The virtual Rule 5 Draft was held today at the tail end of the virtual Winter Meetings that have been ‘going on’ this week. Usually, it’s a time that sees a little bit of action from the Cincinnati Reds, who have selected the likes of Mark Payton and Jake Cave over the years, to name a few.
The entire premise of the Rule 5 is this: it prevents teams with robust farm systems from simply stashing players in the minors and blocking their paths to the big leagues, so players that have been around for a bit and still not been added to a club’s 40-man roster can be selected by other clubs who see them as on-roster talent. They’ve got to stay there all year, though, or be offered back to the club that originally had them.
This year, though, the Reds opted against making any selections, and will continue to operate with merely 32 players on their 40-man roster for the time being. That said, they did lose a player - pitcher Mac Sceroler, who was plucked by the Baltimore Orioles, as The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans relayed.
The Reds pass in the Rule 5 Draft. The Orioles took RHP Mac Sceroler from the Reds earlier. Sceroler, a 5th-round pick in 2017, was at High-A Daytona in 2019— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) December 10, 2020
Sceroler, now 25, last plyed his trade in a pro game during the 2019 season, since the 2020 minor league campaign was lost to the pandemic. That season saw him produce solid enough results, however, a 3.69 ERA and 1.11 WHIP for A+ Daytona, striking out 127 batters in 117 IP.
With Baltimore, who is obviously rebuilding, he’ll likely get every opportunity to crack the big leagues and show what he’s got right away, so this is absolutely a big moment for the former 5th round pick out of Southeastern Louisiana University. It’ll come with a rather large pay increase if he makes the Orioles active roster, too, so congrats to Mac for the opportunity.
Later on in the minor league portion of the draft - which has much different, less stringent roster rules - the Reds selected shortstop Errol Robinson from the Los Angeles Dodgers system. He won’t have to be placed on the Reds 40-man roster to stay in the system, and at 26, he likely is merely a depth move for the system at this point. He hit .260/.343/.344 split between AA Tulsa and AAA Oklahoma City back in 2019, and is a former 6th round draftee out of Ole Miss. They later added C Wilfred Astudillo, younger brother of Twins utility man Willians, from the New York Mets system. At just 20 years of age, he’s not played above rookie ball just yet.