With the winter meetings underway, it’s time to talk a little Rule 5 draft. The draft is on Thursday and they’ll be picking 18th, possibly earlier, as some teams already have a full roster. Before we talk about the who’s who in the draft, here’s a quick refresher on how it works-
- If a player is 18 years old or younger on the June 5 preceding the player’s original signing date, that player is subject to selection at the fifth Rule 5 Draft following the player’s original contract if not added to the 40 man roster.
- If a player is 19 years old or older on the June 5 preceding the player’s original signing date, the player is subject to selection at the fourth Rule 5 Draft following the player’s original contract if not added to the 40 man roster.
Most commonly, high school players signed in ’04 and college players signed in ’05 are eligible for the Rule 5 draft for the first time this year. Depending on the timing of their signing, some international players originally signed in ’04 are also eligible.
If a team selects a player in the major league portion of Rule 5, the selecting team must pay the original team $50K and they must keep the player on their 25 man roster for the entire season. The player must also be on the active roster for 90 days, so there is no drafting a player and then hiding them on the 60 day DL all year. If a team decides at any time during the season that they don’t want the player, the player must clear waivers first, and then be offered back to the original team for $25K, 1/2 the original cost. If the player is claimed on waivers or traded, the Rule 5 obligation passes to his new team.
We already discussed this earlier, but here again are the Cardinal players available for the Rule 5 draft:
RHP Mark McCormick
RHP Luis Perdomo
OF Cody Haerther
RHP Kenny Maiques
RHP Trey Hearne
RHP Elvis Hernandez
RHP Mike Sillman
RHP Mike Parisi (just coming off Tommy John)
C Brandon Yarbrough
UTIL Casey Rowlett
C Matt Pagnozzi
OF Christofher Dumont
LHP Ian Ostlund
C Justin Knoedler
Out of these players, McCormick and Perdomo are the most attractive to other clubs.
On to the LOOGers. We know the club would like another lefty reliever, one who can not only LOOGY it up, but also work in some mop up duty. There are several players that might fit that bill-
- Donald Veal, Cubs: There’s a fair chance he will go early. Veal has an arm scouts swoon over, and also some nifty numbers against lefties–8.45 K/9, 46% groundball rate. The problem is Veal doesn’t know where his pitches are going most of the time, and if he knew how to do something about it, he would’ve by now. The Cubs are done trying to fix him, but if he can be salvaged, there’s some big upside to be had here.
- Chuck Lofgren, Indians: Once considered a top prospect in the Tribe’s system, Lofgren has fallen apart. He doesn’t really profile as a LOOGY, but more of a swing man with upside to become a solid starter. Lofgren has four pitches, and when he is right he’s mixing speeds and location at will. Lofgren is only 22, so there’s still hope he can correct his mechanical and mental issues.
- Jose Lugo, Twins: Lugo is only coming off a full season in the Florida State League, but has the extreme ground ball tendencies that make Dave Duncan’s heart go a pitter-patter. Lugo is known for a heavy sinker he throws in the low to mid-nineties, and he struck out 9.2 batters per nine with a 57.3% groundball rate.
- Brad Kilby, A’s: Probably a safer bet then the aforementioned players with nothing much else to prove in the minors. Kilby throws 88-91 with a decent slider and a change. Last season for Sacramento, Kilby held lefties to a .183 average, and for his career he’s struck out more than a batter per inning throughout his career. On the downside, last year at least, he was about as an extreme fly ball pitch you could find. He’ll be 26 in February.
- Zachary Kroenke, Yankees: His slider is his only plus pitch and he is labeled as a “pie thrower”, which has to be one of my favorite scouting terms. A pie thrower is defined by BA as “a pitcher who, while throwing a pitch, holds his palm too far under the ball rather than having his fingers on top of it, as if throwing a pie.” You can check him out for yourself here. He struck out over 10 per nine innings and held left-handed batters to a .213 average.
- Chris Blazek, Astros: Known as an aggressive pitcher, Blazek struck out nearly a third of the batter’s he faced in AA last year. He was shut down with elbow soreness after just one inning in the AFL, so there’s a red flag.