Here are the results and brief snippets for the major league phase of the 2014 MLB Rule 5 draft. Each choice costs the selecting team $50,000. Players must be kept on the 25-man roster for all of the 2015 season (unless they are injured, though they must be on the active roster for 90 days), or be offered back to the original club for $25,000.
1. Arizona Diamondbacks, Oscar Hernandez, C, Rays : Age 21, a catcher signed out of Venezuela, hit .249/.301/.401 in 362 at-bats for Bowling Green in the Midwest League. Very respected for his throwing arm, Hernandez also has power potential but hasn't hit especially well since leaving the Venezuelan Summer League. He's a decent prospect and young enough to develop substantially, but it could be tough to make the jump from Low-A.
2. Colorado Rockies, Mark Canha, 1B, Marlins: TRADED TO ATHLETICS: Age 25, a seventh round pick from the University of California in 2010, hit .303/.384/.505 in 465 at-bats for Triple-A New Orleans with 20 homers. Despite the home runs, his pure hitting skills are rated more highly than his raw power, though he has nothing left to prove in Triple-A. He should have a decent chance to stick.
3. Texas Rangers, Delino DeShields, OF, Astros: Age 22, a first round pick in 2010 from high school in Georgia. A bloodline player, DeShields has the best set of pure tools on this list but has an erratic track record and a mixed reputation with scouts. He hit .236/.346/.360 with 11 homers and 54 steals for Double-A Corpus Christi. The Astros had open spots on their 40-man roster, so the fact that they decided not to protect a former first-round pick with his pedigree and physicality is very interesting. Still, I think this is a good choice for the Rangers.
4. Houston Astros, Jason Garcia, RHP, Red Sox: TRADED TO ORIOLES: Age 22, a 17th round pick from a Florida high school in 2010, posted a 3.67 ERA with a 59/24 K/BB in 56 innings in A-ball this year, showing a fastball reportedly clocked as high as 100 MPH. Command and shaky secondary pitches kept him from higher spots on the Red Sox organization chart, but he is a nice project for the Orioles coaches to work with in the spring.
5. Minnesota Twins, J.R. Graham, RHP, Braves: Age 24, a fourth round pick from Santa Clara in 2011. Once one of Atlanta's top prospects, he was waylaid with shoulder trouble this year and posted a 5.55 ERA with a 50/26 K/BB in 71 innings in Double-A. When healthy he shows impressive stuff with a mid-90s fastball, good slider and change-up, but his velocity tailed off after getting hurt. Intriguing reclamation project.
6. Boston Red Sox, Jandel Gustave, RHP, Astros: Age 22, posted a 5.01 ERA with an 82/29 K/BB in 79 hits in Low-A, with 94 hits allowed. From the Dominican Republic, Gustave is another hard-thrower in the 95-100 range but is very raw as a pitcher and surprisingly hittable due to a below average change-up and breaking ball. Long shot to stick in Boston. NOTE: Gustave was traded to the Kansas City Royals Thursday afternoon. He should have a better chance to stick in KC.
7. Chicago White Sox: Passed
8. Chicago Cubs, Taylor Featherston, INF, Rockies. TRADED TO ANGELS: Age 25, a fifth-round pick from Texas Christian University in 2011, hit .260/.322/.439 with 16 homers, 14 steals, 38 walks, and 114 strikeouts in 497 at-bats for Double-A Tulsa. He has a touch of power and speed, is a very good defender at second base and not bad at shortstop, where his arm plays well. Doubtful on-base skills are the main problem but he could be a nice utility infielder.
9. Philadelphia Phillies, Odubel Herrera, 2B-OF, Rangers: Age 22, from Venezuela, hit .315/.333/.388 with 21 steals in 479 at-bats split between High-A and Double-A. In most systems Herrera would have been protected, but he was surplus behind flashier players with better gloves in Texas. He is a career .294/.354/.377 hitter in six minor league seasons. His bat is effective but shaky defense limits him to second base and even there he looks like a liability at times. He can hit though. Herrera has been playing the outfield in winter ball and will reportedly get a shot at the center field job with the Phillies.
10. Cincinnati Reds: Pass
11. Miami Marlins, Andrew McKirahan, LHP, Cubs: Age 24, 21st round pick from the University of Texas in 2011, posted 2.08 ERA with 57/14 K/BB in 65 innings between High-A and Double-A this year. A Tommy John survivor, he can hit the mid-90s when he's going well but breaking ball is so-so. Consistent reverse platoon split makes him more of a straight middle reliever than a LOOGY.
12. New York Mets, Sean Gilmartin, LHP, Twins: Age 24, former Braves first round pick in 2011 out of Florida State who was traded to Minnesota last spring. Posted 3.71 ERA with 133/44 K/BB in 146 innings between Double-A and Triple-A this year. A classic finesse lefty, his heater is usually in the 80s and he survives by changing speeds and throwing strikes. He could stick as a fifth starter or relief option.
13. Atlanta Braves, Dan Winkler, RHP, Rockies: Age 24, 20th round pick from Central Florida in 2011, outstanding performance record including a 1.41 ERA with a 71/17 K/BB in 70 innings with a miniscule 33 hits allowed in Double-A this year. Alas, his season ended early with Tommy John surgery. His stuff doesn't stand out on a radar gun but he's incredibly deceptive.
14. Milwaukee Brewers, Pass
15. Toronto Blue Jays, Pass
16. New York Yankees, Pass
17. Seattle Mariners, David Rollins, LHP, Astros: Age 24, 24th round pick in 2011 from San Jacinto Community College by the Blue Jays, later traded to Houston, posted 3.81 ERA with 77/22 K/BB in 78 innings in Double-A. Another guy with a reverse platoon split, he has a good statistical track record on the strength of an 88-92 MPH fastball and a decent change-up, but his breaking ball is still a work in progress.
18. Pittsburgh Pirates, Pass
19. Kansas City Royals, Pass
20. St. Louis Cardinals, Pass
21. Baltimore Orioles, Logan Verrett, RHP, Mets: Age 24, third round pick from Baylor in 2011, posted 4.33 ERA with 119/34 K/BB in 162 innings for Triple-A Las Vegas, with 188 hits allowed. Respected for his durability and control, Verrett has a complete fastball/slider/curve/arsenal but has never excited scouts with average/below velocity. Still, he survived the Las Vegas pinball machine with his career and confidence intact and could prove a useful long relief option for the Orioles.
30. Los Angeles Angels:
31. Philadelphia Phillies: Andrew Oliver, LHP, Pirates: Age 27, second round pick by the Detroit Tigers in 2009 from Oklahoma State University, posted 2.53 ERA with 85/47 K/BB in 64 innings in Triple-A for the Pirates this year. Oliver has a terrific arm but horrible command and shaky secondaries moved him to the bullpen this year after four years as an enigmatic minor league starter. He still throws hard and still has trouble finding the strike zone.