Rule 5 picks aren’t known to be guaranteed successes. Of course, there are the obvious exceptions, like Odubel Herrera, Marwin Gonzalez or Hector Rondon, but for every success, there’s a Tyler Goeddel, a Jabari Blash, a Taylor Featherston. Generally speaking, the Rule 5 Draft is a good way to ensure players aren’t buried on a roster, but in terms of long-term contributors, not much often comes of it.
With that said, let me introduce to you right-handed reliever Brandon Brennan. He was the 13th overall selection in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft by the Seattle Mariners, who were so interested in bringing him aboard that they made the pick even after missing out on signing him as a minor league free agent.
When the decision to draft Brennan was made, Mariners Vice President of Scouting Tom Allison expressed his enthusiasm to Greg Johns of MLB.com. “Opportunity is probably what he needs the most, and we have that to give him,” Allison said.
What I love most about this quote is how accurate it is four months later. Brennan not only made the Mariners’ Opening Day roster, but he’s been superb so far here in the early going, making the most of the opportunity that Allison said Seattle had to give. Granted, he’s made just nine appearances and pitched just 12.1 innings, but the results have been there. Brennan has pitched to a 0.73 ERA (one earned run allowed) and 2.57 FIP, with 13 strikeouts (29.6 K%) to just two walks (4.6 BB%) across the 44 batters he’s faced. Hitters are hitting just .143 (6-for-42) against him. Anecdotally, he’s been called “the Mariners’ best reliever this season.” Read the rest of this entry »