Rule Five Draft Blog

By the staff of Baseball America
December 13, 2004

Luke Hagerty will be sent to Marlins for a player to be named later. We’re shutting down (as is the event), but we’ll be back with a full feature story soon.
— 12:17 a.m. PST

More movement . . . RHP Marcos Carvajal, selected by the Brewers, looks like he’ll be sold to the Rockies or traded for two minor league players.
— 12:07 a.m. PST

Will Lingo reports that Washington’s first pick in the Triple-A phase, RHP Victor Prieto (from the Marlins) will be sold to the Red Sox.
— 12:06 a.m. PST

Clearly strapped for players after three years of MLB control, the Nationals have been busy, selecting three players in the Triple-A phase, and now four in the Double-A phase, including Padres speedster Marcus Nettles, thus ending the Rule 5 draft. Fun huh? We’ll get some scoop and be back soon.
— 11:57 a.m. PST

The Double-A phase is underway and the room is just electric — zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
— 11:53 a.m. PST

Making up for the lack of action in the Major League phase, a whopping 51 players we’re selected in the Triple-A phase of the draft, which just ended.
— 11:45 a.m. PST

Former first-round pick Rick Asadoorian (Red Sox, 2000) was selected by the Reds from Texas. Asadoorian is a plus athlete was outstanding defensive skills who just never came around with the bat. He hit .288-3-27 for Double-A Frisco, but just .190 in 42 Triple-A at-bats.
— 11:36 a.m. PST

Looking for familiar names? Look no further than the Triple-A phase. Seattle selected Aaron Herr, son of former Cardinals star Tommie, from Atlanta, while Washington selected Edgar Gonzalez, the brother of Rangers prospect Adrian Gonzalez, from Texas. Three picks later, infielder John Raburn, the brother of Tigers prospect Ryan, was selected by Tampa Bay from Milwaukee.
— 11:33 a.m. PST

The first big (well, semi-big) name in the Triple-A phase is now former Astros RHP Rodrigo Rosario, who was selected by Florida. Once one of the better arms in the Houston system, Rosario has been beset by injuries of late.
— 11:28 a.m. PST

The White Sox selected Ryan Warpinski from the the Marlins in the Triple-A phase. At Texas A&M, Waspinski had a teammate named Ryan Wardinski. Yes, we are loopy from three days in Anaheim.
— 11:26 a.m. PST

The best arm among pitchers selected in the first round might belong to righthander Marcos Carvajal, plucked by the Brewers out of the Dodgers system. Carvajal allowed just 50 hits and had 72 strikeouts in 72 innings as low Class A Columbus’ closer. He throws three pitches for strikes, but his 6-foot-4, 175-pound frame is too slight to handle a starting load, according to scouts who saw him in the South Atlantic League. The native of Venezuela reached 96 mph with his fastball during the season and finished the year with a short stint in Double-A.
— 11:24 a.m. PST

The Triple-A phase began with the Royals selecting righty Chris Demaria from Pittburgh
— 11:22 a.m. PST

As expected, lefthanded pitching was at a premium in the Rule 5’s major league phase. Five of the 12 players selected were lefthanders, with two being big-bodied Cubs pitchers. Six-foot-9 Andy Sisco and 6-foot-7 Luke Hagerty, who was recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2003, were two of the pitchers who went as expected. The Twins’ selection of Rowland-Smith from the Twins also was little surprise, considering the Twins’ heavy involvement in scouting Australia. The other lefties picked were Matt Merricks, whom the Rockies drafted out of the Dodgers organization, and Tyler Johnson, whom the A’s drafted out of the Cardinals oranization.
— 11:20 a.m. PST

The Triple-A portion is about to begin.
— 11:18 a.m. PST

Tyrell Godwin is no stranger to drafts. He was a first-round pick of the Yankees out of a North Carolina high school in 1997, then a supplemental first-rounder in 2000 out of North Carolina. He didn’t return to college but had to return to the draft in 2001 after failing a physical with the Rangers, and the Blue Jays drafted him in the third round that year. He signed and reached Double-A New Hampshire in 2004, hitting .253-6-40 with 42 stolen bases, which led the organization. The Washington Nationals put him back into another draft by taking him with the fourth pick (third player drafted overall) in the major league portion of the Rule 5. Godwin’s best tool is his speed, but his plate discipline (.326 OBP, 52 walks) has lagged behind.
— 11:17 a.m. PST

The draft is over (all 12 minutes of it). Washington selected slugger Tony Blanco from the Reds in round two, and the remaining teams passed. Only 12 players were selected, an unusually low number, which explains the unusual lack of buzz before the draft began.
— 11:14 a.m. PST

Two of the last three picks were 2004 Olympians–LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (Australia) goes to the Twins from the Mariners, and outfielder Adam Stern (Canada) goes to the Red Sox from the Braves.
— 11:12 a.m. PST

The A’s took LHP Tyler Johnson from the Cards system. The Dodgers have already lost three players, including Shane Victorino, who was selected by the Phillies. In was the second time in four years that Victorino was Rule Fived.
— 11:10 a.m. PST

The Cubs lose another pitcher as the Orioles have selected Luke Hagerty. We’re not fast enough to get every pick here, but we’ll keep up with some of the more interesting names
— 11:07 a.m. PST

The rumors were correct; Arizona selected Garcia and the Royals followed with Sisco. Washington surprised with the next pick (Seattle passed) by taking Toronto outfielder Tyrell Godwin. We will have a full list of picks once the draft is done and official.
— 11:07 a.m. PST

It’s fairly remarkable that we’re here in a nice hotel ballroom with tables for all the teams and media and a pretty big gallery, yet the much higher profile draft in June is still done via conference call — why can’t we do it this way in June as well?
— 11:05 a.m. PST

Garcia, 21, was a fourth-round pick in 2001 out of Puerto Rico. A 6-foot-7 righty, Garcia was in extended spring training until June, coming off Sept. 2003 Tommy John surgery. He pitched in just seven games for Quad Cities (low A) late in the season, and was pitching for Mantei in his native Puerto Rico this winter, where he has a 1-1, 4.76 record in seven games. According to reports, Garcia is like many TJ pitchers early in the recovery process–the velocity is there, the command lags behind. He was reported to be throwing in the low 90s and touching 95 mph with his fastball and had shown a good changeup in winter ball. They’re shutting us up, the draft is about to begin.
— 11:01 a.m. PST

The Twins and the Mariners are both expecting to lose multiple players today.
— 10:54 a.m. PST

Welcome to our first annual Rule 5 Draft Blog! We’ll be posting info as the draft goes on. The draft begins in about 15 minutes. Current rumors received by John Manuel and Allan Simpson have the Diamondbacks selecting Twins RHP Angel Garcia with the first pick and then selling his rights to Tampa Bay for $150,000. The Royals are expected to pop Cubs LHP Andy Sisco with pick No. 2.
— 10:52 a.m. PST