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Rule 5 Draft Impressions

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2010 Rule 5 Draft Review

    There wasn't a lot of super-exciting action in the Rule 5 draft this year, but some interesting players did change hands. From the look of it, most teams were on the lookout for bullpen help, which makes sense since it is easier to carry an extra pitcher these days than an extra hitter.

1) Yankees: Jamie Hoffman, OF, from Dodgers: The Yankees traded up to make sure they got Hoffman, who hit .284/.360/.455 this year for Triple-A Albuquerque and .182/.167/.409  in 14 games with the Dodgers. The 25-year old is a right-handed hitter and thrower with average tools, including decent speed, occasional power, and fairly good plate discipline. He can be a useful reserve outfielder.

2) Pirates: John Raynor, OF, from Marlins: Another potential reserve outfielder, the 25-year old Raynor hit .255/.326/.357 for Triple-A New Orleans, but swiped 18 bases. He had a much better season in 2008, hitting .312/.402/.489 with 48 steals for Double-A Carolina. Raynor's speed would look good on the Pirates bench but he probably won't hit enough to be a regular.

3) Rangers: Ben Snyder, LHP, from Giants: Snyder posted a 2.88 ERA with an 86/38 K/BB in 97 innings for Double-A Connecticut this year. The 24-year old Ball State University product struggled as a starter when reaching Double-A in '08, but was much more effective after converting to relief this year. He could provide some solid LOOGY or long relief innings for the Rangers in 2010.

4) Royals: Edgar Osuna, LHP, from Braves: This 22-year old southpaw from Mexico posted a 3.72 ERA with a 49/21 K/BB in 77 innings for Double-A Mississippi in 2009. His fastball isn't very fast, but he changes speeds well and throws strikes with his effective breaking ball. He could be a useful 11th man, capable of spot starting and long relief work.

5) Indians: Hector Ambriz, RHP, from Diamondbacks: Ambriz is 25 years old, a fifth rounder out of UCLA in 2006. He was mediocre as a starter for Triple-A Reno this year, with a 5.57 ERA and a 103/40 K/BB in 128 innings with 164 hits allowed. He does get his fastball past 90 MPH and has a good splitter, and I could see him being a decent relief arm with spot starter potential.

6) Diamondbacks: Zack Kroenke, LHP, from Yankees: A University of Nebraska product (fifth round 2005), Kreonke posted a 1.99 ERA with a 55/30 K/BB in 72 innings for Triple-A Scranton this year. The 25-year old has an 88-92 MPH fastball with movement, and he could end up being an astute pick as a bullpen asset if his command sharpens a bit more.

7) Mets: Carlos Monasterios, RHP, from Phillies: This 23-year old from Venezuela posted a 3.73 ERA with a 71/27 K/BB in 82 innings for Class A Clearwater. His 90 MPH sinking fastball is an asset and he throws strikes, but scouts give mixed opinions about his slider and he's unproven above the A-ball level. If the command is there he can help out in the major league pen. TRADE: He was sold to the Dodgers after the draft.

8) Marlins: Jorge Jimenez, 3B, from Red Sox: A 25-year-old third baseman, Jimenez was a 15th round pick in 2006 from Porterville Junior College. He hit .289/.366/.422 this year for Double-A Portland, showing decent plate discipline and touches of power with 13 homers. He could fit as a pinch-hitter and platoon player but seems unlikely to become a significant regular.

9) Athletics: Bobby Cassevah, RHP, from Angels: The 24-year old Cassevah posted a 3.68 ERA with a 45/37 K/BB in 73 innings for Double-A Arkansas this year. The strikeout rate was weak, but he gets tons of grounders with his 92-94 MPH sinker, resulting in a 4.03 GO/AO ratio. If he throws strikes, he can be an effective middle reliever.

11) Blue Jays: Zech Zinicola, RHP, from Nationals: The 24-year old Zinicola posted a 1.74 ERA with a 16/9 K/BB in 21 innings for Double-A Harrisburg, but was much less effective for Triple-A Syracuse, with a 7.56 ERA and a 31/10 K/BB in 33 innings but 47 hits allowed. A sixth round pick out of Arizona State in '06, he throws hard and often throws strikes but has an erratic track record. He could be a good middle reliever if he improves his consistency.

12) Brewers: Chuck Lofgren, LHP, from Indians: Lofgren was once a hot prospect, but two erratic seasons have hurt his stock, though perhaps a change of scenery can help him. He posted a 1.48 ERA with a 31/15 K/BB in 43 innings for Double-A Akron this year, but went 6-10, 5.31 with a 62/33 K/BB in 98 innings after moving up to Triple-A Columbus. Sometimes he throws hard, sometimes he doesn't, and his command is likewise inconsistent.

13) Cubs: Mike Parisi, RHP, from Cardinals: The 26-year old Parisi missed almost the entire season recovering from Tommy John surgery, making just five rehab starts in the lower minors. When healthy he shows decent command of three pitches but does not throw hard. He could help out as a mopup man in the back end of the bullpen, but is a long shot to make a huge contribution.

14) Rays: Armando Zerpa, LHP, from Red Sox: The 22-year old Zerpa, a Venezuelan, posted a 1.20 ERA with a 51/14 K/BB in 45 innings for Greenville in the South Atlantic League. He has average velocity but a good slider and has dominated lower-level hitters when his command is on. His command is not always on, so it is unlikely he'll see high-leverage innings in the 2010 bullpen.

15) Mariners: Kanekoa Texeira, RHP, from Yankees: Tezeira posted a 2.84 ERA with an 88-43 K/BB in 101 innings for Double-A Trenton, used as a long reliever and spot starter. The 23-year old has an excellent slider and a solid fastball, but inconsistent control has held him back. He could help out in the bullpen if he solves his command issues.

16) Giants: Steven Johnson, RHP, from Orioles: Baltimore acquired the 22-year old Johnson from the Dodgers this past summer, and he's a very solid sleeper prospect, having pitched very well after moving up to Double-A this year thanks to a complete 90 MPH fastball/curveball/slider/changeup arsenal. He's still inconsistent, but is young and could develop into a solid inning-eater .

17) Cardinals: Ben Jukich, LHP, from Reds: Jukich is 27 years old. A soft-tosser with a good curveball, he went 9-6, 4.10 with a 106/40 K/BB in 123 innings for Triple-A Louisville this year, allowing 125 hits. The former 13th round pick out of Dakota Wesleyan is having a fine winter ball season in the Dominican Winter League. The Cardinals may be looking at him as a left-handed short man, although his platoon splits haven't been extreme.

18) Phillies: David Herndon, RHP, from Angels: A fifth round pick in 2006 out of Gulf Coast Community College, Herndon posted a 3.03 ERA with a 35/14 K/BB in 65 innings for Double-A Arkansas this year. His fastball velocity is average, but he has a decent sinker and slider and throws strikes, making him an option as a middle reliever. He gets lots of grounders and posted a 2.28 GO/AO at Arkansas.