Josh Fields, pitching for the Seattle Mariners in spring training 2010 - Lisa Blumenfeld, Getty Images
2012 MLB Rule 5 Draft: Player Analysis (check back frequently as I update this)
Houston Astros: , RHP, Boston Red Sox: 27 year old right-hander, posted a 2.01 ERA with a 78/18 K/BB in 58 innings between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket this year. Formerly a hot prospect and former first-round pick in the Mariners system, Fields has very good stuff with an above-average fastball and breaking ball, but has usually struggled with his control. He threw strikes more efficiently this year and can be a strong relief asset if he keeps that up. CHANCE TO STICK: Very high.
Chicago Cubs: Hector Rondon, RHP, Cleveland Indians: Age 24, this Venezuelan right-hander is making his way back from difficult elbow problems, including Tommy John surgery and a separate fracture. He threw just seven innings in 2012, but is currently pitching well in the Venezuelan Winter League. Rondon worked in the low-to-mid-90s pre-injury but his secondary pitches were unrefined. If healthy, he could stick in the back of the bullpen. CHANCE TO STICK: Moderate.
Colorado Rockies: Dan Rosenbaum, LHP, Washington Nationals: This 25-year-old southpaw was drafted out of Xavier University in the 22nd round in 2009, but has performed well throughout his career. He posted a 3.94 ERA with a 99/39 K/BB and a 2.29 GO/AO in 155 innings for Double-A Harrisburg this year. His velocity is average but his fastball sinks and he gets plenty of grounders. He also has a solid curveball and average changeup. He could be useful as a fifth starter or a relief option. CHANCE TO STICK: High.
Minnesota Twins: Ryan Pressly, RHP, Boston Red Sox: Pressly turns 25 later this month. An 11th round pick in 2007 from high school in Texas, his progress through the system has been slow. He was hit hard in the Carolina League earlier this year (6.28 ERA, 86 hits in 76 innings) but was more effective after moving to relief in Double-A (2.93 ERA, 21/10 K/BB in 28 innings) and was outstanding in the Arizona Fall League (18/1 K/BB in 14 innings). He has a low-90s fastball, a curveball, a cutter, and a changeup. He could be a solid reliever if the progress in Arizona is real and not just a small sample illusion. CHANCE TO STICK: Moderate
Cleveland Indians: Chris McGuiness, 1B, Texas Rangers: Age 24, McGuiness had an impressive power season in the Double-A Texas League, hitting .268/.366/.474 with 23 homers, 69 walks, and 107 strikeouts in 456 at-bats. He followed up with a .283/.370/.467 line in the Arizona Fall League and was named the circuit MVP. A 13th round pick by the Boston Red Sox in 2009 from the Citadel, he was traded to Texas in the Jarrod Saltalamacchia trade. He has legitimate home run power and under normal circumstances he would have been protected, but the Rangers simply didn't have room for him on their crowded 40-man. CHANCE TO STICK: High.
Miami Marlins: Alfredo Silverio, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers: A 25-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic, Silverio missed the entire 2012 season due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident. He hit .306/.340/.542 with 42 doubles, 18 triples, 16 homers, and 11 steals in 132 games for Double-A Chattanooga in 2011. Silverio is an aggressive hitter with above-average power, some speed, and a strong throwing arm. His plate discipline is shaky and we'll have to see how well he can work the injury rust off, but he does have a high ceiling. CHANCE TO STICK: Moderate.
Boston Red Sox: Jeff Kobernus, 2B, Washington Nationals: Age 24, Kobernus was drafted by the Nationals in the second round in 2009 from the University of California. He hit .282/.325/.333 this year for Double-A Harrisburg, with 42 steals, 19 walks, and 57 strikeouts in 330 at-bats. He's very good with the glove at second base, but lacks the tools to play shortstop regularly. His line drive approach usually results in decent batting averages and his speed is useful, but he doesn't draw many walks and he lacks power. He was sold to the Detroit Tigers after the draft. CHANCE TO STICK: Moderate.
New York Mets: Kyle Lobstein, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays: Lobstein is a 23-year-old lefty, drafted in the second round in 2008 from high school in Flagstaff, Arizona. He posted a 4.06 ERA with a 129/69 K/BB in 144 innings with 140 hits allowed for Double-A Montgomery this year. He has a good curveball and changeup, but his fastball is just in the 80s and he doesn't have a huge margin for error. He profiles as a fifth starter if his command is sharp enough. The Mets traded him to the Tigers after the draft. CHANCE TO STICK: Moderate.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Starling Peralta, RHP, Chicago Cubs: Peralta was signed by the Cubs out of the Dominican Republic in 2008. He sometimes shows up in some sources as "Starlin Peralta," minus the G, so be aware of that. He has one of the better arms in the Chicago system, owning a 93-97 MPH fastball and a promising slider. His changeup needs work and his command is inconsistent. Age 22, he posted a 3.44 ERA with an 86/42 K/BB in 99 innings for Low-A Peoria this year. Peralta has a high ceiling, but is very much a project at this stage and it will be interesting to see how the Diamondbacks find a way to keep him. CHANCE TO STICK: Low to moderate.
Philadelphia Phillies: Ender Inciarte, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks: Inciarte is a 22-year-old Venezuelan signed in 2008. He hit a combined .307/.376/.421 with 28 doubles, 10 triples, two homers, 53 walks, and 63 strikeouts in 473 at-bats between Low-A South Bend and High-A Visalia this year, also swiping 46 bases in 58 attempts. A speedy left-handed hitting center fielder, he didn't show much with the bat before this year but is young enough that the improvement could be real. He profiles as a reserve outfielder. CHANCE TO STICK: Moderate.
Chicago White Sox: Angel Sanchez, SS, Los Angeles Angels: Something of an odd pick here. Sanchez is a 29-year-old minor league veteran, who hit .320/.390/.407 for Triple-A Oklahoma City in the Astros system this year. He signed with the Angels as a free agent this past October, with an invitation to spring training, but the White Sox have nabbed him under Rule 5. He is a career .255/.304/.308 hitter in 568 major league at-bats, specializing in defense at shortstop and second base. CHANCE TO STICK: Moderate to High, assuming the Sox are committed to him as a utilityman.
Baltimore Orioles: T.J. McFarland, LHP, Cleveland Indians: Age 23, drafted by the Indians in the fourth round in 2007 from high school in Illinois. Effective in Double-A this year (2.69 ERA, 41/12 K/BB in 60 innings) but not in Triple-A (4.82 ERA, 55/33 K/BB in 103 innings, 112 hits). Works with upper-80s sinker, a slider, and a changeup, gets grounders but not overpowering. Will get a shot at sticking in the bullpen. CHANCE TO STICK: Moderate.
Texas Rangers: Coty Woods, RHP, Colorado Rockies: Age 24, posted 0.76 ERA with 34/8 K/BB in 36 innings for Double-A Tulsa, but a 7.40 ERA with a 13/11 K/BB in 21 innings for Triple-A Colorado Springs, combining for 27 saves. Pitched well in Arizona Fall League. A 33rd round pick in 2009 from Middle Tennessee State University, Woods is an extreme ground ball pitcher with a submarine arm slot, a sinker, and a slider. He could provide an interesting look out of the bullpen. CHANCE TO STICK: Moderate.
Houston Astros: Nate Freiman, 1B, San Diego Padres: Age 25, Freiman hit .298/.370/.502 with 24 homers, 49 walks, and 95 strikeouts in 516 at-bats this year for Double-A San Antonio. An eight-round pick in 2009 from Duke University, he's a huge 6-7, 225 pound right-handed hitter. He offers solid power and his glove at first isn't bad, but he doesn't run well enough to play the outfield, reducing his versatility. CHANCE TO STICK: Moderate.
Miami Marlins: Braulio Lara, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays: Age 23, Lara posted a 5.71 ERA with an 82/58 K/BB in 112 innings for High-A Charlotte this year, with 123 hits allowed. An athletic lefty, Lara can hit the mid-90s and looks like a pitcher physically, but his curveball and slider need work and his command is more of a vague idea than a reality. He has a high ceiling and perhaps a rebuilding team can find a slot for him. CHANCE TO STICK: Low to moderate.