The Rule 5-Eligible Rays | The Process Report

The Rule 5-Eligible Rays

There are two guidelines to remember when deciphering a player’s Rule 5 eligibility. It all starts with the birth date and signing date. If the player is 18 years old or younger on his signing day then he will be Rule 5-eligible beginning with the fifth draft after his signing. If the player is 19 years old or older on his signing day then he will be Rule 5-eligible beginning with the fourth draft after his signing.

While the signing date is vital in determining eligibility, it rarely presents a hurdle with drafted players. All are signed in-season, meaning their draft year also represents their first draft. International signings pose more of a challenge. To use a real-world example, the Rays added Alex Torres to the 40-man roster after the 2009 season. It didn’t make sense when looking at Torres’ minor-league stats because he had debuted in 2006, meaning he would not have been eligible for another season. It turned out that Torres had signed in January 2005, however, meaning the Rays were right. With minor details like that changing outlooks, it’s no wonder most teams use computer systems to figure this stuff out for them.

With no such luxury available to me, I went through most of the key players in the system by hand to compile the below lists. I did not want to do every –player in the system, so I focused on players who: 1) have a decent Q-score, and 2) have a reasonable chance of protection. Obviously those are subjective prerequisites, but most of the time it works out fine. The two notable exceptions in recent years are the Rays added Nevin Ashley and Stephen Vogt, neither of whom I figured would stick on a 25-man roster.

Players eligible for the 2012 Rule 5 draft:
Tim Beckham
Hak-Ju Lee
Enny Romero
Felipe Rivero
Kyle Lobstein
Tyler Bortnick
Kyeong Kang
Cole Figueroa

Notes: Beckham, Lee, and Romero are three of the better prospects in the system and the Rays will add each. Rivero seems likely to make it, too. Things get murky after that. At last check, the Rays thought Lobstein could fit in at the back of a rotation. Bortnick and Figueroa could be major-league utility men, perhaps as soon as next season, and that type can stick (see Ryan Flaherty in Baltimore).

Players eligible for the 2013 Rule 5 draft:
Todd Glaesmann
Jeff Malm
Derek Dietrich
Parker Markel

Notes: This is a relatively thin class by comparison. Glaesmann is in the midst of a breakout season after dealing with some injury woes and acclimating to being a baseball-only athlete. Malm is the best first base prospect in the system. Dietrich has contact woes, but he should be a future big-leaguer. Markel is a sleeper arm that gained attention after a strong Penn-League showing last season.

Players eligible for the 2014 Rule 5 draft:
Josh Sale
Drew Vettleson
Ryan Brett
Jeff Ames
Mikie Mahtook
Kes Carter
Grayson Garvin
Lenny Linsky
Ryan Carpenter

Notes: The big class is dependent upon the 2010-2011 drafts. By the time these players are eligible, one or two (perhaps more) will no longer be in consideration. Right now, the safe money is on Sale, Vettleson, Brett, and Mahtook making it.

One other note: In an effort to appease the baseball gods, we’re going to bring TPR back for the entire All-Star break.



One Comment

  1. Robert Cole wrote:

    Come on guys, you keep teasing us. Sure wish you could come back on a permanent basis.

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