MLB RULE 5 DRAFT: MINOR LEAGUE PHASE SELECTIONS
Born: September 24, 1992
2017 Statistics: 3-2 with a 1.90 ERA in 19 games, including six saves, at Staten Island (Yankees/Short-Season A), striking out 33 and walking 13 while allowing 12 hits in 23 2/3 innings.
Extra Scoop: Rivera spent his first seven pro seasons in the Yankees’ farm system before declaring minor league free agency and signing with the Reds shortly before the winter meetings.
Born: February 14, 1993.
2017 Statistics: Hit a combined .276 between Frederick (High A) and Bowie (Double-A) with 16 home runs, 62 RBIs and a .473 SLG in 110 games.
Extra Scoop: Originally signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic by Washington in 2011, Mercedes went the independent league route for a few years before returning to affiliated ball when he signed a deal with the Orioles in September of 2014. In 2015, he won the South Atlantic League batting title, hitting .353 in 91 games at Delmarva (Class A).
Born: September 20, 1993.
2017 Statistics: Hit .222 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs in 61 games at Lansing (Class A).
Born: January 23, 1993.
2017 statistics: Hit .259 with three home runs and 25 RBIs in 97 games at Tennessee (Double-A).
Born: August 25, 1996.
2017 statistics: Combined to go 2-6 with a 3.27 ERA in 14 games between Brooklyn (Short-Season A) and Columbia (Class A), striking out 47 and walking 14 while allowing 84 hits over 74 1/3 innings. Medina, who didn’t turn 21 until the end of the regular season, was originally signed by the Mets as an international free agent out of Mexico on August 29, 2012.
Born: August 22, 1992.
2017 Statistics: Batted .246 with 13 home runs and 47 RBIs in 88 games at Augusta (Class A) with a .455 SLG.
Extra Scoop: This was Ewing’s third straight full season spent at Augusta after having hit .241 in 74 games there in 2016 and .231 in 128 games there in 2015. The former sixth-round pick out of Rice in 2014 has also seen time at catcher.
Born: January 27, 1996.
2017 Statistics: Combined to hit .289 at four stops – Round Rock (Texas/Triple-A), Hickory (Texas/Class A), Down East (Texas/High A) and Frederick (Baltimore/High A), with four home runs and 22 RBIs in 88 games. Originally signed by the Rangers in 2012 as an international free agent out of Colombia, he was traded to the Orioles in August 2016 for international bonus pool slots.
Born: May 24, 1992.
2017 Statistics: Struck out one and walked two in one-third of an inning in the majors with the Angels. Combined between Colorado Springs (Milwaukee/Triple-A), Norfolk (Baltimore/Triple-A), Salt Lake (Angels/Triple-A) and Mobile (Angels/Double-A) to go 6-2 with a 6.24 ERA in 47 games, striking out 58 and walking 38 in 53 1/3 innings while allowing 65 hits.
Extra Scoop: Magnifico is one of the few Minor League Rule 5’ers with big-league time under his belt, having made a brief debut with the Brewers in 2016 and then arriving briefly again with the Angels in 2017. Originally drafted by the Brewers in the fifth round of 2012 out of Oklahoma, he was dealt to the Orioles mid-season for international bonus money, and then dealt to the Angels for RHP Jordan Kipper.
Born: August 3, 1992.
2017 statistics: Hit .278 with eight home runs and 57 RBIs along with 24 doubles in 112 games at Lynchburg (Indians/High A).
Extra Scoop: Born in Prague, Cervenka had just signed as a minor league free agent with the Giants on December 1 before the Rule 5 Draft, after having spent the first seven years of his pro career in the Indians’ farm system.
Born: November 22, 1988.
2017 Statistics: 3-2 with a 3.29 ERA in 28 games between Jackson (Arizona/Double-A), San Jose (San Francisco/High A) and Sacramento (San Francisco/Triple-A), striking out 45 in 39 1/3 innings and walking 25 while allowing 25 hits.
Extra Scoop: The converted outfielder was originally drafted by Houston in the 22nd round of 2011, but he took a detour through the indie leagues as he converted to the mound. Upon his return, he signed with the Diamondbacks for a few years before being released, and then inking with the Giants.
Born: September 29, 1994.
2017 statistics: Hit a combined .252 with no homers and nine RBIs between Kane County (Class A), Visalia (High A) and Jackson (Double-A) in 35 games.
Born: January 9, 1992.
2017 Statistics: Hit a combined .266 in 28 games between Mississippi (Double-A) and Gwinnett (Triple-A), adding one home run and eight RBIs in 28 games.
Extra Scoop: A 13th-round pick in 2013 by Atlants, Odom was deservedly in the news in 2015 when, playing for Carolina in the Carolina League (High A), the team bus was involved in a serious crash which landed several players on the DL and Odom was one of the heroes of the night, pulling teammates out of the bus and also calling 911.
Born: January 31, 1993.
2017 Statistics: Went 1-5 with a 2.94 ERA in 27 games at West Michigan (Class A), striking out 74 while walking 17 in 64 1/3 innings and allowing 54 hits.
Born: December 26, 1996.
2017 Statistics: Went 1-4 with a 6.00 ERA in 16 games between Connecticut (Short-Season A) and the Tigers West Gulf Coast League complex entry, striking out 32 and walking 21 while allowing 36 hits over 27 innings.
Extra Scoop: German, who throws a fastball in the middle 90s, has yet to ever play in a full-season league, but has posted a career 3.27 ERA with 132 strikeouts against 58 walks and 108 hits allowed in 127 innings for a .228 BAA. Injuries have slowed his ascent.
Born: August 3, 1995.
2017 Statistics: Hit a combined .206 in 95 games between Charlotte (High A) and Montgomery (Double-A), adding three home runs and 32 RBIs along with nine stolen bases.
Extra Scoop: If the name “Unroe” rings a bell, it might be because his dad Tim Unroe saw some time in the big leagues as a utility infielder/outfielder with the Brewers, Cubs, Angels and Braves I the late ‘90s. Riley Unroe was was also one of the undisputed stars at the 2012 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars held in Cary, North Carolina, an event which featured dozens of the top 18-and-under prospects from around the country. That was an event YHS covered for a few days, watching some of the best high school talent in the country play in 100-degree heat and where even among the level of talent there he still stood out as what some scouts call “a player.” Playing primarily second and shortstop, the Mesa, Arizona, native was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the second round of 2013 out of Desert Ridge H.S. and worked his way through the ranks, topping out with some brief time at Double-A Montgomery, never quite getting it all to click on offense but was still considered a Top 30 prospect for the Rays as late as 2016 for his outstanding defensive potential.
The Angels’ scouts saw Unroe as well, both back in the day and more recently as well, and were impressed with his makeup, his ability to play good defense at second, third and shortstop, and his control of the strike zone.
Born: December 4, 1996.
2017 Statistics: Went 6-1 with a 1.96 ERA in 37 games with Quintana Roo in the Mexican League (Triple-A), striking out 32 and walking 10 in 36 2/3 innings while allowing 31 hits.
Extra Scoop: In his last stateside outing, 2016 in the Rookie Gulf Coast League, Duarte posted a 3.05 ERA in 12 games, 11 of them starts.
St. Louis: Angel Moreno, OF, from Tampa Bay.
Born: July 31, 1996.
2017 Statistics: Hit .229 in 71 games at Charlotte (High A) with 16 RBIs and five stolen bases.
Born: September 21, 1995.
2017 Statistics: Went 0-2 with a 3.51 ERA in eight games, five of them starts, in the Rookie Gulf Coast League, striking out 16 and walking seven while allowing 24 hits in 25 2/3 innings.
Extra Scoop: Baez, a converted shortstop/third baseman, just completed his first season on the mound. As a hitter, he batted a combined .211 over three pro seasons, and his .092 batting average in 2016
prompted the shift.
Born: December 3, 1991.
2017 Statistics: Went 5-3 with a 3.88 ERA in 32 games at Frederick (High A), striking out 68 in 53 1/3 innings and walking 24 while allowing 58 hits.
Extra Scoop: Back at Frederick for the third year in a row, the Dartmouth-educated Horacek is one of two Ivy Leaguers to be taken in this year’s full Rule 5 draft set (along with Princeton’s Mike Ford, who was taken from the Yankees by Seattle in the Major League phase).
Born: January 21, 1997.
2017 Statistics: Hit .172 with nine home runs and 17 RBIs in 52 games at Lake County (Class A).
Born: December 11, 1991.
2017 Statistics: Hit a combined .273 with 21 RBIs and 31 steals in 95 games between Frederick (High A) and Bowie (Double-A).
Extra Scoop: Gonzalez spent 2016 split between those same two teams and hit .251 with one home run, 31 RBIs and 43 steals.
Born: September 2, 1988.
2017 Statistics: Tossed just two-and-one-third shutout innings in three outings in the Rookie Arizona League.
Extra Scoop: The Royals’ 18th-rounder from 2011 was sidelined with shoulder woes for the majority of the 2017 season and had missed much of 2016 as well. In ’16 he combined between the Arizona League, Wilmington (High A) and Northwest Arkansas (Double-A) to go 0-4 but with a more indicative 2.87 ERA in nine starts, striking out 37 while walking 11 in 37 2/3 innings and allowing just 26 hits.
Born: July 29, 1990.
2017 Statistics: Hit .248 with 17 home runs and 66 RBIs in 129 games at Springfield (Double-A).
Extra Scoop: This was Wilson’s fourth go-round at Springfield.
Born: October 5, 1990.
2017 Statistics: Went 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA in four starts at Tennessee (Double-A), striking out 14 and walking 10 in 17 innings while allowing 13 hits.
Extra Scoop: If Nunn’s numbers look a little thin, it’s because he spent most of 2017 in the indie leagues before being signed by the Cubs at the tail end of the season. He was originally a 24th-round pick by the Padres in 2012 before being released. He also got some tune-up time with Evansville of the independent Frontier League this past summer.
Born: September 28, 1990.
2017 Statistics: Combined to go 3-4 with a 4.06 ERA in 44 games between Potomac (High A) and Harrisburg (Double-A), striking out 53 while walking just 16 and allowing 46 hits in 51 innings while limiting opposing hitters to a .235 BAA.
Born: February 25, 1993.
2017 Statistics: Combined to hit .291 with nine home runs, 55 RBIs and 24 doubles in 107 games between Reading (Double-A) and Lehigh Valley (Triple-A) in the Phillies’ farm system before becoming a minor league free agent and signing with the Orioles on November 28 of this year.
Born: December 18, 1994.
2017 Statistics: Hit .279 with four home runs and 46 RBIs in 129 games at Wilmington (High A), seeing time at all four infield positions.
Extra Scoop: There will be a test on this: Wander Franco is the brother of fellow MiLB player Wander Franco (3B, Astros) and also the son of Wander Franco. They are also apparently the nephews of former big league brothers Willy Aybar and Erick Aybar.
Born: July 1, 1991.
2017 Statistics: Hit .188 with one RBI in 10 games as he made his MLB debut with the Mariners on June 2, 2017. Hit a combined .231 between Tacoma (Seattle/Triple-A) and Round Rock (Texas/Triple-A) with six home runs and 29 RBIs in 97 games.
Extra Scoop: Originally an eighth-round pick by the Mariners in 2013, he was picked up by the Rangers on a waiver claim from Seattle on July 30, 2017.
Born: November 15, 1992.
2017 Statistics: Combined for an 0.00 ERA and no record in six-and-one-third innings pitched between the Marlins’ Rookie Gulf Coast League club and Greensboro (Class A), striking out seven and walking three while allowing three hits.
Extra Scoop: Originally signed as an international free agent (Venezuela) by Cleveland on April 2, 2012, Diaz spent most of the 2014 through 2016 seasons in the independent leagues, with marked success with the Gary SouthShore RailCats in 2017 that led to his being picked up by the Marlins.
Born: January 15, 1997.
2017 Statistics: Hit .250 with three home runs and 25 RBIs in 51 games at Hudson Valley (Short-Season A).
Born: July 23, 1994.
2017 Statistics: Hit .278 with 44 RBIs in 98 games at South Bend (Class A).
Extra Scoop: Mineo is one of the few Italian-born players in the affiliated minors, having been signed by the Cubs as a free agent out of Gorizia, Italy.
Born: March 23, 1989.
2017 Statistics: Combined to hit .223 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs in 72 games between Tampa (High A) and Trenton (Double-A).
Extra Scoop: Miami’s acquisition of Othman from the Yankees marks a return to Miami for Othman, who was the Marlins’ 32nd round pick in 2011 before he joined the Yankees for the 2017 season.
Born: March 8, 1993.
2017 Statistics: Combined to hit .238 with six home runs and 15 RBIs in 63 games between Kane County (Class A) and Visalia (High A).
Born: January 23, 1995.
2017 Statistics: Went 0-1 with a 5.67 ERA in 11 games, five of them starts, at Hickory (Class A), going 3-for-3 in save opportunities and striking out 38 while walking 10 in 33 1/3 innings, giving up 39 hits.
Born: April 25, 2000*.
2017 Statistics: Hit .232 with three home runs and 17 RBIs in 45 games in the Dominican Summer League.
Extra Scoop: *No, this is not a typo. And this is not an error. Without getting into a very deep dive into the MLB rule book, every so often a glitch is made in a contract that allows a player to void his original contract and in doing so become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft before the usual restrictions are lifted (MLB will void the player’s original contract and draft a new one, the gist of which clears that player to become eligible before the usual 4/5 year deadline). That was the case with the Arizona and Selmo, and as a result, yes, the 17-year-old from the Dominican Republic became Rule 5 eligible and the Cardinals took advantage of it. Is he ready for the big leagues? Probably not. But he IS talented enough that the club felt it easily worth the “risk” to scoop him up for a mere $24,000 in the minor league phase, especially since the St. Louis had pursued him as an international free agent to start with.
Born: March 26, 1994.
2017 Statistics: Combined to go 4-7 with a 5.01 ERA in 44 games between Dayton (Class A) and Daytona (High A), striking out 88 and walking 42 in 70 innings while allowing 55 hits for a .216 BAA.
Born: March 22, 1995.
2017 Statistics: Went 3-2 with a 5.13 ERA in 14 games between Everett (Short-Season A), Clinton (Class A) and Tacoma (Triple-A), striking out 33 and walking 22 in 40 1/3 innings while allowing 50 hits.
Born: August 25, 1991.
2017 Statistics: Batted .245 with 13 home runs, 49 RBIs and a .405 SLG in 113 games at Frisco (Double-A).
Born: January 24, 1989.
2017 Statistics: Went 2-2 with a 5.30 ERA in 44 games at Reno (Triple-A), striking out 55 and walking 23 in 54 1/3 innings, allowing 62 hits.
Extra Scoop: Originally a free agent sign by the Diamondbacks out of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in September 2011, Fleck has a degree in biology and has been studying to be a physical therapist on the side. Oh, he also throws a mid-90s fastball.
Born: October 20, 1996.
2017 Statistics: Went 1-2 with a 9.72 ERA in 16 games in the Arizona League (complex), striking out 26 and walking 13 while allowing 43 hits in 25 innings.
Born: May 30, 1995.
2017 Statistics: Combined to hit .267 with one home run, 14 RBIs and four steals in 56 games between Lynchburg (High A) and Akron (Double-A).
Born: March 25, 1992.
2017 Statistics: Combined to hit .240 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs in 88 games between Lakeland (High A) and Erie (Double-A).
Born: August 20, 1992.
2017 Statistics: Combined to go 7-5 with a 4.48 ERA in 26 games between Bowie (Double-A) and Norfolk (Triple-A), striking out 109 and walking 45 while allowing 132 hits in 122 2/3 innings.