Notes on the Royals Rule 5 Draft eligible players

Come December 14th, teams will be looking to take some shots at players that have fallen through the cracks of other organization’s rosters, selecting players in the Rule 5 Draft. Slow development, lack of results, injury, or roster overload are just some of the reasons these players are left unprotected.

These selections usually only go two directions. Either they end up being moves that prove to be really pay off for a team (notable players selected include Josh Hamilton, Odubel Herrera, Dan Uggla, Joakim Soria, Johan Santana) or they simply just never pan out and go out with a silent sputter (Wei-Chung Wang, Jabari Blash, Adrián Nieto).

To kick off our coverage of the Rule 5 Draft, I figured I’d start out with some notes on the players that are currently eligible for selection in the Royals organization. But first, some important things to remember.

  • To be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, there are some certain qualifications.
  • Players who were signed at 18 or younger on June 5th the year of their signing and are on their fifth Rule 5 Draft are eligible.
  • Player who were signed at 19 or younger on June 5th the year of their signing and are on their fourth Rule 5 Draft are eligible.
  • Players who hit that qualification can still be protected from this draft though. To be protected, they must be placed on the 40 man roster.
  • The deadline for arranging the 40 man rosters is Monday, November 20.
  • If a team selects a player, they must keep him on the 25 man roster (or DL) for the duration of the 2018 Major League Baseball season.

And just to further clarify, players like Kyle Zimmer, Hunter Dozier, Bubba Starling, and Samir Duenez are already protected, as they are all currently on the 40-man roster. But there are plenty of players currently unprotected. By my count, there are 30 total.

  • Allan de San Miguel- 5’9″ catcher from Australia, 11 year minor leaguer in third organization, won’t be selected.
  • Meibrys Viloria- One of the better prospects in the organization, catcher that can hit, 105 wRC+ in Lexington this year.
  • Jesus Atencio- Split time with Sebastian Rivero this year in Burlington, .306 batting average this year benefitted from a .367 BABIP, likely just an organizational filler.
  • Ryan O’Hearn- On the cusp of the major leagues, should see time in Kansas City in 2018, had a down year with the bat in Omaha (99 wRC+), should be protected.
  • Frank Schwindel- Fits the AAAA description, very low walk rate, slashed .321/.340/.528 in Omaha, should be an interesting roster decision.
  • Corey Toups- Utility player took a huge step back as a prospect this year, unlikely to be selected.
  • Humberto Arteaga- Great with the glove, impressed many last Spring Training, not much with the bat (68 wRC+ in AA).
  • Angelo Castellano- Plays all four infield spots adequately, I like the approach at the plate (LD/FB, high BB%, low K%), won’t be selected.
  • Brandon Downes- Missed beginning of the year due to injury, hit 13 home runs in 72 games this year for Wilmington, already 25 though.
  • Cristhian Vasquez- A guy I had high hopes for, but the bat has lagged, won’t be selected.
  • Logan Moon- Local kid, hit very well in brief stint for Omaha, but he’s also 25.
  • Elier Hernandez- Former big money international free agent finally found his swing again this year in A+ and AA, another interesting roster decision, not 100% sure he’ll pass through a team like the Padres.
  • Alfredo Escalera- Youngest player to ever be drafted (2012 8th round pick), very whimsical at the plate, reserve outfielder ceiling, very unlikely to be selected.
  • Jonathan Dziedzic- Lefty with a low-90s fastball, decent curve and changeup, spent most of the year injured.
  • Emilio Ogando- 2014 12th round pick, 3.45 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 133 AA innings.
  • Andy Ferguson- Has posted good numbers throughout his minor league career, just hasn’t been able to stay healthy, team could take a shot on him as a reliever.
  • Zach Lovvorn- Another guy the Royals might need to protect, low-90s fastball, great movement on offspeed stuff, could be a future major league arm.
  • Jared Ruxer- Acquired in trade from Angels for Brooks Pounders last offseason, spent most of the year in Wilmington, low-90s fastball with deception, gets vertical movement on slider.
  • Corey Ray- 2014 5th round pick, high velo fastball, good changeup, probably a reliever.
  • Colin Rodgers- Has raw stuff, good fastball, changeup combo, has struggled with command, was better his second time around in Wilmington.
  • Gerson Garabito- 6’0″ righty had a good year in Lexington (2.81 ERA, 3.94 FIP, 8.4 K/9, 2.2 BB/9), too far away to be selected.
  • Arnaldo Hernandez- Had a good year in Lexington, finished year with two good starts in Omaha, won’t be selected.
  • Sam Selman- 2012 2nd round pick had great year as a reliever, still has serious command issues, could pitch in bigs next year.
  • Eric Stout- Lefty reliever likely to be protected, held lefties to a .193/.264/.301 line.
  • Yunior Marte- Was dominant in Wilmington to start the year, struggled in Northwest Arkansas, command issues (4.4 BB/9 in career).
  • Jake Newberry- 2012 5th round pick, righty reliever with low K-rate.
  • Pedro Fernandez- Starter turned reliever, small frame, heater can reach upper-90s, plus-changeup with fade, slider needs work.
  • Matt Tenuta- 2012 25th round pick, struggled as starter, great as a reliever this year, throws cutter with movement, decent changeup, works well down in the zone.
  • Tim Hill- 2014 32nd round pick had 75 strikeouts and 19 walks in 69 innings at AA.
  • Jose Veras- Righty reliever with plus control (1.8 BB/9 this year)

Photo Credits: MLB.com

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