With the winter meetings coming up in about a month, clubs across the majors are looking at which of their players they need to add to their 40 man roster in order to protect them from that quirky Rule 5 draft. The Rule 5 was created in order to keep clubs from stockpiling too many players in their minor league system, it gives some players a chance to pursue their baseball career elsewhere. It used to be a lot more exciting until the new CBA added another year before the players are eligible, but since then we’ve seen Dan Uggla and Joakim Soria go out and blossom into All Stars, so there still is talent to be had.
Last year to my excitement the team took Brian Barton with the tenth pick in the Rule 5 draft from the Indians. Most of us remember Barton was the highest regarded player in the draft but was not overly impressive, putting together an OPS+ of 97 in 153 at bats. Given the croweded OF situation, he looks to be AAA bound given the crowded outfield situation.
This year, the Cardinals have several players that will be available in the Rule 5 without protection, all of which are college players drafted in 2005.
Tyler Greene – Could be the only protected player. He’s hitting hot in the AFL right now, batting .321/.410/.566. He still strikes me as being limitedly useful because of his inability to make consistent contact, but he is still an impressive athlete who could be a late bloomer. Mo recently spoke out that Greene is a possibility to make the MLB team out of spring training.
Mark McCormick – The flamethrower has flamed out. He cannot seem to throw strikes consistenly and his troublesome mechanics have led to big time health issues. He probably won’t require being added to the 40 man, and is unlikely to be taken in the Rule 5.
Luis Perdomo – Here’s where things could get interesting. You would hate to see the team lose the remains of Anthony Reyes, and given his power stuff I could see him intriguing teams. He hasn’t pitched well at all in winter ball. It is a bit of a toss up on whether or not he should be protected.
The rest: Kenny Maiques, Trey Hearne, Cody Haerther, Elvis Hernandez, Casey Rowlett, Brandon Yarbrough, Matt Pagnozzi and Matt Scherer. A year ago I would have said Maiques must be protected, but he fell completely apart this past season. Haerther’s star has faded into oblivion and I can’t see any interest in the rest.
Prediction: Greene and Perdomo will be added, no Cardinals will be drafted.