2020 Rule 5 Draft

Jake Kaplan wrote an article for the The Athletic about a week ago identifying key players who need to be protected this year. Players have to be added to the 40 man roster by Nov. 20 and the draft is on Dec. 10. Kaplan’s list:

  • RHP Forrest Whitley

  • SS Freudis Nova

  • RHP Jairo Solis

  • RHP Tyler Ivey

  • RHP Jose Alberto Rivera

  • RHP Peter Solomon

Everyone knows Whitley but those next four guys are also top-ranked guys in an already thin system. MLB.com has Nova as the Astros 2nd-ranked prospect with Solis at #8, Ivey at #12 and Rivera at #14. Solomon comes in at #27 but was pitching quite well when he blew out his elbow nearly two years ago (and more importantly that report from Jim Callis that he was looking strong recently in fall instructional league).

Six guys needing protecting and just four open spots currently on the 40-man. Some interesting decisions in the next two weeks.

In my opinion, that, more than any other factor is why Garneau is a free agent.

Maybe there is a young controllable starting centerfielder out there that could be had for 2-3 mid-level pitching prospects?

And of course there are guys who have spots on the 40-man today (Jack Mayfield, Cionel Perez, et. al.) who might not have spots tomorrow thereby freeing up room for either the guys above or for free agent signings.

I wouldn’t expect either to get drafted but INF Luis Santana and OF Ronnie Dawson are also Rule 5 eligible.

And Jayne has a list of all the players in the organization who in her view are eligible.

So of the players noted above, Jose Alberto Rivera was the only player left unprotected.

Interesting. I honestly thought he’d be one of the guys protected (although, perhaps last on the list).

BA with an article out on their preliminary list of top players available in the Rule 5 (behind paywall ofc). There were no Astros names on the list but it does have just 10 names on it and will be updated several times over the next 10 days or so with more players added.

With the roster currently at 38 plus free agents needing to be added and the Astros not quite yet in rebuild mode, it seems entirely unlikely that Click would choose to add a player in the Rule 5. But there a couple of pitchers on the list that seem notable.

Dodgers RHP Marshall Kasowski is from Conroe and spent 1 year at Panola JC and 2 years with the Coogs (1 of which was a RS year due to an injury early in the season). Transferred to West Texas A&M for his junior season and led DII in strikeouts. Listed at 6’3" 215 lbs and was a 13th round pick of LA and was signed for $125K. In his 3 pro seasons has whiffed an astonishing 177 in 107 IP while allowing just 59 hits. He has however allowed 66 walks. Not the only hitch though as he had offseason surgery to reattach his UCL (as BA notes a delayed start to the season is actually something of a benefit as only 90 days on the active roster are needed).

Given the GM’s background, anyone associated with Tampa is gonna stand out and there is one Rays player on this list. LHP Matt Krook has racked up lots of whiffs but also lots of walks in his 5 years in the minors and once upon a time was the 35th overall pick in the Rule 4 draft.

The lowly Rangers had a couple of pitchers listed (Joe Barlow and Alex Speas) who fit the profile of the pitchers already noted with largely above average velo but below average control.

Don’t know if he’s on the BA list, but another interesting name with above average velocity and below average control is Alex Scherff (RHP picked by the Red Sox in the fifth round of the 2017 draft out of Prestonwood Christian Academy in Colleyville). Once a Top 30 prospect. Now, not so much.

He’s listed at 6’3"/205 lbs, is 92-96 with his fb who supposedly hit 99 as a prep, has a good curve and changeup, and will be 23 years old going into next season. However, he really struggles with command: 79 BB against 166 SO while giving up 222 hits in 199 IP. (ETA: Reached High A in 2019; don’t think he pitched in 2020.)

Probably a high risk/high reward type of player who needs/would benefit from the Astros’ minor league pitching development. Assuming you can work out that kind of deal.

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MLB Pipeline out with their top picks in the draft. Kasowski is on their list as well.

BA has updated its article and among others added a couple of more Rays pitchers. Paul Campbell pitched at AA Montgomery in 2019 and posted a 1.097 WHIP in 86 IP and has high spin rates on both his FB and breaking balls. Another righty Tommy Romero is 94-95 on his FB and put up a 1.022 WHIP at hi-A Charlotte in 2019 as a 21 year old.

When is the draft scheduled to take place?

This Thursday.

BA finally adds Jose Alberto Rivera in their latest iteration of this article outlining players who might get taken in the Rule 5 tomorrow.

Final (WAG) predictions at to who the Astros might add or lose today?

They don’t pick anyone and lose Rivera.

And Rivera just got taken by the Angels

The Astros will not be taking anyone in the major league phase.

Spot on

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On to the minor league phase…

Mets pick OF Drew Ferguson in minor league phase.