2016 MLB Rule 5 Draft: Minor League Phase, Round One
Here are the results of the minor league phase of the 2016 MLB Rule 5 draft. Unlike the major league phase, these players do not have to be offered back to their original team.
Most will never reach the majors, but occasionally someone can pop up as a useful player. It is a very cheap, no-risk way to add some depth to your farm system.
This is round one. Round Two will follow in a separate article.
Reds: Jose Adames, RHP, Marlins: From Dominican Republic, age 23, posted 6.00 ERA with 43/27 K/BB in 48 innings in High-A; live arm but spotty track record, had more success in previous seasons.
Padres: Trevor Frank, RHP, Indians: Age 25, eighth round pick in 2013 from UC Riverside, saved 17 with 43/10 K/BB, 2.47 ERA in 44 innings in High-A; old for the level but has strong performance record and middle relief possibilities.
Rays: Ty Hensley, RHP, Yankees: Age 23, first round pick in 2012, hasn’t pitched since 2014 due to a variety of injuries including two Tommy John surgeries as well as injuries suffered in an off-field assault in 2015, was a very solid prospect at one time.
Braves: Cesilio Pimentel, LHP, Pirates: Age 23, from Dominican Republic, posted 2.65 ERA with 48/15 K/BB in 51 innings in Low-A; old for the level but an efficient strike-thrower with a good performance record at the lower levels.
Diamondbacks: Jon Fitzsimmons, RHP, Indians: Age 25, Canadian right-hander who pitched college ball at Canisius, pitched well in independent Can-Am League and was signed by Indians as free agent over the summer, fastball up to 94 and fanned 25 in 16 innings in Low-A.
Phillies: Jorge Flores, SS, Blue Jays: Age 25, from Mexico, hit .187/.260/.242 in 252 at-bats in Double-A; versatile glove with experience at all positions except catcher and first base; won’t hit much.
Brewers: Art Charles, 1B, Reds: Age 26, huge 6-6, 220 left-handed hitter drafted by Blue Jays in 20th round in 2010; hit just .215/.304/.367 in Double-A in ’15 and was released by Phillies, then signed by Reds as a free agent in October; raw power but struggles with contact.
Angels: Matt Williams, SS, Cardinals: Age 27, 15th round pick in 2011 from Liberty University, long-time Cards farmhand hit .263/.355/.346 in Triple-A; some OBP ability and steady infield glove but lacks power.
Rockies: Anthony Bemboom, C, Angels: Age 26, 22nd round pick in 2012 from Creighton University, hit .222/.293/.305 in 239 at-bats in Double-A/Triple-A in ’16; athletic defensive catcher with a weak bat.
Marlins: Cal Towey, OF, Angels: Age 26, 17th round pick in 2013 from Baylor University, hit .264/.376/.436 with 13 homers, 14 steals, 76 walks between Double-A and Triple-A; has some pop and a good throwing arm but has never really found a position.
Royals: Kelvin Magallanes, RHP, Yankees: Age 22, from the Dominican Republic, posted 6.42 ERA in 34 innings in rookie ball with 27/18 K/BB; I have no data on him but a safe assumption is that he throws hard and doesn’t know how to pitch yet.
Astros: Eduardo De Oleo, C, Diamondbacks: Age 23, from Dominican Republic, played in 21 games at three levels in ’16 hitting .261/.292/.435; strong throwing arm and has some pop but a raw receiver and has never played more than 78 games in a full season.
Yankees: Jorge Saez, C, Blue Jays: Age 26, 32nd round pick in 2012 from Lee University, hit .260/.315/.495 with 12 homers in 192 at-bats in ’16 primarily in Double-A; threw out 40% of runners; older prospect but power, arm give him value as catching depth.
Mariners: Paul Paez, LHP, Mets: Age 24, 38th round pick in 2013 from Rio Hondo College; short and stocky at 5-7, 210, excellent in High-A (1.00 in 36 innings, 28/5 K/BB) but hammered in Double-A (9.15 in 20 innings, 29 hits, but 27/7 K/BB), arm depth for upper levels.
Cardinals: Austin Wilson, OF, Mariners: Age 24, second round pick in 2013 out of Stanford, hit .226/.338/.375 with 13 homers, 157 strikeouts in 368 at-bats in High-A; severe contact issues have prevented him from consistently tapping power in 6-4, 250 frame; interesting reclamation project.
Tigers: Sean Donatello, RHP, Marlins: Age 26, 25th round pick in 2011 from University of Connecticut-Avery Point; posted 3.40 ERA in 50 innings in Double-A with 26/12 K/BB; decent track record in Double-A pen with heavy sinker and slider.
Orioles: Jefri Hernandez, RHP, Reds: Age 25, from Dominican Republic, posted 3.06 ERA in 32 innings in Double-A/Triple-A in Rangers system, signed with Reds as free agent a few weeks ago; live arm with 90-95 MPH fastball but command problems, although has improved over last two seasons.
Blue Jays: Phillip Walby, RHP, Nationals: Age 24, 12th round pick in 2013 from San Diego State by the Yankees; picked up by Nats as free agent last summer; 3.50 ERA in 44 innings between Low-A and High-A with 43/24 K/BB; good sinker and has maintained strong strikeout rates; middle relief potential.
Dodgers: Edward Paredes, LHP, Tigers: Age 30, from Dominican Republic; signed by Tigers as free agent last month; posted 2.27 ERA in 44 innings in Double-A in Angels system with 53/21 K/BB; minor league vet with live arm but extremely mixed track record; much older than normal for a Rule 5 pick but might do something if he throws strikes.
Red Sox: Harrison Cooney, RHP, Angels: Age 24, sixth round pick in 2013 from Florida Gulf Coast University; missed almost all of 2016 with Tommy John surgery; when healthy shows a very good slider and a fastball up to 94.
Rangers: Matt Smoral, LHP, Blue Jays: Age 22, first round pick in 2012 from high school in Ohio; 6-8, 220; has suffered through injuries and massive control problems, posted 13.15 ERA in 13 innings in ’16 in short-season ball; at one time was one of the top LHP prospects in baseball and is still young enough to rebound if he gets healthy.
Cubs: Kevin Cornelius, 1B-3B, Yankees: Age 24, 31st round pick in 2013 from Grayson College, hit .299/.393/.589 in 197 at-bats between rookie ball and High-A in ’16; owns career .296/.383/.505 slash line in 503 at-bats; has been old for his levels and a poor fielder at third base but he’s hit everywhere.