John From Albany - Rule 5 Outfielders Mets could target


The Rule 5 draft is today.  The chance for teams to obtain unprotected minor league players from other teams.

Given that the Mets roster is currently full at 40 and they are picking 19th in the draft, I think the Mets will be pretty quiet.

However as players taken in the minor league portion do not have to be added to the 40 man roster, they may take players here. Last year, the Mets drafted 3 players in this portionChris Mazza, Catcher Mitch Ghelfi, and defensive outfielder Braxton Lee.

The Mets players MLB.com felt most vulnerable were Shervyen Newton, INF; Patrick Mazeika, C; Desmond Lindsay, OF; Luis Carpio, 2B/SS.  I also think that Matt Blackham and Harol Gonzalez who both pitched well at Syracuse last year could be targeted.

The fact that teams will be able to carry 26 players this next year, could also hurt the Mets.  The extra spot may allow a team may select a player like Shervyen Newton and keep them on their roster even if they see limited playing time. 

With some strong catching and infield prospects, I feel the biggest need for the Mets system is the outfield.

Therefore, using the MLB.com list and the Baseball Savant website, I looked at the 18 available outfielders.  Note: most of these players have ability in one or two areas but have just not put it all together yet.  Some have great arms, some great speed. I think there are some that could be upgrades to the Mets AA and AAA outfielders. Baseball Savant uses a top score of 80 to rate these players. 

Buddy Reed, Padres:

B/T: S/R | 6' 4" 210 | Age: 24, Bronx, NY USA; Scouting grades: Hit: 40 | Power: 40 | Run: 70 | Arm: 60 | Field: 65 | Overall: 45.  “Reed has the potential to hit for both average and power…Reed has a tall, athletic build that gives him the potential to do a lot of things well on the baseball field, but he still has gains to make as a hitter.”  Could be a good story bring back a NY native.  .249 career minor league average, 101 stolen bases in 132 attempts, 1,396 at-bats, 347 hits, 33 HRs, 160 RBIs, 123 walks, 423 Ks. 

Lolo SanchezPirates, OF | B/T: R/R | 5' 11" 168 | Age: 20, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45; 
Signed by the Pirates in July 2015 out of the Dominican Republic for $450,000…Sanchez's kryptonite in 2018 was the off-speed pitch. He hits fastballs very well and feasted on them in the GCL, but once he started getting a steadier diet of breaking balls and changeups, he often found himself diving and not seeing them come in because of head movement…The rest of his game is still very good, from the speed to wreak havoc on the basepaths, to playing a very good defensive center field…Sanchez will be playing at age 20 for most of the 2019 season, so there's still plenty of time for him to figure things out.” I think this is the kind of prospect the Mets should target as he has defense and running skills they lack. For his career Lolo has hit .254, 286 hits in 1,124 at-bats, 13 HR, 99 RBI, 121 walks, 168Ks.
Andy Sugilio of the Reds, Switch Hitter.  Per Baseball Savant: “A very lean kid listed at 170 pounds, …surprising 50-60 level raw power on the 20-to-80 scouting scale…above average base runner with speed that makes him a base stealing threat. Sugilio can also cover a lot of ground in the outfield. Not an instinctive defender, he has the arm for the corner spots but could still hold his own as a center fielder. Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45.”  He has 73 steals out of 103 career attempts.  Last year he hit .294, 134 hits in 456 at-bats, .331 OBP, .360 slugging, 92 Ks, 24 BBs.  Not sure if he can justify a MLB spot all year, but if the Mets can get him in the Minor league portion, they should take him. 

Next up, The Phillies Jhailyn Ortiz, Right Handed batter. Per Baseball Savant: One of the best prospects in the 2015-16 international signing period class, Ortiz's power potential was great enough to entice the Phillies to give him $4 million to sign that July...raw power…a 70 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale….He continues to show he's athletic enough to play an outfield corner, showing a plus arm at times.  Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 60 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45.  Phillies Blog, “That Ball’s outta here” had this: “This past season at High-A Clearwater, the 21-year-old slashed just .200/.272/.381 with 19 home runs and 149 strikeouts.” With Charlie Manual saying ““[Jhailyn’s] doing good. He’s got the chance to be a real good hitter. He has what I call a ‘strong back side.’ He stays behind the ball good and has quick hands. When he hits the ball, it looks like it doesn’t want to come down.”  Looks like a good gamble, but again I would see if he is available in the minor league portion. 

I really like this next prospect's power potential and arm:

Seuly Matias Royals:

RF | B/T: R/R | 6' 3" 198 | Age: 21, La Isabela, Dominican Republic; Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 60 | Run: 55 | Arm: 70 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45; “Matias has as much raw power as just about anybody in Minor League baseball, with some evaluators saying putting an 80 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale on it would not be outlandish. The big question is whether he can make enough contact to continue to get to that power in games. Blessed with one of the strongest arms in the system, Matias has the chance to truly fit the right-field profile in the future. Moving to more pitching-friendly parks and facing more advanced pitching should provide a good challenge for the 21-year-old.”  Again the tools to be an upgrade in Binghamton or Syracuse. 

Here’s one that I think is a real sleeper:

Reds AA CF TJ FriedlB/T: L/L | 5' 10" 180 | Age: 24; Sewickley, PA USA; Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 45 | Field: 60 | Overall: 45; “Friedl needs to figure out how to maximize his offensive value and do the little things -- such as bunting, slashing hits on the ground, the hit-and-run and moving runners -- enhancing his chances to reach his floor as a really good fourth outfielder. But with his speed, personality and ability to provide maximum effort, he could work himself into becoming an everyday center fielder.” .277 lifetime minor league average with 351 hits in 1,265 at-bats, 20HRs, 134 RBIs, 147 walks, 260 Ks. 

Looking at these prospects and seeing just about all of them with more strikeouts than hits made me go back and look at the Mets players left unprotected.  

Come to find out that Mets Binghamton Catcher Patrick Mazieka in his minor league career has 430 hits and 248 K’s.  

So while others where stirking out more than getting hits, Patrick had almost double the hits than strikeouts.  Some people criticize his .245 average last year (after a .194 in the frigid/wet April).  But Patrick also drove in 69 RBIs (tied for second in the Eastern League).  That meant when he did make out, they were productive outs that drove in runs.  As a left had hitting catcher that can also play first base. He could be the third catcher, a lefty off the bench, give Pete Alonso a day off when needed.  

I hope they don’t lose him in the draft today.


Tom Brennan said...

The Rule 5 draft often seems to be "much ado about nothing." We'll see what happens this year - somehow, I expect more of the same.

I would wonder if some team might want to try Pat Mazeika, but I just wonder where he ranks even as a viable major league back up catcher right now. He seems to be a half season to a full season away.

John From Albany said...

Tom, so many rule 5 players never plan out like last year's Mets MLB pick, Kyle Dowdy. I think that leads to the "much ado" feeling. There are exceptions and as hopeful fans I think some of us hope that lightening strikes again.

bill metsiac said...

Interesting list, though I've never heard of any but the ones the Mets already own.

How exactly does the MnL draft work? What makes a player available, as opposed to the ML one?
If we don't lose a player in the ML phase, can he still be taken in the MnL one? What are the parameters?

John From Albany said...

Bill - I am trying to figure out the exact details of the minor league draft as well. My understanding is yes, players not chosen in the Major League portion can be chosen in the minor league portion. That is how the Mets were able to pick up career minor leaguer Chris Mazza last year. Minor league draftees cost less to draft and don't need to be added to the roster. That has also made me nervous about some Mets players at the lower levels that are eligible. Tom thinks I should not worry and he is usually right. Fingers crossed.

John From Albany said...

Also I thought TJ Friedl was a below the radar pick, but then as I had in my Breakfast links today, a Diamondbacks blogger also listed him.

bill metsiac said...

I hope Tom is right, too. But what makes a player eligible? Obviously, the whole farm system isn't, and a player can't become a MnL FA until he's been in the system for 5 or 6 years without being promoted to the 40.

So some are protected, others not. I just don't know what separates them.

Tom Brennan said...

MLB and MILB sites on the Rule 5 rules:

The Rule 5 Draft takes place in December and concerns professional players.

Below are some questions and answers intended to clarify how the Rule 5 Draft works.

What happens when a player is selected in the Rule 5 Draft?

A team that selects a player in the Rule 5 Draft pays $50,000 to the team from which he was selected. The receiving team must then keep the player on the Major League 25-man roster for the entirety of the next season, and the selected player must remain active (not on the disabled list) for a minimum of 90 days. If the player does not remain on the Major League roster, he is offered back to the team from which he was selected for $25,000. If his original team declines, the receiving team may waive the player.

Once a player is selected, he is automatically assigned to his new organization's 40-man roster.

Can any Minor League player be drafted?

No. Players who were signed when they were 19 or older and have played in professional baseball for four years are eligible, as are players who were signed at 18 and have played for five years.

All players on a Major League Baseball team's 40-man roster, regardless of other eligibility factors, are "protected" and ineligible for the Rule 5 Draft.

Can players selected in the Rule 5 Draft be traded?

Teams may trade a player selected in the Rule 5 Draft, but the same rules regarding roster placement apply to the player's new team.

In what order do teams draft?

Teams draft in reverse order of the regular-season standings. Any team that does not have any vacancies on its 40-man roster may not make a selection.

Are there different phases to the Rule 5 Draft?

Yes. There are also Triple-A and Double-A phases to the Rule 5 Draft. Players put on the Triple-A reserve list cost the selecting team $12,000, and players put on the Double-A reserve list cost the selecting team $4,000.

Anyone who is on the 38-player Triple-A roster is protected from being picked in the minor league draft.

The minor league phase is much simpler--there are no eligibility rules that have to then be maintained. The player is drafted, the player's old organization is paid $24,500 and immediately the player becomes a member of his new organization. Almost all of the players picked in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft are viewed as useful organizational players for their new team, but occasionally a player does find success with his new organization.

TexasGusCC said...

May I fill in some blanks:

The Mets may not draft anyone as they ave a full 40 man roster. Only teams with room on their 40-man can draft.

For the purposes of the AAA draft, any player can be added to this roster to protect against being drafted from any level. So, Mazeika and Newton and some other eligible draftees that aren’t in AAA are added to this roster for now, then taken off in January. The reason you do this is because as stated above, a player drafted in the minor league phase doesn’t need to be returned, like the major league phase requires. So, in reality, the top 78 eligible players are protected in the minor league phase.

Tom Brennan said...

TexasGus, good clarification there. Thanks

Question: if they saw someone they liked better in the draft than someone now on their 40 man, could they release him and draft the guy, or is the 40 man locked for this draft? If the latter, we are indeed sitting this one out.

TexasGusCC said...

I have never heard of that happening, but theoretically, it sounds logical. They could however, make a deal with a team that has room to draft that player for them, if that player is still available. As we know, they have drafted for other teams a few years back in return for some cash (always proper to tip when being done a service, I guess). Good question Tom, but not sure about the answer.

TexasGusCC said...


Mack Ade said...

After the additions of both Wacha and Porcello, I don't see any participation by the Mets here today.

bill metsiac said...

"The selected player must remain on the active roster (not the disabled list) for a minimum of 90 days"?

Never heard that one before. If I understand it correctly, what happens to a "Lowrie-like" draftee? If he's injured in ST and doesn't play until September, he must be offered back to the original team?

Makes no sense to me.

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