Baseball 101: MLB Rule 5 Draft – 2020 Edition

What is the MLB Rule 5 Draft? The Rule 5 draft is designed to prevent teams from hoarding prospects in their minor league systems that should be playing in an MLB level. MLB teams must protect eligible players that they wish to keep by adding them to their 40 man roster by the deadline (6 pm eastern on 11-20-20). Failure to add any Rule 5 eligible players will result on those players entering the Rule 5 draft pool.

What players are at risk of entering the Rule 5 Draft pool? Any player that was signed before the age of 18 that have 5 years in the minors or any players that was signed after the age of 19 who have 4 years in the minors.

Also read: Shaping up the Mets bullpen

How does the Rule 5 draft work? On December 10, 2020, teams will get the chance (in reverse order of the 2019 regular season standings) to draft a players who was not protected. Not every team participates because there are risks involved. If a team selects a player, they must pay the former club $100,000 and are assigned to the acquiring MLB team’s 26 man roster. Should the acquiring team decide to release the player from the 26 man roster, the player must be placed on waivers. If the player clears waivers, then they are offered back to the former team for $50,000 and placed back in the former team’s minor system.

Previous Rule 5 picks who turned All Star:

  • LHP Johan Santana – 1999 – Picked 2nd overall by the Marlins from the Houston Astros and traded to the Minnesota Twins.
  • OF Shane Victorino – 2002 – Picked 19th overall by the San Diego Padres from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Jose Bautista – 2003 – Picked 6th over all by the Baltimore Orioles from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • OF Shane Victorino (again) – 2004 – Picked 7th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • 2B Dan Uggla – 2005 – Picked 8th overall by the Florida Marlins from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • RHP Joakim Soria – 2006 – Picked 2nd overall by the Kansas City Royals from the San Diego Padres.
  • OF Josh Hamilton – 2006 – Picked 4rd overall by the Chicago Cubs from the Tampa Bay Rays and traded to Cincinnati Reds.
  • RHP R.A. Dickey – 2007 – Picked 12th overall by the Seattle Mariners by the Minnesota Twins.
  • OF Ender Inciarte – 2012 – Picked 10th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies from the Arizona Diamondbacks

2020 Mets players eligible for the Rule 5 Draft: For the 2020 Season, the Mets did not protect any Rule 5 draft eligible players by adding them to the 40 man roster. The following Mets players have entered the draft pool and can be selected by other teams.

  • INF Shervyen Newton
  • RHP Dedniel Nunez
  • RHP Michel Otanez
  • RHP Tony Dibrell
  • RHP Daison Acosta
  • INF Luis Carpio

Interesting names available for the Rule 5 Draft: The following are players that teams did not protect who I feel should be on teams radars.

  • CF/LF Brewer Hicklen KC – Good power-speed combination. Could play CF but is projected to stick at LF long term.
  • CF/RF Seuly Matias KC- Loud tools and huge power upside but does not make enough contact and strikes out at a high rate. Has a cannon for an arm and could play CF.
  • CF Will Benson CLE- Above average CF with good power and speed combination but there are concerns with his ability to make contact.
  • SS/3B Kevin Smith TOR- Blocked by Bo Bichette at SS, possibly Vlad Jr at 3B. With top prospect Jordyn Groshans also making his way up to take over 3B and Cavan Biggo manning 2B, he has no where to start in the INF. Looks like he has a safe enough floor with 20-20 potential. Definitely someone to keep an eye on in the R5 draft.

Also read: Slightly Too Early Pete Alonso 2021 predictions and projections

Photo from USA Today/Tim Ferrell

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