MLB

Eighteen players selected in the Rule 5 draft

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The Rule 5 Draft took place this morning and, with that, the Winter Meetings are over.

As is usually the case, you’ve probably not heard of most of the players selected. This year, though, there are at least a couple of standouts due to their major league experience.

Anthony Gose, for example, is a former big league outfielder who has converted to pitching and was trying to work his way back through the Tigers system. He was left unprotected and the Astros selected him. Albert Suarez, who has pitched 40 big league games for the Giants over the past two seasons, was taken by the Dbacks. If you want a breakdown of the more notable guys, Baseball America and MLB Pipeline are good sources.

In all, 18 players were taken in the Major League phase of the Rule 5. Here they are, with the name of the team which selected them listed first and the team from which they were selected in parenthesis. If a team is not listed, it means they passed and did not select someone in the given round:

ROUND 1

TIGERS: Victor Reyes OF (Diamondbacks)
GIANTS: Julian Fernandez RHP (Rockies)
PHILLIES: Nick Burdi RHP (Twins)
WHITE SOX: Carlos Tocci OF (Phillies)
REDS, Brad Keller RHP (Diamondbacks)
METS: Burch Smith RHP (,Rays)
BRAVES: Anyelo Gomez RHP (Yankees)
PIRATES: Jordan Milbrath RHP (Indians)
ORIOLES: Nestor Cortes LHP (Yankees)
MARLINS: Elieser Hernandez LHP (Astros)
MARINERS: Mike Ford 1B (Yankees)
ANGELS: Luke Bard RHP (Twins)
TWINS: Tyler Kinley RHP (Marlins)
DIAMONDBACKS: Albert Suarez RHP (Giants)
ASTROS: Anthony Gose LHP (Tigers)

ROUND 2

ORIOLES: Pedro Araujo RHP (Cubs)
MARLINS: Brett Graves  RHP (Athletics)

ROUND 3

ORIOLES: Jose Mesa Jr. RHP (Yankees)

Like I said, you don’t know most of these guys. And, while there have been some notable exceptions in Rule 5 Draft history, most won’t make a splash in the big leagues. Some of them have already been traded to other teams in the hour or so since they were selected. The Rule 5 Draft moves pretty fast.

Each player cost their selecting team $100,000. Each player must remain on the 25-man roster of his new club — or a club to whom they are traded — for the entire 2018 season or, at the very least, on the disabled list. If he is removed from the 25-man, the team which selected him has to offer him back to his old team for a nominal fee. Sort of like a stocking fee when you return a mattress or something. Many of these guys, of course, will not be returned and, instead, will be stashed on the DL with phantom injuries.

Ronald Acuna tops Keith Law’s top-100 prospect list

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ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.

After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”

Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.

Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.

For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.