi possesses above-average offensive potential for a catcher, but his defensive skills are still a work-in-progress. Could fill a utility role, but losing a year of development (by getting drafted) could signal the end of his catching career.

IF - Sardinha   21	  AA	.267	.383	.356 (NYY #10)

Bronson Sardinha was another top Yankees prospect a year ago, who has struggled to find a position to play. He lacks range in the field, but at the plate he shows power potential and the ability to get on base.

IF -Gonzalez   23	  AA	.262	.347	.349 (PHI #19)

Danny Gonzalez lacks the tools and athleticism of other young shortstops, but his work ethic and mental approach have impressed scouts. He is a slap hitter with average speed and little power, but he could have a nice career as a reliable utility player.

IF -Barden     23	 AAA	.283	.476	.324 (ARZ #28)

Brian Barden may have been protected if not for being sandwiched between Chad Tracy in the majors and Jamie D'Antona power hitting third baseman at double-A. Barden has Gold Glove potential at the hot corner, but little power potential. He could hit .300 in the majors however, though his offensive career would most likely mimic those of Joe Randa, Jeff Cirillo or David Bell. He could be an average third baseman right now for a team in need.

OF -Webster    21	 A+	.287	.439	.363 (TEX #12)

Anthony Webster put together two very impressive short season years while with the White Sox and looked destined for great things. Since moving up to full-time ball, however, Webster has taken a step back and now looks like a solid major leaguer, but not a star. He has above average defensive abilities in centre field, solid speed and could hit for a good average.

OF -Madrigal	   20	 A-	.275	.396	.330 (ANA #16)

Warner Madrigal is probably the rawest player on this list but he also has immense promise. He crushes fastballs but hasn't had as much success with breaking pitches. He hit .369 in low-A ball in .2003. He is too aggressive at the plate and can't shake the injury bug, which has robbed him of development time. He has been compared to Albert Bell. He has limited speed and defensive ability but his arm is a cannon.

Others:
C - Jared Abruzzo - good defence, lesser bat
C - Robinzon Diaz - good bat, lesser defence; minor league All Star
C/1B - Jesse Gutierrez - good bat, older player (26)
C - John Castellano - age 27, but hit .340 .557 .340 at double-A
1B - Juan Tejeda - not a great glove, but hits for high average and drive in runs
SS/OF - Drew Meyer - former 1st pick; struggled with bat, position
SS - Napolean Calzado - possible utility player his well in double-A (.359 .506 .395)
3B - Matt Craig - 20 home runs at double-A, will take a walk, not great defence
IF/OF - David Espinosa - former 1st pick; now outfielder, better bat as matured
IF - Brooks Conrad - David Eckstein/gritty type of player with more power
OF - Ben Francisco - good chance to hit, but struggled in 2004 (may be 4th outfielder)
OF - Jason Cooper - good chance to hit, but struggled in 2004 (may be 4th outfielder)
OF - Ron Acuna - good size, but limited power/speed numbers; hits .300, but impatient
OF - Ron Davenport - third season in single-A+, drove in more than 90 runs, only 23
SP - Jon Connolly - soft tossing lefty with success in lower minors, might succeed in pen
SP - Mike Connolly - brother of Jon, another lefty; could have success in pen
SP - Dan Denham - star is starting to tarnish, put promise is still there
SP - J.D. Martin - ditto, tarnishing but still young
SP - Sean Henn - once-promising lefty who has come back from TJ surgery
SP - Glenn Bott - lefty with promise, some control issues (72 walks in 146.3 but 120 K)
SP - Glenn Woolard - righty with solid, but unspectacular numbers; middle reliever?
SP - Josh Habel - lefty scuffled a little in double-A due to home runs and too many BB
SP - J.K. Ryu - issues regarding make-up, but talent is there
SP - Brian Slocum - 15 wins nothing to scoff at, seems to do it with smoke and mirrors
SP - Steve Kelly - can provide innings, does not walk a lot but no big strikeout pitch
RP - Ryan Rowland-Smith - lefty that strikes out a fair number of batters, but is hittable

Eligible Rehabbing Top Prospects:
These players represent the ultimate high risk - high reward scenario. Likely would never have been available if not for dreaded Tommy John surgery. Cincinnati seems to take a flyer on pitchers like these ever year at draft time. These players are a risk but it may be the only time a team will ever be able to get their hands on them, especially Hagerty and Blasko.

SP - Luke Hagerty - 6'7'' lefty put up great numbers before succumbing to TJ surgery
2002 - SS 1.13 48 32 15-50

SP - Chad Blasko - ERA under 2.00 in FSL two years ago before TJ surgery
2003 - A+ 1.98 136 100 43-131

SP - Shane Komine - risk too great for player with 4th starter/long reliever potential?
2003 - AA 3.75 103.1 108 30-75

SP - Ben Fritz - good two-way college player, wanted to hit, may get chance (TJ)
2003 - A+ 4.91 77 83 34-77

PLAYERS THAT MAY INTEREST JAYS:
Royce Ring, Blake McGinley (LHP) - It is no secret that the Jays ' pen suffered from a lack of left handed relievers last season and there is not much available in the upper tiers of the farm system. Ring and McGinley are some of the most advanced available lefthanders and the Jays have shown an affinity for Rule 5 picks who are ready to contribute in the majors (as opposed to younger players with tools and upside). Both players may not be more than a loogy, but that is better than what the Jays had last year.

Bronson Sardinha (IF/OF), Brant Colamarino (1B/OF) - Both Sardinha and Colamarino reached double-A in 2004 and each player has solid on-base numbers (Sardinha .356 in double-A and Colamarino .333 in double-A... but .450 in single-A+). Sardinha's exclusion from the Yankees' 40 man roster is a little puzzling given that he was considered by many to be one of the team's better prospects. A lack of position (he has tried various with limited success) may have hurt him in the eyes of the Yankees. Colamarino can play 1B and LF, both of which are positions where the Jays are unsettled. He also has enough bat for DH. Both players may be more likely to stick than some position players because they can play multiple positions.

Mike Napoli, John Suomi (C) - Napoli takes the cake this year as the one player who raised my eyebrows the most when he was not protected by the Angels. Sure he was only at single-A+ and stuck out 166 times, but he is only 23 and a catcher with 29 home runs, more than 100 runs batted in and he walked 88 times. Adam Dunn as a catcher, yes please. OK, that may be a stretch but you get the idea. One of the only problems keeping Napoli from being a top prospect is that he may not be able to stay behind the plate. He needs work and played 36 games at first base and two games at 3B in 2004. Canadian Suomi also flashed some awesome numbers for a catcher at the single-A+ level and with the Jays catching depth suddenly not so deep, they may want to take a flyer on one of these two blossoming backstops. Suomi also player 20 games at 3B in 2004.

Brian Stavisky (OF) - Perhaps he makes this list simply because he IS an A's farmhand and a former college pick, but Stavisky also hit more than .340 with good power and solid on-base numbers. He plays well enough in the outfield to field all three positions as well, which could make him a solid fourth outfielder. Stavisky has moved slower than some college picks mainly due to his reluctance to hone his skills by playing ball in the offseason, which may be why the A's have soured on him. He has limited upside but likely would not embarrass himself in the majors like some other single-A+ prospects.

Brandon Sing (1B) - The Jays need a first baseman and do not have a whole lot in the minors either. Sing could be a consideration, especially when you look at how he stacks up against former Jays Rule 5 pick (2002) Jason Dubois (also a CHC farmhand), who failed to make the 2003 Jays but could be the Cubs' 2005 left fielder. Could he make an impact in 2005? Probably not.

Sing (age 23) A+ .270 .571 .399 32-94 (HR/RBI) 84-101 (BB/K) in 408 at-bats.
Dubois (23) A+ .321 .562 .422 20-85 (HR/RBI) 57- 95 (BB/K) in 361 at-bats.

Thanks again, Marc.
Pinch Hit-Rule 5 draft preview | 44 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Marc - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 09:17 AM EST (#11751) #
Thanks, Mike... I know it wasn't easy formating the text to look decent on the Web site!

If anyone is wondering who Gonzalez is (his first name disappeared into cyber space) it is Danny Gonzalez of the Phillies.

Third thought... I am now hot on the trail for the Jays' triple-A winter roster so I can see who is available for the minor league phase of the Rule 5. The Jays' Syracuse roster is sadly (almost pathetically) out of date... they still have Noah Hall on there who was released at the end of the season. The Skychiefs' roster is also not correct, but it has been updated recently.

A correct roster will likely include Davis Romero, Robinzon Diaz and Ron Davenport or they can be drafted and not given back, regardless of where they play this year. I can't see JP giving them away for basically nothing...

I have attempted to contact Jays Web site officials and officials from the Skychiefs but they have not returned my emails.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 09:29 AM EST (#11752) #
Actually, Gonzalez lost his first name in an unfortunate accident during the formatting process :) It's now been restored to him.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 09:54 AM EST (#11753) #
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/futuredt.html
Alex Romero was news to me, but assuming that Sisco is gone, he's my man. BP's numbers say that he has the best likely future of any of the position players available (COMN), and the tools guys like him. What more could you want?

Just to elaborate a little more, here's a guy who's fast, hits .290 in the FSL at age 20 (he turned 21 in September) and walks more than he strikes out, and he's got some power. Here is his career record. Sorry, Gleeman, but if this guy makes it through the Rule 5 draft, there have to be quite a few sleeping GMs.
_Marc - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 10:27 AM EST (#11754) #
Sisco would be my man to pick and I wouldn't be shocked if he was drafted first overall. 6'9'' lefties with power aren't a dime a dozen to say the least.

I would also be tempted to take a flyer on Napoli, although a year lost due to being stuck on the roster would likely ruin him, since he needs work on making better contact and lowering those Ks. Sing is interesting too, having launched more than 30 homer runs in a notorious pitcher's league. Both players were repeating single-A+ though...

Blasko is intriguing as well, depending on what his medical record state. There were questions about his ability to stay in the starting rotation early on in his career and the injury could cause further concern, but he looks like he could be a killer reliever.

Washington, of all teams, should be paying close attention... as should any team with a weak system and no hope of contending in 2005. The 2005 crop is younger this year but loaded with more talent than previous years.

Barden would have been a better option (and cheaper) for KC then Truby as a stop gap for Teahen. He could help a team immediately. I wouldn't be suprised if he could out-perform Castilla in Washington either, although not in taters.
_Jonny German - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 10:40 AM EST (#11755) #
Great article, Marc.

I can't see the Jays taking an outfielder/first baseman/DH, as I don't see any of the options being better than Gross or Crozier. I'd love to see Johnson/Gross/Crozier as the left fielder, Cat/Menechino/Greg Colbrunn as the DH... but in that scenario, the first baseman should be an established offensive threat. Say, Carlos Delgado.

Bringing a catcher to spring training as Greg Myers insurance could be a good idea. If Myers is good to go, you try to send the Rule 5er to AA. If not, he platoons with Zaun until Quiroz is ready.

I think Royce Ring would be a good pick, he's a better bet for a 2005 LOOGY than anybody on the 40-man and a comparable free agent is likely to cost over $1M. Depending on the status of the Tommy-John players, they could be great picks... If you can hide a guy on the DL and rehab assignments until September, $50K is not much of a risk.
_nelly - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 10:57 AM EST (#11756) #
i like sisco, ring and romero.

i was surprised that buddy hernandez didn't get a mention in the article... i know he is small, but the guy does nothing but post outstanding numbers year after year.
_Jacko - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 11:12 AM EST (#11757) #
I'm shocked that both Colamarino and Gautreau are available.

Colamarino is supposed to have a "soft body", but the A's thought he was the best college hitter in the 2002 draft...

jc
Mike Green - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 11:25 AM EST (#11758) #
I do agree that Royce Ring would be a fine LOOGY investment.

But, I think Romero has a good chance to be a solid regular corner outfielder- a .300/.380/.450 guy with good speed. Maybe Shannon Stewart would be a comparable.
_Cristian - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 11:36 AM EST (#11759) #
Ring seems to be a popular choice. I imagine itís his first round pick status and Moneyball connections. Not that he was drafted by the Aís, just that he was mentioned in the book as a guy Billy Beane didnít want and that crazy ole Kenny Williams ended up selecting. In my book though, Blake McGinley seems the better bet. Higher strikeout rate, low WHIP, whatís not to like about him? Why would anyone favour Ring?
_Cristian - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 11:37 AM EST (#11760) #
By the way, great article Marc. A very interesting read.
_Jonny German - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 11:37 AM EST (#11761) #
McGinley was 26 in AA, Ring was 24 in AAA.
_mr predictor - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 11:45 AM EST (#11762) #
Jonny,
If your Rule 5 selection was intended to last only one year (because you had a flood of talent coming up the following year) would you rather have McGinley or Ring?
_Marc - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 11:47 AM EST (#11763) #
McGinley did have some appearances at AAA where he didn't embarrass himself...

Buddy Hernandez was considered, as he was a previous Rule 5 pick and I tried to mostly focus on "fresh faces." He puts up good AAA numbers, but most people consider him a AAAA or Nakamura-type pitcher. Davis Romero is facing the same type of stereotype problems, as a small pitcher. If Hernandez is chosen again, but does not make the chosing team's roster, he will become a free agent (one of those funny little Rule 5 rules). The chosing team could pick him, send him back (making him a free agent) and then sign him anyway and not have to keep him on the 25-man roster.
_nelly - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 11:59 AM EST (#11764) #
thanks for the great work, marc.

intersting tidbit on hernandez.

former richmond braves pitching coach, guy hansen, is now with the royals. i wouldn't be surprised if the royals take hernandez.
_Brian B. - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 11:59 AM EST (#11765) #
Royce Ring was on the Sagueros this fall, so Marty Pevey should be able to tell JP whether he's worth taking a flyer on or not.
_MatO - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 12:03 PM EST (#11766) #
Count me in the McGinley over Ring group. Romero interests me the most. Too bad they can't just switch Romero for Negron. Contending Blue Jay teams almost always carried Rule 5ers so I don't know why they couldn't carry Romero for a full season with an appropriate change in roster usage (eg. 11 pitchers).

I assume the Jays have the 6th pick in the Rule 5 draft too.
_Jonny German - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 12:07 PM EST (#11767) #
Mr. P, I can't say that I'm an authority on either player. In favour of Ring you have more AAA experience, younger, and a better pedigree. In favour of McGinley you have better stats this past year. I'd want to do a little research on how prospects adjust to the majors - is it actually an advantage to be older, is McGinley less likely to be shell-shocked on reaching the Majors? Most importantly, I'd want to get into the left/right splits for both pitchers and the details of their arsenals. I'm looking for a LOOGY, so I want to draft a guy who fits the profile.

I don't think you ever draft a Rule 5 guy with the intention of keeping him for one year only. What you hope for is that he works out extremely well and forces you to trade either him or one of your ready-for-prime-time prospects. So on the assumption that Ring has more long-term upside and that McGinley vs. Ring is a close call for 2005, I still go with Ring.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 12:09 PM EST (#11768) #
I like McGinley, as well as Ring.

FWIW, here are Ring's AFL stats: 15.1 innings, 16 hits, 5 walks, 10 Ks, 1 HR. Par for the course, in other words. Incidentally, I find reliever's ERA to be a pretty uninspiring stat. Ring's was over 5, but really, he pitched quite well by AFL standards. He looks to me to be a generic LOOGY.
_Jonny German - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 12:11 PM EST (#11769) #
Too bad they can't just switch Romero for Negron.

Maybe they can - work out a deal with the Twins in advance where Negron is sent to Minnesota in exchange for them allowing the Jays to send Romero to AA.
_MatO - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 12:15 PM EST (#11770) #
Maybe they can - work out a deal with the Twins in advance where Negron is sent to Minnesota in exchange for them allowing the Jays to send Romero to AA.

Oooo. I like that.
_Paul D - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 12:23 PM EST (#11771) #
Excellent article.

Your comment on Ordonez got me thinking: who are the best players left available in the Rule 5 that were never taken?
Mike Green - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 12:24 PM EST (#11772) #
MatO, I think that there would be nothing wrong with having both Negron and Romero in the system. Negron is apparently a superior defensive player
_DeMarco - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 12:51 PM EST (#11773) #
I wouldn't give up on Negron just yet, I still think he has a high ceiling despite the numbers he has produced.

As for using the Rule 5 draft for 1 year filler players, the Jays would be better off signing minor league free agents, more experience, and you don't have to pay $50,000 just to sign one. I think the only reason you select someone in the rule 5 draft is if you believer that the player has potential down the road.
_Jonny German - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 12:56 PM EST (#11774) #
I don't think the idea is to get rid of Negron, the idea is to get Romero without having to carry him on the Major League roster. Is that worth Negron? Maybe.
_Marc - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 01:23 PM EST (#11775) #
The problem with signing Minor free agents to fill holes is that, simply, there aren't any real sub-quality lefty relievers available... at least this year.

It would be interesting to see what players were available in the rule 5 draft... but I don't know how you'd go about figuring that out unless you took all the past 40 man rosters and cross referenced every star player's minor league career to see when they were eligible for the draft. Tough stuff.

My problem with Romero is his lack of power or speed numbers. Sure he hits close to .300 but without either throwing up higher HR or SB numbers he basically profiles as a career fourth outfielder. Negron has superior defensive skills, although he too, may not be more than a fourth outfielder unless he improves one of his tools.

According to archived Batter's Box info, Buddy Hernandez was eyeballed by the Jays as a Rule 5 pick in 2002... interesting. Between 2003 and 2004 seasons in AAA, Hernandez' hits per nine innings dropped by two per inning, but his strike out rate also plummeted by two. Unfortunately for him, righty relievers just aren't a big seller... they are a dime a dozen. Teams much prefer picking a minor league starting pitcher, putting him in the pen for a year and then moving him back to the minors as a starter.

Although I don't know Ricciardi, I would imagine that he would prefer Ring over McGinley based on pedigree. Ring's past as a star college closer and first round pick is intriguing.
_MatO - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 01:27 PM EST (#11776) #
Yeah. Like Jonny said.
_Andy Martin - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 01:35 PM EST (#11777) #
> Best Picks (Arguably) All Time:
> Pitcher - Johan Santana (taken from low-A ball)
> Hitter - George Bell

The Pirates drafted Roberto Clemente from the Dodgers in the 1954 Rule 5 draft. As good as Bell and Santana are, I would have to go with Clemente as the best pick ever.
_Marc - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 01:41 PM EST (#11778) #
My bad... Clemente beats out Bell easily.
_Marc - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 01:44 PM EST (#11779) #
Jose Capellan of the Braves was available previously in 2002 coming off TJ surgery. I'll bet teams wished the had taken a flyer on him after seeing his 2004 numbers.
_DW - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 09:21 PM EST (#11780) #
Marc, very nice job. A few thoughts (more likely forthcoming, but I having Thanksgiving responsibilities...)

I think Stavisky would be mighty stretched in center range-wise and his arm is lousy (though improving, he's coming back from injury problems). Really, I don't want him anywhere but in left.

I think Napoli's bat is for real - then again, I *loved* him as a prep. I'm a little worried about how he'll deal with more advanced breaking stuff and no one thinks he'll be able to stick behind the plate. Chris Shelton with more pop and less "bat control".

I'd be surprised if Erik Thompson didn't go. The question is his health - but that might encourage me to take him (he'd only have to be on the active roster for part of the season for legit reasons). (Toolsy OF Juan Senreiso is also a possibility from the Rangers, in addition to those you've listed).

Along with Buddy Hernandez from the R-Braves, I could see the Jays selecting Kevin Barry. He has a plus fastball and slider (along with an iffy curve and change) and has yet to have a pro stint where he's averaged less than 10K/9. Control is a problem, but he has decent size (unlike Buddy) and was successful at high levels this year. (Zach Miner and, to a lesser extent, James Jurries are other possible Braves picks, but not by Toronto.)

"Third thought... I am now hot on the trail for the Jays' triple-A winter roster so I can see who is available for the minor league phase of the Rule 5."
If you can find those rosters, that would be awesome. Stupid mlb and milb.com - I wanted to do a AAA draft primer (interesting about four people), but that won't happen this year...

Sisco would be my guess to go #1 overall as well...
_Peter - Thursday, November 25 2004 @ 11:44 PM EST (#11781) #
Just wondering in the Rule 5 Draft order is the same as the amatuer draft order.
_Caino - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 01:27 AM EST (#11782) #
I'm not sure. It depends if they alternate selections between leagues. I know they used to in both the Rule 5 and Rule 4, and only recently (maybe this year?) went by the position a team finished in the entire major leagues for the rule 4.
_Marc - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 09:32 AM EST (#11783) #
I actually meant to include Jurries on the list, but with the Braves confirmed 40-man roster coming in so late I completely forgot about it... Barry definitely is interesting but the fact that he has exactly the same hits/inning and walks/inning ratios (6.31 per inning) in triple-A makes me cringe. Until triple-A he has also been old for the leagues. But that's what the draft is all about... risk for reward.

I'm pretty sure the draft order will mimic the amateur draft.

Thanks everyone for reading and giving feedback!
_DW - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 11:57 AM EST (#11784) #
Draft order will follow the, uh, draft order. :)

Marc (again, awesome job),
Agreed with your comments on Barry ... Jurries reminds me of Ron Coomer ... I'd argue that the top would-be LOOGY on the board is St. Louis' Tyler Johnson - he has a top of the line bender and a decent fastball, but struggles with control (on and off the mound) - he's drawn comparisons to Steve Kline, but with a higher ceiling. He will be selected ... a few other names to consider: STL SS John Nelson, CLE LHP Shea Douglas, TEX IF Marshall McDougall, MIL LHP Manny Parra (if he's eligible, not sure about him or Blasko) ... lastly, OF Adam Stern (ATL) is Canadian, hit well in AA, and is a solid defender - but is not likely to be chosen (age, tools).
_Caino - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 11:58 AM EST (#11785) #
By the way, I neglected to mention in previous posts, great job Marc! Much appreciated.
_Marc - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 12:44 PM EST (#11786) #
I looked briefly at Johnson and Nelson.

Parra only has three years of service, having been drafted out of junior college at the age of 18 in 2001, so I believe he has one more year until he has to be protected, unless he signed as a draft and follow after turning 19... a little fuzzy on whether players ages come into effect for eligibility upon date of being drafted or signing.
Blasko was drafted out of college in 2002 and has two years experience in the minors, so he is definitely available because he signed late... again, it gets a little fuzzy whether or not a players first year of pro ball counts if they didn't play... I guess it depends if they sign before the season is over. I know Jason Dubois first season counted, even though he was injured and didn't play.

Cleveland could be this year's Pirates with a lot of promising talent available.
_DW - Friday, November 26 2004 @ 02:13 PM EST (#11787) #
It's age on June 5th of the year you were signed.
Parra: "unless he signed as a draft and follow after turning 19" ... yup, he did.
Blasko: I think you're right - he's eligible. I'm still not sure whether he signed a 2002 or 2003 contract (I believe the latter, though he did play instructional league ball after signing) - but that's likely moot.

"Cleveland could be this year's Pirates with a lot of promising talent available."
Definitely - they lost a lot of guys last year too and, unlike Pittsburgh in '03, Cleveland filled their 40 this year trying to stop the tide ... it's a tribute to their player development team.
_Marc - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 11:47 AM EST (#11788) #
Straight from Jim Callis at BA, here is his explanation to clear up the status on Parra and Blasko:

"For Rule 5 purposes, a player's signing age is determined on the June 5 preceding the signing of his contract. Parra was born on October 30, 1982 and signed on May 27, 2002. On June 2001, he would have been 18--so he doesn't need to be protected," Callis said. "Blasko signed a 2003 contract, so he still has another year left."

Thanks, Jim. Those BA guys are always so nice and helpful, even on their Thanksgiving weekend...
_Jamey Newberg - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 08:03 PM EST (#11789) #
http://www.newbergreport.com
Blasko is not eligible. Although he signed in 02, it was an 03 contract.
_DW - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 08:03 PM EST (#11790) #
Makes sense ... awesome.
_Mike Forbes - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 08:37 PM EST (#11791) #
Colt Griffin... I'd take a chance on this kid, he's a former 1st round pick that reminds me of Brandon League tool-wise. If you ask me, get him a top notch pitching coach and you'll have yourself a star.
_GMoney - Saturday, November 27 2004 @ 11:26 PM EST (#11792) #
Why would the Twins want Negron? He'd have to be protected on their 40 man roster to risk not losing him to the Rule 5 draft and Terry Ryan must think he has a good list of 40 players so he couldn't protect Romero.
_THOMAS H. PETER - Thursday, December 02 2004 @ 02:04 PM EST (#11793) #
What do you guys know about Brian Peterson, catcher with AA Chattanooga this year?
_Brian B. Noles - Friday, December 03 2004 @ 11:54 AM EST (#11794) #
Just curious if you had a scouting report on Jarred Ball with the D'backs? I was a little surprised he was not included in the "Prospects" mentioned above.
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