Here are the results of the 2011 Rule 5 draft.
|Team||Player, Pos.||Old Team|
|1. Astros||Rhiner Cruz, rhp||Mets|
A hard-throwing righthander who has impressed in winter ball (14 strikeouts in 11 innings with reports that he's touching the high 90s). Command has always been a question for Cruz, but he has a plus-plus fastball (that touches 98) which gives him a chance if the Astros can clean up his delivery.
|2. Twins||Terry Doyle, rhp||White Sox|
Doyle is a righthander with guile who lacks a plus pitch but knows how to set up hitters. He helped his chances of being picked with an excellent Arizona Fall League performance. He certainly understands the geometry of pitching, consistently getting outs with his command and a cut fastball. Doyle's 88-92 fastball did pick up as the season progressed and he touched 93-94 mph in Arizona. Doyle confuses hitters who don’t know him, as he often pitches backward, using breaking pitches to set up his fastball. He throws four pitches for strikes, including a biting slider and a high-70s changeup.
|3. Mariners||Lucas Luetge, lhp||Brewers|
A reliever who has been on slow climb up the system since being taken in the 21st round in 2008 out of Rice, Luetge doesn't really have a plus pitch, but his tick below-average fastball and average secondary stuff allows him to compete because he throws strikes.
|4. Orioles||Ryan Flaherty, 3b/of||Cubs|
The Cubs have several prospects such as D.J. LeMahieu, Junior Lake and Josh Vitters who all profile best at third base. Flaherty also fits that description but the others are on the 40-man, and Flaherty wasn't. He's the only one of that group that bats lefthanded, and his best-case scenario appears to be as a lefty-batting Mark DeRosa, though he's less athletic and therefore less skilled defensively. Flaherty has played a lot of second base in the minors but played short, third base and both outfield corners as well. He has solid-average power and a career .809 OPS in the minors, including a .280/.347/.478 line between Double-A and Triple-A in 2011. He's as safe a bet as any Rule 5 player available to stick because of his lefthanded bat, defensive versatility, good performance track record and solid makeup.
|5. Yankees (purchased from Royals)||Cesar Cabral, lhp||Red Sox|
Cabral was also selected in the 2010 Rule 5 draft, which means that he is eligible for free agency if he passes through waivers rather than having to be offered back to his original team. Cabral keeps getting picked because he could be a useful left-on-left reliever with some history of success in the minors. He's been effective in the Dominican Winter League (1-0, 0.87). Cabral sinks his average (88-91) mph fastball that touches 93 mph, he has a decent changeup and throws a fringy slider.
|6. Cubs||Lendy Castillo, rhp||Phillies|
Castillo originally signed with the Phillies as a shortstop, but after two ineffective seasons in the Gulf Coast League, Philadelphia decided that his plus arm might be more useful off the mound than making the play in the hole. Castillo is a long way from a polished pitcher, but he has touched 96 mph and he has shown the makings of a solid breaking ball.
|8. Pirates||Gustavo Nunez, ss||Tigers|
|One of the highest profile players to be taken in the Rule 5 draft this year, Nunez ranked No. 7 on the Tigers Top 10 Prospects list after the 2009 season. But his bat has not developed as the Tigers had hoped, which explains why he was left available. Nunez has the chance to be a plus defensive shortstop, but he will be a liability at the plate. Nunez has a better chance to stick than most Rule 5 picks however because he can play multiple positions (he played a little second base in the minors) and he's a plus runner.
|21. Braves||Robert Fish, lhp||Angels|
One of two second-time Rule 5 picks, Fish has more upside than most Rule 5 picks because he has a plus fastball (92-94 mph) and a fringy breaking ball. Command has always been Fish's issue, as he has trouble repeating his delivery. Offered back to the Angels by the Yankees last year, Fish did throw more strikes in 2011.
|22. Cardinals||Eric Komatsu, of||Nationals|
|Rule 5 picks usually are limited to pitchers, middle infielders and outfielders who can run. Komatsu fits the last profile, as he can play all three outfield positions, is a tick above-average runner and has shown at least some feel for putting the barrel on the ball. The Nationals picked him up in a trade for Jerry Hairston Jr. during the 2011 season, and now he'll have a chance to play for a third team in less than a year.
|23. Astros (acquired from Red Sox)||Marwin Gonzalez, 3b||Cubs|
Gonzalez could stick as a utilityman who can play multiple positions around the infield. He's played six positions during his career–the only positions he hasn't played at some point are catcher and right field, and realistically, he has enough arm to handle right field in a pinch as well. A shortstop when he was younger, Gonzalez has gap power and he has some Triple-A experience, so as Rule 5 risks go, he's pretty safe. The Astros acquired Gonzalez for Marco Duarte, the first pick in the Triple-A phase. By doing so, the Red Sox get a player they do not have to stick on the 25-man roster, and the Astros acquired a player they could have worried would not have made it to their second-round major league Rule 5 pick.
|25. Diamondbacks||Brett Lorin, rhp||Pirates|
The 6-foot-7 Lorin is a command and control guy who pitches downhill with a fastball that has touched 94 mph but usually sits in the 87-91 range. A sinker/slider guy, Lorin has a long arm action but is a consistent strike-thrower, and a pause in his delivery gives him deception. He had hip surgery in 2010 but returned to throw 117 innings in 2011, and profiles as a fourth or fifth starter.
|29. Yankees||Brad Meyers, rhp||Nationals|
Like several of the players selected ahead of him, Meyers lacks a plus pitch, but he does have a feel for setting up hitters, and he throws a wide assortment of fringy pitches. Meyers has had success throughout his minor league career, and his 88-90 mph fastball could play up with a move to the pen where he can air it out.
Minor League Phase
BOS: Marco Duarte, RHP, Tulsa (COL)
MIN: Marty Popham, RHP, Akron (CLE)
BAL: Andy Loomis, LHP, Reading (PHI)
KC: Tom Melgarejo, LHP, Chattanooga (LAD)
CHC: Ricky Alvarez, 3B, Arkansas (LAA)
SD: Michael Wing, SS, Arkansas (LAA)
PIT: Aaron Poreda, LHP, San Antonio (SD)
MIA: Donnie Webb, OF, Akron (CLE)
CIN: Travis Mattair, SS, Reading (PHI)
WAS: Beau Seabury, C, Tulsa (COL)
TOR: Javier Avenado, RHP, Springfield (STL)
SF: Luis Rojas, RHP, Kingsport (NYM)
STL: Barret Browning, LHP, Arkansas (LAA)
BOS: Gerardo Olivares, C, Montgomery (TB)
MIL: Domnit Bolivar, SS, Springfield (STL)
TEX: Fabian Williamson, LHP, Midland (OAK)
PIT: Francisco Diaz, C, Reading (PHI)
TOR: Gabe Jacobo, OF, Arkansas (LAA)
STL: Shooter Hunt, RHP, New Britain (MIN)
TEX: Efrain Nunez, OF, Jackson (SEA)
PIT: Charlie Cutler, C, Springfield (STL)
TOR: Hector Alvarez, C, Binghamton (NYM)
TEX: Alex Buchholz, SS, Carolina (CIN)
BAL: Matt Sweeney, 3B, Charlotte (TB)
WAS: Matt Buschmann, OF, Lake Elsinore (SD)
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