While we take a little break from all the Justin Upton rumors that we are forced to face, today marks the deadline where teams have to protect their players from being exposed to the Rule 5 draft eligibility. Rule 5 draft is a unique system, put into effect by Major League Baseball not to long ago, so that the player who have been in the minor league for a while can get a chance to reach the majors with another organization. We don't have too many big names being exposed to the Rule 5 draft this year - we protected two of our bigger prospects in Josh Collmentor and Yonata Ortega this week - but there are plenty of intriguing names out there.
Well, after the jump is the list of players being exposed to the Rule 5 draft by the Diamondbacks.
Rule 5 draft eligibility is for a player who is not on the current 40 Man Major League Roster for their current organization, who has been in the system for 4 years if 19 or older when he signed or 5 years if 18 or older when he signed. So the high school players from the 2006 draft and college players from the 2007 draft are eligible for this year's draft.
RHP Wes Roemer - Yikes! I thought he pitched pretty well but I guess he will be eligible for the draft. He was our second pick of the draft in 2007 right after Jarrod Parker and two picks ahead of Barry Enright. He had a respectable season last year pitching mid 3 ERA ball and pitched extremely well with sub 2 ERA in Mobile this season before struggling mightily at Reno. Not a big strikeout guy, but could be a back end, innings eater type of guy. Imagine, he was supposed to take the mound for Dontrelle Willis, instead of Barry Enright and they might have been flipped flopped.
C Ed Easley - Big disappointment as he was supposed to be our catcher of the future coming out of the draft. His bat completely disappeared in pro ball and, despite getting a chance in AFL this season due to Konrad Schmidt's injury, he did not come out with good numbers. I'm not sure if he has a future with the Diamondbacks, with pretty deep catching depth in the system, but I'm not sure if other teams will take him either.
2B Mark Hallberg - Pretty well known prospect even among the fans who are not much of a prospect follower but he has been regressing steeply with his bat since his debut. He played extremely well in Yakima following his signing with the team in 2007, hitting over a .300 clip and followed it up with a solid season at Visalia but struggled with the bat since, batting under .270 in the past two seasons. He has a nice glove at second and can play multiple positions. Could prove valuable to some teams as an utility player.
OF Evan Frey - Above average defender in all three outfield positions and good speed made him an ideal fourth outfield type candidate - and he still is. He has stolen 30+ bases the past three season and hit a solid .286 last season at Mobile. He doesn't get on base too much, however, and has absolutely no power. He will be valuable as a pinch runner, or defensive replacement in the late innings, and could be a prime candidate to be taken by other teams.
RHP Josh Ellis - Reliever who pitched at both Mobile and Reno and posted solid numbers, with a 3.46 ERA. Always has been a consistent performer, although not a terrific player. I think he could garner interest.
RHP Bryan Henry - Another reliever and swing man who has decent numbers throughout his minor league career. He always pitched to a 3.50 ERA or lower at South Bend, Visalia, and Mobile, both as a reliever and as a starter, and I think this is a guy who could be taken and pitch real well for a team.
1B Sean Coughlin - Not a candidate to be taken in this draft. Played very well last season but crashed hard this season.
OF Cyle Hankerd - Solid prospect for few years but has looked more like minor league filler for the past few seasons. He will be safe without being protected, in my opinion.
Out of these players, I believe Roemer, Hallberg, Frey, Ellis and Henry have a chance to be taken in the draft. I think Frey has the largest chance to be taken out of all of them. I wonder if we will take anybody with our 3rd pick?