Projecting Yesterday’s Rule 5 Picks

This year’s Rule 5 draft came and went yesterday, with 18 players selected in the major-league phase of the draft. All the players selected will need to spend the entire 2017 season on their new team’s active roster (or disabled list). Otherwise, they have to be offered back to their original team.

Here’s how the minor leaguers selected grade out by my KATOH system. KATOH denotes WAR forecast for first six years of player’s major-league career. KATOH+ uses similar a methodology with consideration also for Baseball America’s rankings.

Player listed in order of draft selection.


Miguel Diaz, RHP, San Diego (Profile)


Scouts love Diaz’s stuff, but it took him five years to get to the Low-A level and he wasn’t particularly dominant there in 2016. He pitched to a 3.71 ERA in 95 innings as a swingman with pedestrian strikeout and walk numbers. Every organization has several players with Diaz’s statistical profile, but the Padres think there’s more to Diaz than his stats.

Luis Torrens, C, San Diego (Profile)


A promising 20-year-old catcher, Torrens has been limited to just 117 games total over the past three seasons due to a litany of injuries. He hit .236/.336/.318 at the lower rungs of A-ball last year. That’s respectable for a 20-year-old catcher, especially given all the development time he missed. But it’s hard to imagine him not embarrassing himself against big-league pitching in 2017. Torrens is a promising prospect, but this feels like a stretch.

Allen Cordoba, SS, San Diego (Profile)


Cordoba is just 20 years old, and is coming off of a .362/.427/.495 season with 22 steals in Rookie ball. It’s probably safe to conclude that Cordoba is not ready for the show, but he’s clearly quite talented for his age. Perhaps his speed, defense and contact-oriented approach would make him a passable utility infielder in 2017.

Kevin Gadea, RHP, Tampa Bay (Profile)


By my math, Gadea was the best player drafted by a pretty wide margin. He struck out well over 30% of opposing batters while walking just 5%. And KATOH adores his 6-foot-5 frame. The catch is that he’s only thrown 50 innings above Rookie ball — all of them in Low-A. Gadea just turned 22, so he has age on his side, but whether he can get big-league hitters out is anyone’s guess. I’ll be watching closely.

Armando Rivero, RHP, Chicago NL (Profile)


Minor-league relievers approaching 30 years old aren’t usually worthy of much attention. Rivero might be, however. He was crazy-dominant at the Triple-A level last year, posting a 2.13 ERA and 37% strikeout rate. Getting big-league hitters out can’t be that much different than doing so in Triple-A, can it?

Tyler Jones, RHP, Arizona (Profile)


Jones pitched excellently as a reliever with the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate last year, striking out 34% and walking 6%. The catch is that he’s already 27. Most 27-year-old Double-A relievers aren’t worth thinking twice about, even when they’re dominant.

Caleb Smith, LHP, Chicago (NL) (Profile)


A former 14th-round pick, Smith has worked his way through the Yankees system. He pitched well at Double-A last year, but did so mostly in relief. Smith doesn’t project as well as many of the others selected.

Justin Haley, RHP, Minnesota (Profile)


Nothing stands out about 25-year-old Haley statistically, but he was quietly very good as a starter in the high minors last year. In 147 innings, he turned in a 3.01 ERA and 3.33 FIP, with most of that coming at Triple-A.

Tyler Webb, LHP, Pittsburgh (Profile)


A 6-foot-6 lefty, 26-year-old lefty, Webb struck out 27% of opposing hitters and posted a 2.76 FIP as a swingman in Triple-A last year. Though he’s an old reliever, Webb’s tall, throws left-handed and misses bats.

Aneury Tavarez, OF, Baltimore (Profile)


Tavarez enjoyed a breakout of sorts at Double-A last year, showing an impressive combination of power and speed while also hitting well over .300. On the downside, he’s strictly a corner outfielder and happens to be very short. KATOH thinks those factors will prevent him from providing big-league value.

Glenn Sparkman, RHP, Toronto (Profile)


Sparkman pitched to a 5.67 ERA across four minor-league levels last year. A closer look suggests he actually pitched pretty well, however, as evidenced by his 24% strikeout rate and 4% walk rate. It’s also likely his 2016 performance undersells his potential, as it was curtailed by recovery from Tommy John.

Hoby Milner, LHP, Cleveland (Profile)


Milner was brilliant the high minors as a reliever last year, finishing up with a 28% strikeout rate. He turns 26 next month, however, and wasn’t quite as dominant as some of the other bullpen arms selected.

Mike Hauschild, RHP, Texas (Profile)


Hauschild pitched well at Triple-A last year, turning in a 3.22 ERA and 3.64 FIP over 24 starts. Getting big-league hitters out can’t be that much different than doing so in Triple-A, can it?

Stuart Turner, C, Cincinnati (Profile)


Turner is a catcher who will play all of next season as a 25-year-old. He hit a solid .239/.322/.363 at Double-A, but showed neither the contact nor the power to woo KATOH. I’m sure there are worse backup catchers hanging around.

Anthony Santander, 1B/LF, Baltimore (Profile)


Santander hit .290/.368/.494 with 20 homers and 10 steals last year, but KATOH isn’t impressed. He played primarily left field, didn’t grade out well there, had a high-ish strikeout rate and wasn’t particularly young for his level.

2016 Rule 5 Picks
Round Pick Player Position New Team Former Team KATOH KATOH+
1 1 Miguel Diaz RHP Padres (Traded from Twins) Brewers 0.7 0.7
1 2 Luis Torrens C Padres (Traded from Reds) Yankees 1.3 1.4
1 3 Allen Cordoba SS Padres Cardinals 2.3 2.3
1 4 Kevin Gadea RHP Rays Mariners 4.3 3.5
1 5 Armando Rivero RHP Braves Cubs 1.8 1.7
1 7 Tyler Jones RHP Diamondbacks Yankees 0.9 0.8
1 9 Caleb Smith LHP Cubs (Traded from Brewers) Yankees 0.8 0.8
1 10 Justin Haley RHP Twins (Traded from Angels) Red Sox 1.9 1.8
1 12 Dylan Covey RHP White Sox Athletics NA NA
1 13 Tyler Webb LHP Pirates Yankees 1.8 1.8
1 10 Daniel Stumpf LHP Tigers Royals NA NA
1 23 Aneury Tavarez OF Orioles Red Sox 0.7 0.7
1 24 Glenn Sparkman RHP Blue Jays Royals 1.2 1.1
1 26 Josh Rutledge IF Red Sox Rockies NA NA
1 27 Hoby Milner LHP Indians Phillies 1.1 1.1
1 29 Mike Hauschild RHP Rangers Astros 2.5 2.6
2 1 Stuart Turner C Reds Twins 1.0 1.1
2 4 Anthony Santander 1B/LF Orioles Indians 0.5 0.5


Minor-League Portion

I won’t bore you with write-ups for the guys taken in the Triple-A phase. Instead, I’ll provide you with a few notes and a gigantic table. Triple-A Rule 5 picks are not subject to any of the aforementioned roster restrictions. They simply become part of a new organization with no strings attached.

  • Matt Williams (LAA) was born in 1989, making him a senior citizen by prospect standards, but he hit a respectable .263/.355/.346 in Triple-A while playing mostly shortstop. It isn’t too much of a stretch to envision Williams hitting enough to make for a passable utility guy if given the chance.
  • Catcher Anthony Bemboom (COL) held his own offensively with the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate last year. He also stole a few bases and wasn’t terrible defensively.
  • Jorge Saez (NYY) is another catcher who hit decently in the minors while playing seemingly acceptable defense.
  • In 125 games between this year and last, Kevin Cornelius (CHC) has hit .297/.387/.534 in the minors. Those numbers came exclusively in the low minors and Cornelius is already 24, so they mean very little. But the 31st rounder hasn’t failed yet. He split time between first and third base last year.
2016 Minor-League Rule 5 Picks
Round Pick Player New Team Former Team KATOH KATOH+
1 2 Jose Adames Reds Marlins 0.1 0.1
1 3 Trevor Frank Padres Indians NA NA
1 4 Ty Hensley Rays Yankees NA NA
1 5 Cesilio Pimentel Braves Pirates 0.2 0.2
1 7 Jon Fitzsimmons Diamondbacks Indians NA NA
1 8 Jorge Flores Phillies Blue Jays 0.4 0.5
1 9 Art Charles Brewers Reds NA NA
1 10 Matt Williams Angels Cardinals 1.5 1.6
1 11 Anthony Bemboom Rockies Angels 1.3 1.5
1 14 Cal Towey Marlins Angels 0.5 0.6
1 15 Kelvin Magallanes Royals Yankees NA NA
1 16 Eduardo De Oleo Astros Diamondbacks NA NA
1 17 Jorge Saez Yankees Blue Jays 1.2 1.2
1 18 Paul Paez Mariners Mets 0.4 0.4
1 19 Austin Wilson Cardinals Mariners 0.0 0.0
1 20 Sean Donatello Tigers Marlins 0.1 0.1
1 23 Jefri Hernandez Orioles Reds NA NA
1 24 Philip Walby Blue Jays Nationals NA NA
1 25 Edward Paredes Dodgers Tigers NA NA
1 26 Harrison Cooney Red Sox Angels NA NA
1 29 Matt Smoral Rangers Blue Jays NA NA
1 30 Kevin Cornelius Cubs Yankees 1.1 1.0
2 1 Jairo Munoz Rays Phillies NA NA
2 3 Steven Sides Diamondbacks Indians 0.3 0.3
2 5 Matt Ramsey Brewers Marlins NA NA
2 6 Adrian Almeida Angels Mets NA NA
2 8 Nick Maronde Marlins Indians 0.3 0.3
2 10 Jared Mortensen Astros Rays 0.1 0.1
2 11 Colten Brewer Yankees Pirates 0.5 0.5
2 12 Chuck Taylor Mariners Diamondbacks 0.0 0.1
2 14 Elvis Rubio Tigers Brewers 0.0 0.0
2 15 Brian Moran Orioles Braves NA NA
2 17 Kyle Grana Dodgers Cardinals 0.5 0.5
2 18 Joshua Smith Red Sox Pirates 0.2 0.2
2 19 Zach Bird Rangers Braves 0.2 0.2
3 2 Daniel Lockhart Diamondbacks Cubs 0.0 0.0
3 4 Mario Sanjur Angels Tigers NA NA
3 5 Alex Yarbrough Marlins Angels 0.0 0.1
3 13 Fernando Miranda Rangers Braves NA NA

Chris works in economic development by day, but spends most of his nights thinking about baseball. He writes for Pinstripe Pundits, FanGraphs and The Hardball Times. He's also on the twitter machine: @_chris_mitchell None of the views expressed in his articles reflect those of his daytime employer.

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5 years ago

“Anthony Benboom” is at least a 70 grade name in Colorado.