The Rule 5 draft took place on Thursday at the Winter Meetings in San Diego, Calif.
This event allowed teams with open 40-man roster spots to select a non-40-man roster player with four to five years of pro experience from the other 29 teams. Further, players who can be selected are those who signed at 18 years of age or younger but have five years of experience and those who signed at 19 or older who have four years of experience.
Teams are not required to make a pick. If they pass on making a selection, their participation in the draft is over and they cannot make any further selections. If a team does make a selection, they are charged $100,000 per pick and can keep choosing players until they pass on a selection.
If a team selects a player, they must keep said player on their active roster or injured list for the entire 2020 season. If they take the player off their roster, the player is subject to waivers. If a player is claimed off waivers, his Rule 5 rights remain intact and he would need to be on his new team’s active roster for the remainder of the season. If a player clears waivers, his original team can choose to bring him back.
Here is a full list of the 11 players selected in the Major League portion of the draft with analysis on each player.
RHP Rony Garcia | Selected No. 1 overall by Tigers from Yankees
Garcia, who turns 22 next week, begin his pro career with the Yankees in 2016 and has slowly risen through the ranks, reaching Double-A this past season. Between 20 starts at Double-A and four starts plus a relief appearance at High-A, Garcia posted a 4-13 record and 4.01 ERA, allowing 63 runs on 115 hits in 130.1 innings. His numbers at Double-A are not very promising if he wants to stick on a big-league roster, but the Tigers’ rebuild could give him a shot to prove himself.
RHP Brandon Bailey | Selected No. 2 overall by Orioles from Astros
Bailey, 25, was selected in the 2016 draft out of Gonzaga by the Athletics but found his way to the Astros’ system as the lone player heading to Houston in exchange for Ramon Laureano. Bailey topped out at Double-A in 2018 and spent all of 2019 at the same level, going 4-5 with a 3.30 ERA in 17 starts and five relief appearances. He allowed 34 runs on 72 hits in 92.2 innings while boasting a 10 K/9 rate and a 4 BB/9 tally. Bypassing Triple-A could hurt Bailey, but his numbers in Double-A are promising enough to think that he could stick in Baltimore.
RHP Sterling Sharp | Selected No. 3 overall by Marlins from Nationals
Sharp, 24, was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2016 draft by the Nats. He spent parts of both 2018 and 2019 in Double-A. This past season, in addition to Double-A, Sharp made two starts at Low-A and a start at the Rookie level while rehabbing from an injury that kept him out of action for three months. During his time on the mound, he made 12 starts, going 5-4 with a 3.53 ERA and allowing 24 runs on 61 hits in 58.2 innings. He also struck out eight batters every nine innings while walking 2.3 in that time. It might be tough for Sharp to stick on the Marlins’ roster next season.
RHP Stephen Woods, Jr. | Selected No. 4 overall by Royals from Rays
Woods, 24, was drafted by the Giants in the eighth round of the 2016 draft but found his way to Tampa Bay in the Evan Longoria trade. Injury kept the right-hander out of action in 2018 but he found his footing at High-A in 2019, pitching in 18 games and making 12 starts while earning an impressive 9-3 record and 1.88 ERA. He allowed just 25 runs in over 86 innings, including just two home runs. It’s hard to tell whether he can continue to dazzle if he makes the jump to the majors, but it seems likely Woods can hold on to a job with the rebuilding Royals.
RHP Yohan Ramirez | Selected No. 6 overall by Mariners from Astros
Ramirez has spent his entire career in the Houston system but the 24-year-old now heads northwest to Seattle in hopes of securing a big-league job. Between 10 games at High-A and 17 at Double-A this past season, Ramirez made 15 starts and went 4-7 with a 3.99 ERA, allowing 53 runs on just 64 hits in 106 innings while striking out 158 and walking 74. His hits total is low and his strikeout total is through the roof (13.4 strikeouts per nine innings), but his runs and walks totals are also concerning. It’s too early to predict Ramirez’s future in Seattle.
OF Mark Payton | Selected No. 12 overall by Reds from Athletics
Perhaps the most intriguing player in the Rule 5 draft, Payton fell to No. 12 and was the first non-pitcher to be snagged when the Reds took him. A 2014 seventh-round pick of the Yankees, the now-28-year old has never seen the majors but has spent time in Triple-A in each of the past three seasons. He made his way to Oakland last year via the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 draft. In 2019 with Triple-A Las Vegas, Payton appeared in 118 games, slashing .334/.400/.653 with 97 RBI on 132 hits and 30 home runs. He walked 45 times and struck out 76 while stealing seven bases on 11 attempts. This is the best pick of the draft and Payton will make an immediate impact at the majors and could even be an everyday starter.
RHP Dany Jimenez | Selected No. 13 overall by Giants from Blue Jays
Jimenez, who turns 26 in 10 days, made his pro debut in the Jays’ system in 2015 and has slowly climbed his way up. He made 45 relief appearances last year, made up of 25 in Double-A and 20 in High-A. He went 7-3 with a 2.59 ERA, interestingly recording a far greater ERA in Double-A New Hampshire (1.87) than in High-A Dunedin (3.55). In total, he allowed 19 runs on 45 hits in 59 innings while striking out an impressive 93 batters while walking just 21. Skipping Triple-A will be a big leap for Jimenez, but it’s not impossible if he has an impressive Spring Training showing.
INF Vimael Machin | Selected No. 15 overall by Phillies from Cubs and traded to Athletics
Machin, 26, was drafted by the Cubs in the 10th round of the 2016 draft and quickly climbed his way through the ranks, reaching Triple-A after just 79 games at the lower levels, completely skipping Double-A. Fast forward to 2019, when he split time at the two highest levels of the minors, playing in 117 Double-A games and a dozen at Triple-A. In all, he slashed .295/.390/.412 with 65 RBI on 132 hits. While he doesn’t hit for power, Machin has the ability to get on base as he walked 69 times, earning more free passes than strikeouts (62). He should hold a bench spot in the majors with the A’s in 2020.
RHP Trevor Megill | Selected No. 16 overall by Cubs from Padres
Megill, 26, was drafted by the Padres in the seventh round of the 2016 draft and reached Triple-A for the first time this past season. He missed a month with injury, prompting 10.1 innings of rehab work between High-A and Double-A in which he completely shut down opposing hitters. In Triple-A, he made 32 appearances and recorded six saves while amassing a 4.47 ERA by allowing 28 runs on 56 hits in 50.1 innings. He also struck out 71 batters while walking 19. He has some worrisome numbers but he should earn a big-league job out of spring training. The true question will be whether he can accomplish a full season of service time with Chicago.
SS Jonathan Arauz | Selected No. 17 overall by Red Sox from Astros
The third Astro taken in the draft, Arauz is a 21-year-old who has struggled in the lower levels of the minors but could serve as assistance off the bench in the absences of Brock Holt (free agent) and Dustin Pedroia (injury). Arauz was an international signing of the Phillies in 2015 but was dealt to Houston with Ken Giles in a seven-player trade that saw five pitchers head to Philadelphia. In 115 games between High-A and Double-A this past season, Arauz slashed .249/.319/.388 with 55 RBI on 106 hits, including 11 home runs. He walked 40 times and struck out 88 while stealing six bases on 11 attempts. Arauz joins the norm on this list as he should survive spring training but might not last in the majors for the full season.
RHP Michael Bucker | Selected No. 32 overall by Orioles from Cubs
Of the 10 teams who made first-round selections, only the Orioles made a second-round pick. They took Rucker, a 25-year-old reliever whom the Cubs snagged in the 11th round of the 2016 draft. This past season, between 34 relief appearances at Double-A plus one start and one relief appearance at Triple-A, Rucker posted a 4.18 ERA, allowing 43 runs on 80 hits in 79.2 innings and striking out 93 batters while walking 25. Rucker should be able to hold onto his major-league spot for all of 2019, solidifying his spot on the Orioles’ roster for a while to come.