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Rule 5 Draft

In the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft Thursday morning, the Mets added one pitcher - Jonathan Velasquez from the Twins and lost three pitchers: RHP Carlos Vazquez to the Astros, LHP Jimmy Fuller to the Twins and RHP Martires Arias to Washington. There are no roster restrictions outside of the Major League phase, so the Mets will be able to keep Velasquez, while the other three guys are gone.

ComingJon Velasquez?- Turned 28 in October, was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Phillies. He's spent the last three years in Independent baseball with Rockland in the Can-Am League and Camden in the Atlantic League. This past year was his best as he put up a 1.95 ERA in 61 relief appearances in 73.2 innings. That's a strikeout rate of 27.1% and a walk rate of 8.6%.

He never pitched above advanced-A for Philadelphia. The Twins had signed Velasquez as a minor league free agent in the last few weeks.

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With the 10th pick in the Major League Baseball Rule 5 Draft, the Mets picked up RHP Seth Rosin from the Phillies.

Rosin, who the Giants drafted in the fourth round in 2010 out of the University of Minnesota, was sent to Philadelphia along with two other minor leaguers in the Hunter Pence swap at the July 31 trade deadline in 2012.

At the time of the trade, Baseball America wrote, "He's been a bit hittable as the closer with high Class A San Jose and profiles as a set-up man with a fastball that ranges from 88-94 mph.?When Rosin's at his best, the pitch has some heaviness to it, and he gave up just three homers in 89 innings in the South Atlantic League in 2011. Rosin adds a slider and a changeup, with neither profiling as a premium pitch."

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It goes fast so get ready.

 

Also, Baseball America has your full Rule 5 draft preview up here.

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The Rule 5 just is not a very good avenue for adding Major League talent for teams.

The Mets added LHP Kyle Lobstein in the MLB phase from the Tampa Bay Rays. ?Lobstein, a 23-year old, worked as a starter in the minors, reaching AA for the first time in 2011, and spending the entire year with the AA Montgomery Biscuits in 2012 putting up a 4.06 ERA in 144 innings with 129 strikeouts against 69 walks (20.7% strikeout rate/11.1% walk rate). Lobstein, the 47th overall pick in 2008, originally received a $1.5 million bonus from the Rays.

Jon Mayo of MLB.com reported that the Mets made the pick for another team, and will trade Lobstein. Which is nice of Sandy Alderson and friends.

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The 2011 version of baseball's Rule Five Draft has quietly come and gone sneaking around the shadows of the Angels' $325+ spending spree Thursday morning on Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson. ?The Mets did not add a player in the MLB phase or either of the two minor league phases of the draft. ?Instead, they lost two hard-throwing relievers with control problems and an organizational depth type for catcher.

The Mets did not have space to add a player to the MLB 40-man roster. ?Once they add Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco, they'll be up to 41 players, so they'll need to trade or designate someone to free up a spot already. ?Thus, any player they would have added would have had to have been clearly better than someone on the 25-man roster.

Rhiner CruzWith the first pick in the MLB phase of the draft, the Astros scooped up Mets hard-throwing reliever Rhiner Cruz. ?In 36 appearances out of the double-A Binghamton bullpen in 2011, Cruz owned a 4.14 ERA in 58.2 innings. ?His biggest problem: walks, 39 of 'em for a 6.0 BB/9. ?He was tough to hit (just 43 hits or 6.6 H/9) and missed bats (51 or 7.8 K/9). ?Cruz was sitting 94-96 mph with his fastball and touching 97 this summer according to Mike Diaz.

Tags: Analysis, Rule 5 Draft, Toby Hyde
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Before you get all excited about the Rule Five Draft today, Project Prospect has some sobering numbers on the Rule Five since the eligibility rules were changed in the last CBA.

 

Results from the 2010 Rule 5 Draft

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The Rule Five draft begins at 10 am this morning.

Here's Metsblog's Matt Cerrone on the team's Rule Five Draft plans.

The buzz from Dallas is that the Mets will look to pick up a pitcher, possibly another power-arm for the bullpen (such as Royals LHP Brandon Sisk or Red Sox LHP Cesar Cabral) or an infielder (such as Rays prospect Cole Figueroa, Cubs SS-2B-3B Marwin Gonzalez,?or Padres infielder Drew Cumberland)?to compete up the middle. At the same time, I?ve heard there is a slight chance some team takes starting pitcher Colin McHugh or reliever Rhinor Cruz from the Mets.
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The Rule Five Draft is Thursday morning. ?I expect the Mets to take a player or two.

Baseball America did a two part series on the available players focusing in the first instance on players with more upside, and in the second on guys who might actually stick as role players.

Baseball News Hound has a more comprehensive list, and its not behind a paywall.

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Friday, the Mets added seven players to their 40-man roster, thus protecting them from the Rule Five Draft this winter. ?Who was left unprotected?

Friend of the blog Chris W., who comments here as theperfectgame, has the complete list here. ?I'm just going to discuss a few player who might have been close.

Brad Holt- Selected at #33 overall in the 2008, Holt blew through Brooklyn in 2008 and St. Lucie in 2009, but just has not had any success in double-A. Over three seasons in AA, he's run a 6.09 ERA, and walked 5.1 batters per nine while fanning 7.1. The days of his blowing batters away with 93-95 mph heat are gone.

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Today, the Mets have to submit their reserve list for the Rule Five draft held on the final day of the Baseball Winter Meetings in Dallas, TX. ?A player is eligible for selection if he is not on a Major League 40-man roster and:

- signed at 19 or over as part of the 2008 draft class or earlier

- signed at 18 or younger during 2007 or earlier.

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Remember Elvin Ramirez? ?The 24-year old righthander is a Met again.

The Nationals selected Ramirez with the sixth pick in the Major League phase of the Rule Five draft last December coming off an impressive run for Ramirez in the Dominican Winter League that was a dramatic step forward for him?as I discussed here. ?He was reportedly throwing in the upper 90s with stats to match.

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Here are some comments from other prospect-experts from around the web.

On Brad Emaus

Sandy Alderson, as quoted by Adam Rubin at ESPNNY: We're very high on his potential as an everyday player out of the Toronto organization. [Former Jays GM] J.P. [Ricciardi], [and new Mets scouts from Toronto] Roy Smith and Jim D'Aloia, Paul [DePodesta] know him pretty well and felt strongly about him. So we're very pleased that he was there.

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The Mets drafted three players in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft and did not lose any.? These guys aren't subject to any roster requirements and are now team property.

With the sixth pick of the AAA phase, the Mets picked RHP Ronny Morla from the Cubs.? Morla, who turned 22 in May, is listed at a lanky 6'3" and 190 pounds and struck out 86 while walking just 20 in 78.2 innings with the Peoria Chiefs in the Midwest League in 2010.? He was part of the package the Cubs received for sending Jake Fox to the A's last December.? Baseball America had him sitting 91-92 mph and thought "his changeup would seem to have a bit more potential than his slider, but if he commands at least one of them he could find success as a reliever."Look for him to start 2011 in the advanced-a St. Lucie bullpen.

With their second pick in the AAA phase, the Mets picked RHP Richard (Ricky) Brooks from the White Sox.? The Sox moved Brooks to the bullpen when he graduated from the South Atlantic League to the advanced-A Carolina League in 2007.? He's coming off a 2010 in which he had a 4.54 ERA for AA Birmingham in the Southern League.? His strikeout to walk ratio was a sterling 3.8 (38 K/10 BB) in 41.2 innings, but he was awfully hittable in the zone with 54 hits allowed in 41.2 innings pitched.? Or he just had a crazy-high .378 BABIP.? In 2009, he had a .222 BABIP in 37 innings at AA.

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Major League PhaseWith the sixth pick in the Major League Baseball Rule Five draft, the Washington Nationals picked Mets RHP Elvin Ramirez.? He's opened eyes with his Dominican Winter League performance, throwing harder with better control, than he'd ever done before.? Even if he's really throwing 98 or 99 mph, the odds of a guy with 6.2 innings above advanced-A sticking on a big league roster all year long are relatively long.

With their first pick, at #11, the Mets drafted 2B Brad Emaus from Toronto.? Emaus, who will turn 25 a little over a week before Opening Day 2011 hit .272/.402/.434 in 38 games in AA New Hampshire this year before hitting .298/.395/.495 in the 87 games in AAA in the thin air of Las Vegas.? The right-handed hitter has an outstanding plate eye.? In New Hampshire, he drew 31 walks and struck out 19 times.? In AAA, he drew 50 walks and struck out 50 times.? He played 22 games at second in AA and 11 at third while in AAA he spent much more time at third where he played 76 games, than at second where he played only 10. Before the draft, Baseball America wrote: "he's a well below-average runner (despite his 13 steals in 15 tries this season) and his defense at both second and third is below-average."Emaus, who was originally an 11th round pick in 2007, brings some plate discipline to the competition for the second base job.? His value as a utility infield type is limited by the fact that he's never played shortstop.

With their second MLB pick, the Mets corrected an old mistake, by drafting RHP Pedro Beato from Baltimore.? The Mets originally drafted Beato out of Xavarian HS in Brooklyn in the 17th round in 2005 as part of the old draft-and-follow system.? As his value rose alongside his fastball velocity, approaching the 2006 draft, the Mets balked at Beato's asking price before the Orioles took him 32nd overall.? Prior to the 2006 draft, Baseball America wrote that he was sitting at 90 mph, but could touch 96.? In 59.2 innings out of the AA Bowie bullpen this year, Beato struck out 50, walked 19 and gave up just 49 hits.? Sure, a K/BB ratio of 2.6, that's nice. Jim Callis at Baseball America called Beato's sinker "solid."Beato obviously steps right into the Mets' wide-open bullpen competition this spring.

Tags: Analysis, Rule 5 Draft, Toby Hyde
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The rule five draft begins at 9 am this morning.? Last night, before the Red Sox made Carl Crawford a very, very rich man, there was a little bit of chatter about the draft.

In particular, there were numerous reports that the Mets would lose hard-throwing right-handed pitcher Elvin Ramirez.? Buster Olney tweeted, "The guy widely expected to be the first pick in the Rule 5 draft:Mets right-hander Elvin Ramirez,who has been clocked 94-98 mph this winter."

At Baseball America, John Manuel, who did not write about Ramirez in his first look at 25 guys who could be selected in the Rule 5 draft, corrected that omission by writing, "Ramirez has pushed his fastball up to 98-99 mph according to several scouts who have seen him in the Dominican. ... He throws a changeup, curve and slider as well but has impressed most with his improved fastball velocity and control in the Dominican, where he was averaging 11.32 strikeouts per nine innings and just 1.74 walks per nine."

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John Manuel wrote Baseball America's Rule 5 Draft preview which is now up on the website.? If the Mets do decide to pick a player, it seems likeliest that they would go after a hard thrower who they can toss in the bullpen competition in spring training.? Here's Manuel on some of the top righty relievers:

The Twins didn't protect several players of interest, including last year's No. 1 overall pick, righthander Tim Lahey, whom the Rays selected and traded to the Cubs; he was later returned to the Twins. Lahey could go again, but another righty, Netherlands product Loek Van Mil, has more upside. The 7-foot-1 Van Mil has reached 97 mph in short stints in international play, and consistently hit 94 this summer for low Class A Beloit while also flashing a plus slider. His delivery and arm action are fairly clean, but he over-threw while preparing for the 2008 Olympics with the Dutch national team and has a partial ligament tear in his elbow. He's not scheduled to have surgery and could be stashed on a big league disabled list while he rehabs his elbow in 2009. A former Twin, Rays righty Eduardo Morlan, struggled after being included in the deal that sent Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett to Tampa Bay, but he regained his 92-94 mph velocity while getting off to a great start in the Puerto Rican League this winter.
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Toby's Note at 4:39 PM Thursday:

I messed this up in my original post.? The Mets must add Carp to protect him.? Players are now eligible for? their fourth and fifth rule five drafts....

Thursday, November 20th is the deadline for MLB teams to file their reserve lists with the commissioner's office identifying players on the roster for the MLB and all minor league rosters.? These are lists used for the Rule 5 Draft on December 11th in Vegas.? (Lets pause here and acknowledge the genius of placing nearly every baseball executive, all of the agents, the major media, and thousands of job seekers let loose in Vegas for five days.)

Tags: Junior Guerra, Mike Carp, Rule 5 Draft, Shawn Bowman, Toby Hyde
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