The highlight of the final day of the Winter Meetings is the Rule 5 draft (11:00 central time). The Twins have stated publicly that it is unlikely that they will make a Rule 5 selection, but could they lose players? What will happen in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft. Check back to this article throughout the morning for more updates.
This article will be update throughout the Rule 5 draft.Morning Updates (The Rule 5 draft just started. Players selected by the Twins or from the Twins will be mentioned here):
Only 14 total players were selected in the MLB portion of the Rule 5 draft. The Twins did not lose any players.
In the AAA portion, the Twins selected RHP Dusten Knight from the Giants. The team lost no one in the AAA portion.
Stop by this article throughout the morning on Thursday for any updates regarding the Rule 5 draft.
Again, reports from the Twins beat writers on hand in Las Vegas noted that Derek Falvey said the Twins are not likely to make a selection in the Rule 5 draft. The roster is currently at 40, so potentially they could remove a player before the draft to make a pick.
The other side of that is that the Twins could lose players in the Major League Rule 5 draft. Who are players that have a chance to be selected? Here's a quick list:
Tyler Jay - LH RP
Jay is one of several former first-round picks, ,and a few top 10 picks, who went unprotected and are eligible. The Twins top pick in 2015 out of Illinois has had several injuries and struggled in his roles (starter and then reliever). The potential is still there for him to be a quality late-inning reliever if he can be healthy.Jake Reed - RH RP
Jake Reed was incredible over the final three months of the 2018 season, so it was very surprising (disappointing) that he didn't receive a September call up. He was left unprotected from the Rule 5 draft for the third straight year. His stuff is still really good, and he put up the strong numbers to back it. He's done everything he can in AAA. If I was a team with a spot, I'd strongly consider him. But I said the same thing the last two years.Johan Quezada - RH RP
Definitely the sleeper of the group since he has less than ten innings in his professional career above the rookie leagues, and that was late last season in Cedar Rapids. He missed all of 2017 with a shoulder injury. However, he was hitting 98 late last year. Would he be able to stick on a big league roster all year? Seems unlikely, but there are teams that might be willing to take a shot on the flame thrower.Hector Lujan - RH RP
Lujan has been really good the last couple of seasons. He led the organization (minor leagues) in saves in 2017 in Cedar Rapids. He finished very strong for Ft. Myers in 2018 and then pitched in the Arizona Fall League. Lujan played in college at UC-Santa Barbara and then at Westmont College with Andrew Vasquez. He throws hard, 94-96 mph, and he's been great in the community.Lewin Diaz - 1B
Diaz was coming off of a strong season in Cedar Rapids in 2017, hitting doubles and home runs. He went undrafted in the Rule 5 draft. 2018 was not a good year for the Dominican slugger. He didn't hit well, and then he broke his wrist and missed the rest of the season. It's probably less likely that he gets drafted, but not out of the realm of possibility. He was a big, big man when he was signed, but he has worked really hard. He is now down to 220 pounds and when he gets out of the Florida State League, his power could really start to show.
Other Twins Players Potentially Selected: RH SP Andro Cutura, OF/1B Zander Wiel, RH RP Ryan Eades, C Brian Navarreto, OF Jaylin Davis, RH RP Cody Stashak, 3B Brian Schales, IF Randy Cesar, RHP Preston Guilmet and RHP Zack Weiss.
JJ Cooper of Baseball America posted a list of many of the players who are available in the MLB Rule 5 draft on Thursday. Check out his list and see if there are any players that the Twins should be interested in.
As you know, it costs $100,000 to make a Rule 5 selection. Then that player must remain on the draft team's active roster all year or be offered back to the original team for $50,000. Trades can be worked out as well
Minor League Rule 5 Draft
While we can spend hours going over a list of which players are eligible for the MLB Rule 5 draft, there is no way to prepare for the minor league portion. Those rosters aren't made public.
Unlike the MLB portion, players selected in the minor league Rule 5 draft go to the other team. They can be placed anywhere in the system and do not have to be offered back. The Twins selected Yancarlos Baez last year in the minor league portion. He didn't pitch after having Tommy John surgery, but he should return to the mound in 2019.
Feel free to discuss the Rule 5 draft here as it happens or rumors before and after. The article will be updated after the MLB portion of the Rule 5 and after the Minor League portion of the Rule 5.
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