Topicpotential game power
12 postsTue 1st Dec 2020 - 7:08am
Teams had until last Friday at 6 p.m. ET to decide which of their prospects would be added to the 40-man roster and protected from being taken by another team in the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 10. When it was all said and done, 86 players who rank among their team's Top 30 prospects were protected, including seven players from MLB Pipeline's Top 100. Unprotected prospects are subject to the Rule 5 Draft if they signed by age 18 and have completed five pro seasons, or if they signed at age 19 or older and have completed four pro seasons. There are some nuances Mike Piazza Dodgers Jersey, but most high school and international players signed as recently as 2016 and most junior college or college players signed as recently as 2017 are eligible. Teams may select unprotected players in the big league phase of the Rule 5 Draft at the cost of $100,000, with the stipulation that they can't be sent to the Minors next year without clearing waivers and then being offered back to their original club for $50,000. Below, we identify a notable player left unprotected by each of the 30 clubs. To be clear, this is not a list of the best candidates to be selected in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft, but rather a compilation of some of the most interesting eligible prospects. AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST Blue Jays: Kevin Smith, SS/3B (No. 19) Smith had a big up arrow next to his name heading into 2019 after he'd batted .302/.358/.528 with 28 homers, 31 doubles and 21 steals between Class A Lansing and Class A Advanced Dunedin in his first full season. The 2017 fourth-rounder hasn't come close to matching that production, struggling mightily in both Double-A and the Arizona Fall League, but he's a solid defensive infielder with plus raw power when he makes contact. Orioles: Brett Cumberland, C (unranked on O's Top 30) The O's got Cumberland from the Braves as part of the July 2018 Kevin Gausman trade and he was hurt for a good part of his first full season (2019) with his new organization. The 25-year-old is an offensive-minded switch-hitting backstop, and there's power there for sure Sandy Koufax Jersey, with reports coming from instructs that he had been working hard on improving his defensive game as well. Rays: Paul Campbell, RHP (No. 24) The former 21st-round pick (2017) had a breakout in 2019, posting a 3.67 ERA between Class A Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery, while finishing among the Rays' Minor League leaders in wins (13, tied-first), innings (144 2/3, second) and strikeouts (112, fourth). Adding a cutter to his now-four-pitch mix has helped the 25-year-old righty miss more bats, though there are concerns about his ability to retire left-handed hitters. Red Sox: Alex Scherff, RHP (unranked on Red Sox Top 30) Gatorade's 2017 Texas high school player of the year, Scherff showed first-round arm strength while going 15-0 with a 0.73 ERA and four no-hitters but dropped to the fifth round amid signability concerns. He has struggled since signing for $700,000, continuing to show mid-90s velocity but lacking fastball life, a reliable breaking ball, command and control. Yankees: Garrett Whitlock, RHP (unranked on Yankees Top 30) An over-slot ($247,500) signing as a 17th-rounder from Alabama-Birmingham in 2017, Whitlock spun a 31-inning scoreless streak in his first full pro season and advanced to Double-A before having Tommy John surgery in July 2019. His low-three-quarters delivery creates tremendous sink on his 91-94 mph two-seam fastball and he backs it up with a low-80s slider with two-plane depth. AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL Indians: Will Benson, OF (unranked on Indians Top 30) Benson offered the best combination of size (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) and athleticism in the 2016 Draft and signed for $2.5 million as the 14th overall pick. The Georgia prep product led the Class A Midwest League with 22 homers in 2018 and homered four times in one game last year Jackie Robinson Jersey, but he has timing issues at the plate and his selectivity can become passivity, so he has batted just .212 with a 31 percent strikeout rate in the Minors. Royals: Seuly Matias, OF (No. 14) Matias' profile is unchanged from a year ago, when he went unselected in the Rule 5 Draft. The 31 home runs Matias hit in 2018, his only healthy full-season campaign, accurately reflect the 22-year-old outfielder's massive raw power and potential game power, and he reportedly made gains in his plate discipline and contact this past summer after posting alarmingly high strikeout rates early in his career. Tigers: Wenceel Perez, SS (No. 16) Signed out of the Dominican Republic for $550,000 in July 2016, Perez, 21, has shown a knack for making contact from both sides of the plate early in his career but will need to get stronger in order to do damage consistently. And while he's raw as a shortstop defensively, he also has the blend of athleticism, speed and arm strength needed to remain at the position. Twins: Akil Baddoo, OF (No. 13) Between Tommy John surgery in May 2019 and then the shutdown, Baddoo has missed nearly two years of competitive action, though he tried to get as many reps as possible at instructs. Baddoo has some serious tools, with the ability to make consistent hard contact and play a very good center field Cody Bellinger Jersey, with the Twins likely hoping he's just too far away for a team to take a chance in the Rule 5 Draft. White Sox: Will Kincanon, RHP (No. 29) An 11th-round pick out of Indiana State in 2017, Kincanon moved from starter to reliever after turning pro and posted a 1.86 ERA with 71 strikeouts in 58 Class A Advanced innings a year ago. He mainly operates with a heavy 92-95 mph sinker to get grounders and a mid-80s slider that misses bats. AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST Angels: Kevin Maitan, 3B/2B (No. 24) It feels like an eternity since Maitan was a super-hyped prospect in the 2016-17 international class and signed with the Braves for $4.25 million. He since was declared a free agent in the wake of the Braves' international signing infractions and joined the Angels. He made his full-season debut in 2019 and struggled with his overall approach, so it's hard to envision a team rolling the dice, but it is important to keep in mind he's still only 20. Astros: Jose Alberto Rivera, RHP (No. 14) Signed for just $10,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2016, Rivera saw his four-seam fastball jump from 89-93 mph during his U.S. debut in 2018 to 94-98 mph with a peak of 100 while striking out 95 in 75 2/3 Class A innings in 2019. He projects as a multi-inning reliever and his second-best offering is a mid-80s changeup with splitter action. A's: Buddy Reed, OF (No. 24) Reed wasn't protected by the Padres in last year's Rule 5 Draft and was later sent to the A's as the player to be named in the Jurickson Profar deal. The former second-round pick has tools aplenty, though he struggled adjusting to Double-A in both 2018 and '19 with San Diego. He is capable of playing all three outfield spots and his plus speed is a huge asset on the basepaths as well.