Although the Major League portion of the 2021 Rule 5 Draft was postponed indefinitely due to the ongoing MLB lockout, the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft carried on as planned. Fifty-one players were selected in the Triple-A phase of the event, which allows teams to select players who were not protected on a 38-man Triple-A roster (similar to the MLB 40-man roster). Minor League Rule 5 selections cost $24,500 apiece, and that sum is paid from the drafting team to the player’s former organization.
It’s rare, but not unprecedented, to see players from the Minor League Rule 5 Draft ultimately make an impact at the MLB level. Names like Justin Bour and Alexi Ogando are recent examples of big leaguers to emerge from this process, and as you’ll see in the list of names selected today, there were a handful of draftees who already have some MLB experience (but have since been outrighted off the roster). As with the Major League Rule 5 Draft, not all teams will make selections, and some will make multiple picks. Teams with full 38-man Triple-A rosters weren’t eligible to make selections.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the draft, with a handful of notes on some of the recognizable names to follow (* denotes prior Major League experience)…
- Orioles select RHP Nolan Hoffman from Mariners
- Pirates select LHP Zach Matson from Rockies
- Nationals select 2B Andrew Young* from Diamondbacks
- Marlins select INF Charles Leblanc from Rangers
- Cubs select LHP Conner Menez* from Giants
- Rockies select LHP Gabriel Rodriguez from Braves
- Tigers select RHP Elvis Alvarado from Mariners
- Angels select LHP Kenny Rosenberg from Rays
- Mets select RHP Alex Valverde from Rays
- Padres select RHP Grant Gavin from Royals
- Guardians select LHP Erik Sabrowski from Padres
- Phillies select RHP Matt Seelinger from Giants
- Reds select OF Ronnie Dawson* from Astros
- Athletics select OF Gabriel Maciel from Twins
- Braves select 1B John Nogowski* from Giants
- Mariners select OF Tanner Kirwer from Blue Jays
- Cardinals select OF Ben DeLuzio from Diamondbacks
- Blue Jays select RHP Abdiel Mendoza from Rangers
- Red Sox select LHP Austin Lambright from Royals
- Yankees select RHP Steven Jennings from Pirates
- White Sox select INF Moises Castillo from Cardinals
- Brewers select RHP Caleb Boushley from Padres
- Astros select RHP Ruben Garcia from Tigers
- Dodgers select C Kekai Rios from Brewers
- Giants select OF Michael Gigliotti from Rays
- Orioles select RHP Cole Uvila from Rangers
- Pirates select RHP Nic Laio from Rangers
- Nationals select RHP Curtis Taylor from Blue Jays
- Marlins select LHP Robert Garcia from Royals
- Tigers select RHP Nick Kuzia from Padres
- Mets select RHP Carlos Ocampo from Cubs
- Guardians select RHP Brett Daniels from Astros
- Athletics select OF Vince Fernandez from Giants
- Braves select LHP Luis De Avila from Royals
- Mariners select OF Walking Cabrera from Rockies
- Cardinals select RHP Carlos Guarate from Padres
- Red Sox select RHP Brian Keller from Yankees
- Yankees select RHP Manny Ramirez from Astros
- Dodgers select RHP Carson Fulmer* from Reds
- Pirates select 3B/1B Jacob Gonzalez from Giants
- Nationals select RHP Matt Brill from Diamondbacks
- Marlins select INF Cobie Vance from Athletics
- Braves select RHP Allan Winans from Mets
- Mariners select RHP Tommy Wilson from Mets (later traded to Orioles for cash considerations)
- Cardinals select OF Jonah Davis from Pirates
- Dodgers select RHP Jon Duplantier* from Giants
- Nationals select RHP Dakody Clemmer from Guardians
- Marlins select RHP Luarbert Arias from Padres
- Braves select RHP Tanner Andrews from Marlins
- Cardinals select LHP Nelfri Contreras from Dodgers
- Marlins select INF Carlos Santiago from Dodgers
Some largely anecdotal observations…
- The Giants lost a trio of former big leaguers in Menez, Nogowski and Duplantier — the latter two of whom just signed minor league contracts with San Francisco within the past few months. Menez has a 3.20 ERA in 25 1/3 MLB innings over the past two seasons but has been hit hard in Triple-A. For a Cubs team known to be looking for pitching depth in the rotation and the ’pen, he becomes an immediate option in 2022.
- The Dodgers selected a pair of former top 100 prospects: Fulmer and Duplantier. Fulmer was the No. 8 overall draft pick back in 2015 and was at one point viewed a potential No. 1 overall pick out of Vanderbilt, but he’s struggled badly through parts of six MLB seasons. Duplantier landed on the back half of Baseball America’s Top 100 in 2018-19 and was a top-10 prospect within the D-backs’ system from 2017-20.
- Several of the players in the first round of today’s draft have been included in past big league trades you may recall (some of particular note):
- Andrew Young was the third player sent from St. Louis to Arizona (alongside Carson Kelly, Luke Weaver and a Competitive Balance draft pick) in the Paul Goldschmidt blockbuster.
- Elvis Alvarado was traded from the Nationals to the Mariners along with Aaron Fletcher and Taylor Guilbeau in the deadline trade that sent relievers Hunter Strickland and Roenis Elias to D.C.
- Matt Seelinger was traded from the Pirates to the Rays in exchange for shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. Tampa Bay traded him to San Francisco as a PTBNL in an Erik Kratz deal a year later.
- Gabriel Maciel went from Arizona to Minnesota alongside Jhoan Duran and Ernie De La Trinidad in the trade that originally sent Eduardo Escobar to the Diamondbacks.
- Michael Gigliotti was traded from the Royals to the Rays in a deal that granted Kansas City permanent rights to then-Rule 5 pick Stephen Woods Jr.