In the annual mystical autumn rite, the names of some players you've never heard of suddenly appear next to Joey Votto and Aroldis Chapman. But some of these players might be pretty good.
I never end up getting the list of eligible players completely right, let alone guessing everyone that gets added. Here are your Rule 5 Protection Program enrollees for 2012:
Daniel Corcino, RHP (age 22, highest level: AA)
Yorman Rodriguez, OF (age 20, highest level: A+)
Ismael Guillon, LHP (age 20, highest level: A)
Carlos Contreras, RHP (age 21, highest level: A+)
Curtis Partch , RHP (age 25, highest level: AA)
Josh Ravin, RHP (age 24, highest level: AA)
Corcino was a complete no-brainer. Along with Tony Cingrani, who was added a few months a go, he's one of the Reds' two best pitching prospects in the upper minors. Yorman is an automatic bid too. While he's been spinning his wheels for two seasons at A/A+, he just turned 20 and the Reds pumped a lot of money into his bonus - the largest ever given to a Venezuelan player.
Guillon wouldn't seem to eligible or likely to be plucked from A-ball, but according to the vagaries of the Rule 5, he could have been taken the last two seasons because he's on his second contract. And there could easily be some teams who would want to hide his talent in the back of a bullpen, especially if they're not competing. Remember the Marlins?
The other three are relievers.Ravin and Partch were essentially just converted from starting this season. Contreras is a somewhat surprising name. But like the other two, he has STUFF. So that's an interesting crop of power pitchers who could be useful to the bullpen sometime soon.