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  • Rule 5 Draft Preview: Diamond Hunting

    Scott Diamond shows how the Rule 5 draft can benefit a team.
    The Rule 5 Draft can be an interesting test of an organization because of all of the rules and regulations involved in selecting a player. To understand the Twins mindset for the draft, it is important to know the rules involved in selecting a player and the purpose of the Rule 5 Draft. All of these things can go a long way into a team's decision to pick a player or to let their pick go to the wayside.

    When MLB instituted the Rule 5 Draft, the purpose was to keep teams from stockpiling MLB ready talent in their organization. This draft gives players that are ready the opportunity to sink or swim at the big league level. If a player has been with a team for an allotted amount of time and hasn't been added to the 40-man roster, he is exposed to the Rule 5 Draft.

    Rule 5 players must stay with their new big league club or be offered back to their old team. This means a club canít pick up a Rule 5 player and stash him away in the minor leagues. The order of the draft is based on the win-loss record of the team's from the previous season. For the Twins, this means the club has the fourth pick after having the second pick last season.

    Here is a look at the Twins last five Rule 5 drafts:

    None of the above listed Rule 5 picks were strong enough to stay on the 25-man roster for the entire season. Scott Diamond has been the only player in the last half decade to make an impact on the Twins from their Rule 5 selections. Even he had to be sent to the minors for a little more seasonin, which meant the Twins needed to work out a trade with his previous team, that Atlanta Braves. The Rule 5 Draft can be full of disappointments but there can be some "Diamonds" in the rough.

    One of the sticking points for the Twins at this point is they have no space available on their 40-man roster. For the team to use their fourth pick in the Rule 5 Draft, they would need to clear room on the roster. The organization just added eight players to the 40-man so there is a chance the team might not be looking to making any additions at this point.

    There are a few names left off of other team's 40-man rosters and this could be good news for the Twins. The club is in desperate need of adding some pitching and the Rule 5 Draft could help in this search. Below you will find three names of pitchers that could be available for the Twins to select with their fourth pick but they still need to make room on the 40-man roster.

    Josh Fields, RHP, Red Sox (Age 27)
    Fields is a former first round pick that has spent the last two seasons bouncing between Double-A and Triple-A with the Red Sox and the Mariners. He has been used entirely as a relief pitcher but he has posted good ERA marks on his way up the ladder. He can strike batters out with a SO/9 of 12 last year and he doesn't walk a lot of batters. Fields is a flyball pitcher but he does a good job of keeping the ball in the park and this would suit him well at Target Field. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and he has a very good curveball. Fields seems like a player that could slide into a bullpen role with the Twins next year.

    Kyle Kaminska, RHP, Pirates (Age 24)
    The Twins love control pitchers and Kaminska might fit their profile. He worked his way up to Triple-A last season in a primary relief role. His low walk rate of 1.2 BB/9 sure sounds like it is right up the Twins alley. His fastball sits right around 90 mph and his breaking pitch isn't anything to write home about. Kaminska could fit into the middle of a bullpen and eat up some innings for a club. The Twins seem to need starting pitching at this point so Kaminska might be overlooked for a pitcher with more experience in that role.

    JC Sulbaran, RHP, Royals (Age 23)
    Sulbaran is a new member of the Royals organization as he was just traded to the team last season. This still didn't mean they wanted to protect him on their 40-man roster. At 23 years old, he is still young and there is plenty of potential in his right arm. His control has been an issue during his time in the minors and this might make the Twins look the other direction. He averaged 5.2 BB/9 last year but he had 9.3 SO/9. Sulbaran has a low-90s fastball and a decent breaking pitch that could make him useful in the future. If the Twins want to take a flyer on a player, he could turn into a back of the rotation starter.

    This article was originally published in blog: Rule 5 Draft Preview: Diamond Hunting started by Cody Christie
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      It is much more difficult to steal a player since baseball added another year of service before players become eligible. It is unlikely a guy like Santana would have been available under the current rules.

      I think Sulbaran was rumored to part of the package the Reds were offering for Span.

      Reflecting back on Santana, he was a 21 year old not close to ready for the majors when the Twins selected him. He was awful the first year and not at all useful the second. The Twins had tremendous patience. It is probably a good thing sites like this did not exist or he would certainly have been ripped regularly. He wasn't a full time starter until his 5th season (probably should have been third).

      Anyone have the patience to wait 3 years for a guy? The Twins could look for a younger guy in A-ball and bet on the upside.

      I think the Twins are taking some risk that some team will do similar with Adrian Salcedo this year.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      I always prefer:
      Rule "V" draft.

      Whenever we can we should also use Roman Numerals.

      Looking at our current XL-man Roster I am not sure who I would drop for any of these guys.
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      would the mets trade johan satana? can the twins get the resurgent years from the ace of their franchise in his foxy maturity? pitcher's park. probably not. never mind.
    1. Alex's Avatar
      Alex -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      I always prefer:
      Rule "V" draft.

      Whenever we can we should also use Roman Numerals.

      Looking at our current XL-man Roster I am not sure who I would drop for any of these guys.
      They already dropped a player.
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