The Diamondbacks have made selections in each of the past three Rule 5 drafts: in 2016 they selected reliever Tyler Jones, but returned him to the Yankees before the season started. In 2017 they took another reliever/emergency starter in Albert Suarez but he also failed to make the roster and was eventually released. In 2018 they chose starting rhp Nick Green (to the confusion of many snakepitters) and, like Jones, was sent back to the Yankees without making a big league appearance. The Diamondbacks don’t have a good track record when it comes to keeping their picks in the organization. The most recent player to come close is Oscar Hernandez, who was the first pick in the 2014 Rule 5 draft and stayed with Arizona thanks to injury loopholes. He was eventually released after playing in only 22 games and recording 7 hits. Joe Paterson had a good run of 34 innings after being taken in the 2010 Rule 5 draft but he essentially disappeared after one good season.
With the current roster at 37 players, the Diamondbacks once again have the space to make at least one Rule 5 selection. They won’t have top priority, however, picking 18th. Here are some names they could consider:
RHP Cody Sedlock
Drafted: 1st Rd. 2016 (27th overall)
2019 stats: 2.84 ERA, 100 strikeouts, 46 walks in 95 IP (22 games, 16 starts) between High-A and AA
MLB Pipeline Orioles prospect rank: 17th
Sedlock signed for $2.1 million three years ago after being drafted 27th overall but has now been left unprotected after multiple injury related disasters. He has little experience above High-A and struggles with control but he has mid-rotation ceiling if a team can help him throw more strikes. Making the roster would be a big stretch but he could be a spring training flyer.
Drafted: 2nd Rd. 2016 (61st overall)
2019 stats: .207/.313/.385, 17 homers, 53 RBIs, 14 steals in 426 at-bats between AA and AAA
MLB Pipeline Astros prospect rank: 16th
Dawson figures to be an average player and looks more like a fourth outfielder than a daily contributor. He is a solid fielder with left-handed power but his future value continues to drop with unimpressive slash lines. Teams desperately lacking OF help might take a look.
RHP Ljay Newsome
Drafted: 26th Rd. 2015 (785th overall)
2019 stats: 3.54 ERA, 169 strikeouts, 17 walks in 155 innings over three levels
MLB Pipeline Mariners prospect rank: 28th
A strike thrower with great control. He led all minor-leaguers in strike-throwing percentage (73) and walk percentage (2.7) in 2019.
OF TJ Friedl
Drafted: Non-drafted Free Agent 2016
2019 stats: .235/.347/.385, 5 homers, 28 RBIs, 13 steals in 226 at-batch in AA
MLB Pipeline Reds prospect rank: 20th
From going undrafted in 2016 to collecting a signing bonus of over $750k just a few months later, Friedl has a unique story to tell. He’s a gifted center fielder with speed and discipline. His numbers were disappointing in Double A this past season, but he also dealt with an ankle injury that sidelined him for most of the year.
RHP Zack Brown
Drafted: 5th Rd. 2016 (141st overall)
2019 stats: 5.79 ERA, 98 strikeouts, 64 walks in 116.2 innings in AAA
MLB Pipeline Brewers prospect rank: 3rd
Brown was the 2018 Minor League Pitcher of the year, posting impressive numbers in AA but struggled in 2019 after making the leap to AAA. His walk rate and hit rate soared and strikeouts plummeted. Brown had a great track record before hitting a wall in the hitter friendly PCL but he still looks like a great pick for a team needing a high-upside pitcher that can spot start and eat 100 innings.