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Rule 5 draft eligible players in 2022

Less possible roster crunch than last year, but who should we protect and ... is there someone we can target?

Arkansas Travelers v Amarillo Sod Poodles Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

A look back at 2021

Just like we did last year we took a look at all rosters from AAA to A (Reno Aces, Amarillo Sod Poodles, Hillsboro Hops and Visalia Rawhide) and calculate who are Rule 5 eligible this off-season. In a first article we took a look back at the decisions made last year and what we had expected or wanted and how everything turned out. In general, the Diamondbacks made good decisions in 2021. We won’t expect anything other than good decisions in 2022 as well.

In case you don’t really remember when or how a player is Rule 5 eligible, just click on the link above to last year’s article to get some extended information, but in general there is a cut-off for players signed at the age of 18 or less (5 years) or players signed at the age of 19 or older (4 years): when they have spent 4 or 5 years in the organisation, they need to be added to the 40-man roster or an other team is allowed to draft the player and add him to their 26-man roster where they have to carry him all year or expose him to waivers after which he has to be offered back to the original team.

Remember that picking a prospect in the Rule 5 draft costs $100,000. That might seem like peanuts but with cost-savvy owners everywhere there is no reason to waste money. There is no Rule 5 madness either: teams can only pick just one or a couple of players because they need to have space on their 40-man roster.

We only discuss MLB Rule 5 draft eligible players in this article, not the MiLB Rule 5 draft. Some players listed in this article might not disappear from the Diamondbacks in the MLB Rule 5 draft, but could change teams in the MiLB part of the draft, like how Tyler Gilbert ended up in Arizona.

Please note below that FanGraphs rankings are pre-season rankings and MLB Pipeline rankings have been updated during the season. We list the highest level a player reached, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he has been active a lot on that level.

If you think we missed someone eligible for the Rule 5 draft (which with so many players is rather likely), please let us know in the comments.

Executive summary

DBacksEurope: To start off and before we get a bit deeper into this, who do we think the Diamondbacks will add to their 40-man roster?

James: I expect the following players will be added to the 40-man roster to serve as organizational depth:

I then expect these players to be added to the 40-man roster as part of overhauling the 26-man roster. I expect that these players will be given the opportunity to be significant contributors in 2023:

Lastly, since they protected him once already, I fully anticipate that the team will protect Kristian Robinson again. Then, once the Restricted List is reinstated after the Rule V draft, he is likely moved back to that list to make room on the 40-man until such time as he is cleared to play in front of paying customers.

That makes eight players added in all, with the longshot possibility of adding Jorge Barrosa if they really feel that they see something in him. Frankly, he’s so far down the depth chart that, while it sucks to see talent escape without a return, if the team loses Barrosa, they are unlikely to notice the loss.

Jim: There are six players in’s list of top 30 prospects who appear to be eligible for the draft this year.

  • Dominic Fletcher, OF (No. 13)
  • Blaze Alexander, SS (No. 14)
  • Wilderd Patino, OF (No. 16)
  • Jorge Barrosa, OF (No. 18)
  • Dominic Canzone, OF (No. 19)
  • Conor Grammes, RHP (No. 28)

Patino and Grammes both have yet to play above High-A, so I don’t think they’ll need to be protected, but the other four might be candidates, especially for a bottom-feeding team. The question might be, how easy will it be for the D-backs to open up spots? The 40-man roster is effectively at 41 after the departure of Kennedy and Davies: 37 plus four on the 60-day IL, for whom room will need to be made. While there’s some dead wood (especially on the pitching side), I’m not certain I see five spots which can be opened up. Barrosa will probably go unprotected, and he may not be the only one. Such is the peril of having a good farm system, without the obvious space for them on the existing roster. Arizona is in a bit of an awkward transition phase right now.

DBacksEurope: And, if we still have a spot left on the 40-man roster, who could we target in the Rule 5 draft?

Makakilo: The Diamondbacks need to draft a relief pitcher because they need to improve their bullpen. Although I’m not an expert in minor league players, via Roster Resource I considered eligible pitchers from 25 teams. The two finalists were:

Players that reached AAA

Notable Rule 5 eligible position players (name and age, position, plate appearances, AVG/OBP/SLG):
  • Blaze Alexander (23 yrs), SS/2B, 34 PA, 0.259/0.412/0.519. #45 on FanGraphs, #14 on MLB Pipeline
  • Dominic Canzone (25 yrs), OF, 364 PA, 0.284/0.349/0.489. #31 on FanGraphs, #19 on MLB Pipeline
  • Dominic Fletcher (25 yrs), OF, 449 PA, 0.301/0.368/0.0.452. #13 on MLB Pipeline
  • Dominic Miroglio (27 yrs), C, 243 PA, 0.257/0.342/0.481.

Other eligible players who reached Reno: Leandro Cedeno (25 yrs, 1B, 58 PA), Jancarlos Cintron (28 yrs, 2B, 272 PA), Cam Duzenack (27 yrs, SS, 349 PA), Sergio Gutierrez (21 yrs, C, 1 PA), Lyle Lin (25 yrs, C, 1 PA).

DBacksEurope: Of these eligible players I would say the most interesting one is Blaze Alexander, but he probably needs some extra at bats in Reno. Canzone is a bit of a head scratcher, as he knocks on the door of a crowded outfielder room, just like Fletcher. And can Miroglio, who is second year eligible in the Rule 5 draft, become a back-up catcher? Lots of difficult decisions, what would you do?

James: I agree with DBE that Blaze is the most “interesting” of the players on that list. He worked his tail off to climb from AA Amarillo to AAA Reno. At the same time, he has only just reached Reno, after putting up good, but not great numbers in Amarillo. A lack of solid offensive production while playing home games in the most offense-friendly park in baseball does not inspire a ton of confidence. I suspect the organization will protect Alexander. He’s made it as far as AAA, it would be somewhat of a waste to risk letting him go now. I also expect Fletcher, Canzone, and Miroglio to be protected. Miroglio is the “break glass in case of emergency” catcher for the organization at the moment. The other two, while they have no home on Arizona’s 26-man roster, are still 4th/5th OF caliber players for many teams. I expect the team will protect them and then, quite possibly, trade one or both of them. While I also like the idea of the team retaining Lyle Lin, it seems highly unlikely anyone is going to grab him, as he hasn’t even hit .200 at any level and that includes the lion’s share of the time he spent in A+ ball in 2022.

Notable Rule 5 eligible pitchers (name and age, position, innings pitched, ERA, WHIP, K/BB):
  • Jeff Bain (26 yrs), RHP, 24.2 IP, 3.28 ERA, 1.135 WHIP, 28/8 K/BB.
  • Justin Martinez (21 yrs), RHP, 4.2 IP, 3.86 ERA, 1.714 WHIP, 8/5 K/BB. #42 on FanGraphs, #30 on MLB Pipeline
  • Deyni Olivero (24 yrs), RHP, 28.1 IP, 3.81 ERA, 1.412 WHIP, 14/10 K/BB.
  • Mitchell Stumpo (24 yrs), RHP, 43.1 IP, 3.53 ERA, 1.338 WHIP, 51/31 K/BB. #40 on FanGraphs
  • Blake Workman (25 yrs), RHP, 33 IP, 4.64 ERA, 1.515 WHIP, 35/11 K/BB.

Other eligible players who reached Reno: Josh Green (27 yrs, RHP, 11.2 IP), Mack Lemieux (26 yrs, LHP, 19.1 IP) Justin Lewis (27 yrs, RHP, 12 IP).

DBacksEurope: The biggest “talents” are already on the 40-man roster, of course, but of those that are left, anyone the D-Backs should be really fond of? Justin Martinez might be an interesting kid, but the odds of him getting picked by another team are probably rather slim and the rest…not sure if they are worth a spot on the 40-man roster at the expense of someone else. Do you agree?

James: As noted above, I expect Stumpo, Workman, and Martinez to all be protected. I also expect that they, unlike the position players to be protected, have a very real shot at being given the opportunity to contribute to the 26-man roster, as early as opening day. I’m not sure if Workman or Stumpo gets grabbed if left unprotected, but I see no reason the team would leave them being selected at risk. After all, they would need to be added to the 40-man in order to contribute to the 26-man anyway. Frankly, I’m a bit surprised Workman didn’t get a late-season cup of coffee this past season, largely to help with this exact decision.

Players that reached AA

Notable Rule 5 eligible position players (name and age, position, plate appearances, AVG/OBP/SLG):
  • Jorge Barrosa (21 yrs), OF, 510 PA, 0.277/0.374/0.438. #29 on FanGraphs, #18 on MLB Pipeline

Other eligible players who reached Amarillo: Jose Curpa (22 yrs, SS, 15 PA), Nick Dalesandro (26 yrs, C, 312 PA), Eduardo Diaz (25 yrs, OF, 466 PA), Tristin English (25 yrs, 1B, 269 PA), Ti’Quan Forbes (26 yrs, 3B, 386 PA), Andy Yerzy (24 yrs, C, 346 PA).

DBacksEurope: Well, it seems that besides maybe Barrosa, Amarillo doesn’t have much to offer to the Rule 5 draft pick scavengers in the MLB. No reason to put any of these kids on the 40-man roster, right? Or should we be afraid that a rebuilding team like the A’s might pick Barrosa?

James: If the Diamondbacks have a slot on the 40-man available and want to protect Barrosa, it isn’t the worst idea in the world. At the same time, if, somehow, there is actually some sort of 40-man crunch, leaving Barrosa exposed is not terrible. He has done well, but not great in AA, where the offense is highly inflated. The Diamondbacks also already have a full outfield, plus the likes of Canzone and Fletcher ahead of Barrosa on the depth chart. Even if they did protect Barrosa, he still isn’t likely to contribute at the top level before next season, and that assumes departures from the coveted core. There is really no reason to bump anyone with a brighter future to make room for him - yet.

Notable Rule 5 eligible pitchers (name and age, position, innings pitched, ERA, WHIP, K/BB):
  • Levi Kelly (23 yrs), RHP, 1.1 IP, 40.50 ERA, 6.000 WHIP, 2/4 K/BB. #41 on FanGraphs
  • Matt Tabor (24 yrs), RHP, 1.2 IP, 27.00 ERA, 4.200 WHIP, 2/2 K/BB.

Other eligible players who reached Amarillo: Liu Fuenmayor (23 yrs, LHP, 4.2 IP), Kenny Hernandez (24 yrs, LHP, 46 IP), Garrett Leonard (26 yrs, RHP, 4 IP), Austin Pope (24 yrs, RHP, 14 IP), Andrew Saalfrank (25 yrs, LHP, 14 IP).

DBacksEurope: The only reason we mention Kelly and Tabor as “notable” players is because of the prospect status they once had. But after a season of injury their prospect status has probably dropped even more. Not much to say about the other pitchers either. Or is there something?

James: Without knowing the medicals of Kelly and Tabor, there is no way to answer this one other than to say that they should be left off the 40-man. If they are healthy and able to throw strikes, room can quite easily be made in June for one or both of them to join the 26-man bullpen. They both have the stuff to be solid MLB contributors, but both have had enough struggles and enough injury concerns that there is no reason to take up a 40-man roster slot until such time as they are ready to perform on a big league mound.

Lower level players (A+ and A)

Notable Rule 5 eligible position players (name and age, position, plate appearances, AVG/OBP/SLG):
  • Neyfy Castillo (21 yrs), SS, 344 PA, 0.249/0.326/0.411. #32 on FanGraphs
  • Wilderd Patino (21 yrs), OF, 80 PA, 0.288/0.342/0.397. #16 on MLB Pipeline
  • Conor Grammes (24 yrs), RHP, #20 on FanGraphs, #28 on MLB Pipeline
  • Jhosmer Alvarez (21 yrs), RHP, 9.2 IP, 5.59 ERA, 2.172 WHIP, 6/6 KO/BB. #34 on FanGraphs
  • Yaifer Perdomo (21 yrs), LHP, 74.2 IP, 6.39 ERA, 1.674 WHIP, 91/48 SO/BB. #43 on FanGraphs

Reached Hillsboro: Axel Andueza (24 yrs, C, 47 PA), Cam Coursey (24 yrs, 2B, 261 PA), Ramses Malave (22 yrs, C, 175 PA), Jose Alcantara (23 yrs, RHP, 36.1 IP), Jackson Goddard (25 yrs, RHP, 22 IP), Junior Mieses (23 yrs, RHP, 16.1 IP), Gerald Ogando (22 yrs, RHP, 27.1 IP), Listher Sosa (21 yrs, RHP, 5 IP), Marcos Tineo (25 yrs, RHP, 71.2 IP).

Reached Visalia: JJ D’Orazio (20 yrs, C, 310 PA), Deivi Estrada (21 yrs, OF, 74 PA), Alvin Guzman (21 yrs, OF, 290 PA), Danyer Sanabria (20 yrs, OF, 129 PA), Daniel Torres (20 yrs, SS, 35 PA), Enmanuel Acosta (23 yrs, RHP, 17 IP), Miguel Gil (21 yrs, RHP, 28 IP), Eric Mendez (22 yrs, RHP, 65.2 IP), Carlos Meza (21 yrs, LHP, 67 IP), Rael Santos (21 yrs, RHP, 32 IP), Diomede Sierra (21 yrs, LHP, 73.2 IP).

DBacksEurope: It would be rather far-fetched to think any of these kids would be lost in the MLB Rule 5 draft, so no need to worry here, we will see (most of) them next year in either Hillsboro or Visalia, if they aren’t released. Anything to add here?

James: Despite the potential talent some of these names possess, I wouldn’t be spending any 40-man slots on them. If they were that close to MLB-ready, they wouldn’t still be this low in the organization, not with the depth issues this club has.

DBacksEurope: In the Rule 5 draft certain players of the Diamondbacks will be under threat of being pried away, but on the other hand there will also be a possibility of plugging a player from another team on our 40-man roster, if there is space available. Do we know any players that could be interesting for the D-Backs and why would the Diamondbacks elect them?

Makakilo: Two pitchers the Diamondbacks could draft are Colin Peluse (RHP) and TJ Sikkema (LHP). They are both 24 years old and played in AA, albeit that one of them played one game in AAA. First let’s compare them with a table.

Why draft Colin Peluse?

During the 2020 COVID break, he significantly improved his fastball velocity. The Diamondbacks need relievers with high velocity fastballs.

“He utilized the pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen his legs and refine his mechanics, and the result was a return to baseball throwing a fastball harder than he’d ever thrown before.” – Top Prospects

“Eric Longenhagen said the following in the [FanGraphs’] writeup: ‘He was a pitchability righty with fringe stuff that played up because Peluse’s delivery screws with hitters’ timing, but after undergoing a bit of a physical transformation during the pandemic, he was sitting 94-98 during 2020 instructs. He’s held that velo into the 2021 season and his changeup has flashed better now than in the past. Peluse throws exclusively from the stretch, his fastball/slider combo gives him a relief floor, and the changeup progression gives him a shot to start.’” Alex Hall, SB Nation

Based on his Arizona Fall League results and based on the following quote, his command is better than his prospect grades led me to believe.

“Peluse’s 95-98 mph fastball is accompanied by a strong slider that has flashed plus at times and a solid changeup that continues to improve, giving him a good three-pitch mix to work with. Command is also a strength, evidenced by his low walk numbers that date back to his college days at Wake Top Prospects

Why draft TJ Sikkema?

The Diamondbacks could benefit from a sidearm pitcher. Although not a sidearm pitcher, Sikkema changes his arm angle often enough to seriously challenge hitters.

“The fastball is where the variations in arm slot come into play the most, will work in 88-92 mph range with plus arm side life from lower 3/4 slot, will raise up to overhand slot at times and can work in more 92-95 mph range, does a nice job mixing and matching and keeping hitters off balance as a result, variations should play both in starting and bullpen role.” – Mike Kinsela

TJ Sikkema has elite command.

“Known more for his elite command than overpowering stuff, Sikkema uses a fastball, slider and changeup mix but has shown in the past the ability to locate all of his pitches for strikes. None of his pitches get top of the scale grades from scouts, but they all play up as he is known for changing his arm angles and giving his pitches different movements and speeds.” – Dan Kelly, SB Nation

“Everything he does plays up due to his ability to use all four quadrants of the zone while keeping hitters off-balance with unpredictable sequencing and location strategies.” – Top Prospects

TJ Sikkema continued to improve in AA. His groundball rate increased from 46.5% to 54.4%.

“I think I learned a lot there[AA]. It was definitely a bit of a jump. Kind of learned some different things here and there, but I thought it was very good for me. It was definitely a challenge, which is something I love. I love to compete.” – TJ Sikkema

Now that you have read all this, decide yourself what you would do. For every player we want to add to the 40-man roster, we have to make space on it. I (DBE) know at least a couple of players I would get rid off without thinking it over too much, how about you?


Would you add Blaze Alexander to the 40-man roster and protect him from the Rule 5 draft?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    (80 votes)
  • 5%
    (5 votes)
85 votes total Vote Now


And how about Dominic Canzone?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Protect him too.
    (49 votes)
  • 39%
    Not necessary.
    (32 votes)
81 votes total Vote Now


And Dominic Fletcher? What will you do?

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    Add to the 40-man roster.
    (56 votes)
  • 31%
    No need to worry about him.
    (26 votes)
82 votes total Vote Now


Finally, Dominic Miroglio. What will his fate be?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    On the 40-man as well.
    (18 votes)
  • 78%
    Leave him unprotected.
    (64 votes)
82 votes total Vote Now