16 November 2011

Orioles Up for Rule 5 Draft

Orioles' best Rule 5 selection: Paul Blair
The Rule 5 draft was implemented in 1959 as part of a roughly two decade effort to provide an equal footing to all teams.  The concern had been that clubs with a good deal of money were signing up high quality prospects and then letting them fester in the minor leagues.  The first major action against this practice was the bonus rule which 'prevented' teams from demoting signees who had received a large signing bonus.  The bonus rule proved unsatisfactory because teams figured ways around it and there were considered better ways to redistribute talent.  The Rule 5 draft was considered that mechanism.  It works similarly to the Rule 4 draft, but instead of amateurs being selected the teams choose from unprotected minor leaguers.

The current form of the Rule 5 draft was determined with the signing of the 2006 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).  This year's may alter how the Rule 5 is carried out, but I have yet to hear about it.  In 2006, the major change was that an extra year of protection was provided and that enabled teams to evaluate their players for an extra year before exposing them.  In this scenario it would be unlikely to see guys like Johann Santana anymore because that extra year of evaluation will allow the team to see their player grow for another year and determine how he best fits into the organization.

If the CBA rules remain, player eligibility will be:
  • Players who were signed at age 19 or older and have been in professional baseball for three years or more (this means players who signed from the 2008 draft or IFA)
  • Players who were signed at age 18 or younger and have been in professional baseball for four years or more (this means players who signed from the 2007 draft or IFA)
  • All players on the 40 man roster as exempted from the Rule 5 draft
In the remainder of this post, I will touch on a selected few players who were eligible last year and again this year as well as list all of the individuals who are eligible for their first Rule 5 draft.

Previously Eligible
Pat Egan - Brewers selected him last year, but he failed to stick and was unimpressive this year.
Steve Johnson - He is a pitcher who has to learn at every step. Off hand chance he is selected.
Billy Rowell - He has yet to be released from the organization, so he is eligible again.
Wynn Pelzer - Someone might be intrigued, but he is incredibly wild.
Brandon Waring - No one will have space for a poor contact home run hitter who cannot field or walk well.
Tim Bascom - As a 26yo in Bowie, his PoTY season is not incredibly impressive, but he shows more value now than before.  He will likely need to be protected.
Joe Mahoney - Hard time believing he could stick a year in the majors.
Brandon Cooney - Had issues with control this year, but is on a few teams' radar.
John Hester - Good technical catcher with occasional pop.
Cole McCurry - Lefty dominated AA and held his own at AAA.

2007 Draft
Tyler Kolodny - not ready
Justin Moore - not ready

2008 Draft
Greg Miclat - could be useful utility player or fill in at second for a few weeks.

Richard Zagone - may be seen as a lefty reliever.
Caleb Joseph - may be seen as a backup catcher.
Nick Haughian - potential lefty reliever, but not overpowering.
Nathan Moreau - same as above.
Jason Gurka - intriguing lefty arm, possible selection.
Bobby Stevens - not ready
Ronnie Welty - intriguing athleticism, potential 4th outfielder.
Eddie Gamboa - not ready, good organizational arm.
Ryan O'Shea - not ready
Buck Britton - not ready
Oliver Drake - breakout in Frederick tempered by Bowie.

Players I think need to be protected:
Oliver Drake
Greg Miclat
Tim Bascom
Steve Johnson
Cole McCurry

That written, I do not really feel strongly about any of these players. 

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