2018 Rule 5 Preview V 1.0
Now that the deadline has passed for players to be protected for the 2018 Rule 5 draft, we’re diving in.
We will have many additions over the next few weeks in the lead up to Dec. 13’s Rule 5 draft, but here is a first pass at five players who are notable candidates to be picked in the Rule 5.
To see all 30 team's moves ahead of Tuesday's 40-man roster deadline, click here.
Richie Martin, SS, Athletics
Martin has long faced questions about his bat, but he’s a true shortstop with at least above-average range and a plus arm. In his third stint at Double-A Midland, he hit .302/.370/.442. As a shortstop with some success hitting in Double-A, he immediately becomes a very interesting Rule 5 candidate.
Ray-Patrick Didder, SS/OF, Braves
Didder is a backup, but he’s a very versatile backup. Everyone got to watch him play second, third and shortstop in the Arizona Fall League, and he’s shown in the past that he can be an above-average center fielder. Didder is a plus runner with a plus arm, excellent versatility and an ability to help as a pinch runner, utility infielder/outfielder and a low-impact pinch hitter who makes contact but doesn’t have much power. He has a lower ceiling than what many teams look for in a Rule 5 pick, but he can help a big league team in 2019, which is something many Rule 5 candidates can’t say.
Kean Wong, 2B, Rays
Wong is a lefthanded-hitting second baseman who had two productive years at Triple-A Durham. He hit .282/.345/.406 this past season while playing second base, third base, left field and center field. What hurts Wong as a Rule 5 candidate is his below-average arm. For teams who like to shift, Wong struggled to make those throws from short right field when he was shifted at second. But he can hit and is big league ready, and his hands work well at second base.
Max Schrock, 2B, Cardinals
Schrock is well-traveled (he’s been traded twice) and he’s coming off of his worst year in pro ball, but until last season he’d hit wherever he’d played. He’s a fringy defender at second base and doesn’t have much defensive versatility (he can’t play shortstop) which hurts his case as a Rule 5 pick, but a team who believe he’s a plus hitter could be enticed.
Riley Ferrell, RHP, Astros
Ferrell had a rocky return this season in his second year back from shoulder surgery, but he has the same swing-and-miss stuff he had when the Astros drafted him in the third round in 2015. What he doesn’t have is the control to know where that stuff is going—he walked nearly six batters per nine innings this season. When they were rebuilding years ago, the Astros had success nabbing Josh Fields in the Rule 5 draft with a similar profile (big stuff, poor control). Now someone could try to do the same thing to the Astros.