2008 Rule-V Draft

December 6, 2007 at 1:05 pm 4 comments

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The Rule-V draft goes by almost evey year with players being taken that no one has ever heard and that no one will ever hear of. That could change any given year. In recent years there have been some very good players taken in the Rule-V draft. Johan Santana, Josh Hamilton, and Joakim Soria come to mind. With Johan Santana being the reason teams scour the available players looking for some value. Here are the Rule-V draft picks with the team in parenthesis that took the player:

1. Tim Lahey 8-4, 3.65 ERA, 59/35 K/BB in 81.1 IP (Tampa Bay)
2. Evan Meek 2-1, 4.30, 69/34 in 67 IP (Pittsburgh)
3. Randor Bierd 4-3, 2.93, 81/16 in 67.2 IP (Baltimore)
4. Jose Capellan (San Francisco)
5. Carlos Guevara 1-2, 2.32, 87/23 in 62 IP (Florida)
6. Sergio Valenzuela 1-3, 7.00, 38/37 in 72 IP (Cincinnati)
7. Matt Whitney .299/.364/.545, 32-113-1-95 Runs, 53/121 BB/K in 512 AB. (Washington)
8. Wesley Wright 7-4, 3.92, 86/49 in 78 IP(Houston)
9. Fernando Hernandez 1-3, 3.06, 84/23 in 85.1 IP (Oakland)
10. Brian Barton .305/.402/.420, 10-65-21-66, 48/117 in 476 AB(St. Louis)
13. Randy Wells 5-6, 4.52, 101/41 in 95.2 IP (Toronto)
15. R.A. Dickey (Seattle)
17. Stephen Register 1-3, 4.03, 48/16 in 58 IP (New York Mets)
18. Michael Gardner 3-5, 2.88, 66/30 in 81.1 IP (San Diego)
19. Travis Blackley (Philadelphia)
30. Garrett Guzman .312/.359/.453, 14-88-6-72, 36/51 in 475 AB (Washington)
41. Callix Crabbe .287/.377/.435, 9-38-17-84, 67/70 in 457 AB (San Diego)
42. Lincoln Holdzkom 5-1, 2.97, 54/44 in 63.2 IP (Philadelphia)

Lahey was sold to the Cubs in a prearranged agreement with the Rays. Guevara was traded to San Diego. Picks were skipped due to teams that didn’t take a player.

Here is a quick look at some of the more interesting players from the Rule-V draft by Keith Law, head of Scouts Inc. for espn.com

Steven Register was a top closer at Auburn before he was drafted in 2004, but the Rockies tried to make him a starter and it didn’t work. As a reliever, he has good control and a 91-93 mph fastball with some sink (although it hasn’t produced a good groundball rate), and a tight slider that should be an average pitch in time. I could see him making the Mets’ club in spring training, and if it saves them from going after the next Guillermo Mota, so much the better.

Brian Barton could help the Cardinals as a spare outfielder; he’s a polished college bat who struggles against better offspeed stuff, but can fill in all over the outfield and has some speed and the willingness to take an occasional walk.

Carlos Guevara has a below-average fastball but a plus screwball, which makes him a novelty act more than a prospect. Florida offers him a spacious ballpark in which to work as well as a clear opportunity to win a job.

• The Pirates took the guy with the best fastball in Evan Meek, who works in the 90-94 range but lacks an average second pitch and has below-average command.

Here are a few notes on some others by myself:

Randor Bierd has a fring-average fastball with good control but it is very straight. His numbers are better than his stuff but he is worth the gamble due to his .195 BAA between AA and AAA last season as a 23 year old.

Sergio Valenzuela was a surprise to me. His stuff is average at best and he has very poor cammand. He allowed a .334 BAA and and 102 hits in 72 IP. It’s not like it was his only poor season either. In 2006 he was 3-4 with a 6.04 ERA 29/18 K/BB rate in 50.2 IP and allowed a .286 BAA.

Matt Whitney is a potential one to look at. He has raw power but his numbers were as a 23 year old in low-A and high-A ball. His glove desires some work but he can handle 1B and possibly LF. He could be Chris Shelton if he clicks.

Callix Crabbe could be a solid 4th OF. He is an athletic ball player with good defensive skills and good patience and pitch recognition (144/137 BB/K rate over 959 AB). He has little power but hits the gaps just fine with line drives that are easy doubles and potential triples every time.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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4 Comments

  • 1. erik  |  December 7, 2007 at 1:18 am

    I highly doubt any of these Rule V picks are going to be the next Johan Santana, Dan Uggla or Josh Hamilton. None of the players have that factor… I would be quite suprised if one of them turns into on of the aforementioned Rule V gems. But baseball is funny that way and it could happen.

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  December 7, 2007 at 8:06 am

    I agree. I don’t think any will either. 99 times out of 100 it won’t happen but it’s worth a $25,000 flier to try these guys out ($50,000 to take the player, $25,000 back when they return them). It’s an interesting part of the game that I can’t help but be intrigued by it.

  • 3. Charlie Nehl  |  December 7, 2007 at 8:26 am

    I’ll chime in on the players that I know of mainly because they’ve been in the Cubs Organization. Lincoln Holdzkom has been in and out of the Cubs organization because of the Rule 5 draft. He has the potential to become really good reliever/setup. My only concern about him is his elbow. He’s already been through Tommy John surgery. He pitched really well for the Cubs AA organization. They say he’s been getting back into the mid 90’s again, with a pretty decent cutter.

    Randy Wells: He was pitching for the Iowa Cubs, the AAA affliate. He’s not a horrid pitcher, and he regards himself highly as a guy that knows he can do good, should do good, and it’s his fault if he doesn’t amount to anything. I like his attitude, but I’m not sure if he’ll ever make a major league impact on a team.

    R.A. Dickey: He’s been up and down in the Rangers organization. He was doing fair as a Rangers starter, but then converted to a knuckleballer and got HAMMERED in the Bigs. He was then sent back down and we didn’t hear much from him again.

  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  December 7, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Thanks for the inside information Charlie! I like that about Randy Wells. That’s the type of guy I like to see prosper.

    Also, don’t you wish your Cubs would’ve kept Josh Hamilton last year!

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