The final day of MLB’s Winter Meetings began with the Rule 5 Draft.
The draft gives minor league players who have played a significant amount of minor league ball and aren’t on their Major League affiliate’s 40-man roster the chance to play in the Major Leagues.
Players that are eligible for selection are not on their major league organization’s 40-man roster and:
- were 18 or younger on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is the fifth Rule 5 draft upcoming; or
- were 19 or older on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is the fourth Rule 5 draft upcoming.
The draft consists of three possible Major League Rounds and three possible Triple-A rounds.
Selections during the Major League Rounds have to remain on the selecting team’s 25-man roster for the entire 2018 season or be offered back to their original team.
With the third pick in the draft, the Philadelphia Phillies selected Twins’ prospect P Nick Burdi. However, Burdi didn’t stick around long, as the Phillies flipped him to the Pittsburgh Pirates for international slot money.
Burdi, 24, was widely expected to be one of the first picks of the draft. He has a power arm with high strikeout potential and was selected in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft. Since then, Burdi has struggled with injuries. However, he has a chance to stick in the Pirates’ bullpen this season.
With the fourth pick in the draft, the Chicago White Sox selected Phillies’ prospect OF Carlos Tocci.
Tocci, 21, was another player that was expected to be taken early in the draft. He’s coming off his best season in the minor leagues, in which he hit .294 with 3 home runs and 52 RBIs at the two highest levels of the minor leagues. Tocci is known for his speed and good defense, and could be a center field option for the White Sox this season.
The Pirates got another arm with the eighth pick in the draft, selecting Indians’ prospect P Jordan Milbrath.
Baltimore got its fair share of arms, taking Yankees’ prospect P Nestor Cortes with the ninth pick in round one, getting Cubs’ prospect P Pedro Araujo with the sixteenth pick of the second round, and grabbing Yankees’ prospect P Jose Mesa with the eighteenth pick of the third round.
In the Triple-A phase of the draft, the Orioles lost prospect C Yermin Mercedes to the White Sox.
The Orioles went on a streak of losing prospects as P Mitch Horacek was taken by the Colorado Rockies, OF Jay Gonzalez was selected by the Diamondbacks and SS Angelo Mora went to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In the second round of the Triple-A portion of the draft, the Pirates selected C Rafelin Lorenzo from the Rays.
The Nationals nabbed Diamondbacks’ prospect P Kaleb Fleck.
In the third round of the Triple-A phase, the Orioles lost P Brandon Barker to the Miami Marlins.