The Rule 5 Draft will take place at noon, and SB Nation's resident Prospect writer John Sickels will have a live chat and full coverage over at Minor League Ball. Link here.
There are six possible Rays we've identified as possible choices in the draft: four that were left off the 40-man roster, and two discussed this morning. Here's a recap of those names.
- Class-A catcher Oscar Hernandez
- Class-A catcher Armando Araiza
This morning, Marc Topkin profiled Rays catching prospect Oscar Hernandez, a player who's putting together a fine prospect status. He's got the arm and the power to find a place in the big leagues, and his defense is on it's way, but he only finished his most recent season at Class-A ball. [...]
The catchers traditionally scooped up in the Rule 5 are guys with polished games in some regard, and Hernandez doesn't have an aspect to his game that's ready for The Show, not by any assessment I've seen... if a team doesn't care for the offense and just needs someone to display a glove and mind, Araiza might have a better chance at sticking for a full season backing up a busy catcher.
Full article here.
- High-A right-handed starter Jeff Ames
- Triple-A right-handed starter Merrill Kelly
I'm going to lump Jeff Ames, Grayson Garvin, and Merrill Kelly together. They're all guys who might do okay as the last man in a bullpen right now, but who the almost surely aren't ready to contribute at a high level in the majors. I don't think the Rays protect any of them, but I wouldn't be shocked to see them claimed.
Ames is a first-round pick who has never pitched above high-A. The other two are closer to the majors but probably have lower ceilings. - Ian
I like the pedigree of Ames, I like the potential of Garvin, and I like the dependability of Kelly. I could see all three succeeding in a major league role sooner than later, and no room for them on the 40-man, which is a shame. - Danny
- Double-A utility thumper Taylor Motter
- Double-A center fielder Kes Carter
There's a few other possible bench players to discuss, and they're both outfielders for the Montgomery Biscuits. Supplemental first rounder Kes Carter carries no bat but plenty of defensive value, and seventeenth round choice Taylor Motter who has plenty of thump and saw a lot of time in spring training with the big league club. Motter had 16 longballs last season, and already five in the Venezuela winter league. - Danny
Other players not mentioned are, truly, any reliever another team thinks could stick today. This is the hardest thing for us to gauge without boots on the ground, another Braulio Lara surprise could be right around the corner.
The Rays have a full 40-man, but that may not prevent them from participating in a trade with another team with an earlier slot. The likelihood of a Rays player being drafted this year is relatively high.
Any player chosen must be added to the team's 25-man starting roster for a full season to be retained.
The Diamondbacks have selected Oscar Hernandez with the top pick of the Rule 5 draft. He's not expected to be retained by the club, as there isn't an aspect of his game that's considered polished, but Hernandez is a promising prospect to say the least.
Our immediate frustration here is that he could be lost if the Diamondbacks retain him on the starting roster all season. There's a significant risk of this being possible, as Arizona may not be in playoff contention this season and would be willing to weather whatever mishaps Hernandez will have with a leap from Class-A to MLB.
The second frustrations would be the opportunity cost the Rays thought was appropriate in keeping more relievers than might be necessary on the 40-man instead of Hernandez, namely a guy like Steve Geltz.
Relievers are far more replaceable than quality catchers, so in all kindness, let's hope Hernandez doesn't do well next season.
14 players would be drafted by major league teams, none by the Rays.
In the Minor League portion, the Rays were able to make selections from other organizations. In the Triple-A level the Rays selected RHP Luis Urena, and in the Double-A portion selected RHP Mikey O'Brien.
We will update this page with the results of the draft later in the afternoon, so stay tuned.