This year, the draft takes place on Thursday at 9AM EST or 6AM PST for us California peeps and you can catch a live stream of the Rule 5 Draft on MLB.com. But before you wake up early to watch the Angels nab the next big star, let’s take a look at last few years
2016: Justin Haley, RHP (Red Sox) - Was promptly traded to the Twins who flipped him to the Padres. The Angels spent 100K on Haley so they must have had a deal in place to get a decent amount of cash back in return (no PTNL was exchanged)
2015: Deolis Guerra, RHP (Pirates) - Guerra had a pretty solid 2016 and less than desirable (though not terrible) 2017. He elected free agency last month after the Angels out righted him to Salt Lake.
2014: Taylor Featherston, SS.2B (Rockies/Cubs) - The Rockies drafted Featherston and Jerry Dipoto bought him from the Cubs who drafted him.
2013: No selection
This year, the Angels are slated to pick 17th. That is assuming everyone in front of them picks. Odds are they may be slotted in around 15 or 16 for their pick (if they chose one).
Also, it’s important to note that Osmer Morales and Damien Magnifico were left unprotected from the Rule 5 draft so someone could snag them. Morales is the Angels 28th ranked prospect and was signed by Billy Eppler as a minor league free agent last off season. Morales had a 3.22 ERA in Salt Lake last year in 50.1 innings. Magnifico was received in a trade that sent Jordan Kipper to the Orioles. He was recently bumped off the top 30 prospect list recntly and is a 4 time minor league All Star. Both of these guys could generate some interest in the later part of the draft though they certainly are not in the top 10 available players. If either of them goes, Morales would be the much more likely target.
Who might the Angels draft?
I’d be surprised if the Angels picked up anyone who hasn’t at least played a good chunk of time in AAA. They could possibly be in the market for a utility infielder (of which the pickings are VERY slim), 4th outfielder, or some bullpen help. Let’s take a look at some options and I won’t include some of the commonly ranked top 5 players since the Angels don’t really have a shot at those guys.
Jon Kemmer (OF) - Kemmer has spent the last two season in AAA for the Astros who don’t have a lot of space for him. He’s a decent fielder and mainly good for the corner outfield spots. This guy can get on base and has a career .364 OBP in the minors with a .399 last year in AAA. He doesn’t have a tone of speed which may be what the Angels want in a 4th outfielder, but he does have some power and has hit 16-18 homers in his last 4 minor league seasons.
Roemon Fields (OF) - Fields is bit more intriguing than Kemmer since he can play all 3 outfield spots and is speedy. Last year, Fields swiped 50 bases in 64 attempts. The Angels wouldn’t get any power out of him, but they would get a guy who can play all over the outfield, swipe some bases, and he had a .355 OBP in AAA last season.
Caleb Dirks (RHP) - Dirks has a career 1.91 ERA in the minors though it slipped to 4.02 in AAA last season. He’s a strikeout pitcher who missed a lot of bats and doesn’t walk a ton of hitters either. His stuff is average but works for him and could work for the Angels in the middle of the bullpen.
Montana DuRapau (RHP) - DuRapau only threw 16.2 innings in AAA last season but he struck out 23. His control is sometimes an issues but probably nothing that’s too much for Nagy to work with. He was a 32nd round pick back in 2014 but has excelled at every level posting a career 2.22 ERA, .191 BAA, and 0.93 WHIP.
Sam Selman (LHP) - In the lefty specialist market, Selman could be an intriguing pickup. In AAA, righties hit .241 off his last year, but lefties only hit 0.95. Selman struck out a very impressive 97 over 67.2 innings last year at two levels but he also walked a batter about every other inning.
J.P. Feyereisen (LHP) - Another interesting lefty specialist could be Feyereisen who lacks some consistency but hits upper 90s with his fastball. Eppler seems to not shy away from guys like this when they can throw hard. He has a career 2.17 ERA in the minors with a .192 BAA and 1.06 WHIP.
Of course - it’s also HIGHLY likely the Angels stay away from the Rule 5 drat altogether given Eppler’s ability to find guys like this on the waiver wire and at a much lower risk/cost.
Following the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft will come the minor league portion. We’ll have a recap of those selections as there are bound to be some.