Earlier this morning, MLB held it’s Rule 5 player draft, where players who meet certain criteria are eligible to be plucked from the minor league rosters of other teams. Read all about the rules for this here, but just know that it’s essentially a way to keep teams from letting talented players toil and rot away in the bowels of the minor leagues for years and years.
For the second year in a row, the Reds had the second pick in the draft and for the second year in a row, the Reds selected two players in the draft. Last year, neither of the players selected by the team were added to the 25 man roster at the conclusion of Spring Training, so they were returned to their original clubs. This year, they will only have to make that decision on one of the players they selected.
With their first pick, Dick Williams & Co. selected catcher Luis Torrens from the Yankees organization. Torrens is a very raw but decently talented youngster that the Yankees signed out of Venezuela as a shortstop, but saw much potential in behind the plate.
And, well, I could spend the next however many words profiling him but I won’t, because the Reds turned around and shipped Torrens to San Diego for a player to be named later and some pocket change. Interestingly enough, the Twins also sent their Rule 5 selection to the Padres. The Padres selected third overall, so that means they’ll take a swing at the top three picks in search of that ever elusive diamond in the rough.
Maybe for this very reason, the Padres only had 33 players on its 40 man roster.
In the second round, the Reds selected another catcher, this time 24-year-old Stuart Turner from the Twins organization. Turner has spent the entirety of the last two seasons at AA Chattanooga where he posted identical .322 OBPs. He was sent to the Arizona Fall League in 2015, where he notched a less-than-stellar .526 OPS against some of the better young competition in baseball.
Now, he’ll get the opportunity to provide the Reds with insurance at catcher should the perpetually broken Devin Mesoraco not return to full strength this coming season.
In the AAA portion of the draft, the Reds selected Jose Adames, who MLB.com ranked as the Marlins 29th best prospect this season. The 23-year-old right hander is raw as heck and still has a lot of things to improve upon (notably that 1.67 WHIP he put up in 48 inning last season), but he’s got a fastball that can reach 100mph and, well, these are exactly the type of gambles you should be making in the Rule 5 draft.
Perhaps more notably, none of the Reds farmhands were taken in the ML portion of the draft, which is certainly a good thing if the team really wants to see what they can get out of Zach Weiss, et. al.
Then again, it’s also a sign that the other MLB clubs don’t hold the Reds prospects in high regard. Which, well, that’s just, like, their opinion, man.
Farewell, Art, we hardly knew ye.