Reds Rule 5 Draft Preview

Relevant?

Surprising news from John Fay that the Reds are "likely" to take someone in tomorrow's Rule 5 Draft and that they are trying to arrange a trade with a team who has an earlier pick. As you may remember, this is how Josh Hamilton came to town prior to the 2007 season. The Chicago Cubs, who had arranged to pick for the Reds, selected Hamilton and traded him to the Reds for cash considerations.

Having cleared Jeremy Horst off the 40-man to make room, the Reds must have their eye on at least one player they're hoping to fill that open spot. According to the Rule 5 Rules (which is also the name of a GM rock power trio at the Winter Meetings), drafted players must stay on drafting team's active roster or MLB DL for an entire season or else be offered back to their original team for a pittance.

Given that these players were left vulnerable by their parent clubs, we're almost certainly not dealing with 2012 starters out of the gate. But they need to be at least potential bench contributors with upside to justify parking them on the roster - even if only until the end of spring training. So whoever the Reds are targeting would have to fill their needs in the bench and lower rungs of the bullpen: a back-up SS, a 5th OF, a lefty reliever of a middle/long relief mop-up guy. If they luck into spot starting and impress, then it's all gravy.

Vlad over at Buc's Dugout has done an incredibly detailed run-down of Rule 5 eligibles, complete with videos for every player. It's one of the most thorough Rule 5 posts - or, really, posts about minor leaguers in general - I've ever read. So there's no point in reinventing the wheel. Taken with a general scan of the major-league ready players available in the Reds' areas of need (as opposed to high-upside players a rebuilding team would have to "hide" on their active roster), here's a list of players in whom the team should be most interested (2012 age and highest level in parentheses):

Left-handed pitchers

  1. Tim Alderson, Pirates (23 in 2012, Highest level: AA)
  2. Cesar Cabral, Red Sox (23 in '12, Highest level: AA)
  3. T.J. McFarland, Indians (23 in '12, Highest level: AA)
  4. Trevor Reckling, Angels (23 in '12, Highest level: AAA)

Right-handed pitchers

  1. Brad Meyers, Nationals (26 in '12, Highest level: AAA)
  2. Diego Moreno, Pirates (25 in '12, Highest level: AA)
  3. Rob Bryson, Indians (24 in '12, Highest level: AA)
  4. NIck Barnese, Rays (23 in '12, Highest level: AA)
  5. Steve Geltz, Angels (24 in '12, Highest level: AAA)
  6. Dae-Eun Rhee, Cubs (23 in '12, Highest level: A+)

Spot starter potential in 2012:

  1. Brad Meyers, Nationals (26 in '12, Highest level: AAA)
  2. Steve Geltz, Angels (24 in '12, Highest level: AAA)
  3. T.J. McFarland, Indians (23 in '12, Highest level: AA)

Shortstops

  1. Marwin Gonzalez, Cubs (23 in '12, Highest level: AAA)
  2. Mark Hallberg, D-backs (26 in 2012, Highest level: AAA)

Outfielders

  1. Thomas Pham, Cardinals (24 in '12, Highest level: AA)
  2. Erik Komatsu, Nationals (24 in '12, Highest level: AA)
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