With the impending Rule 5 Draft in the MLB coming up on Thursday, December 8th, a Major League dream could possibly be fulfilled for a few of the Red Sox young minor league players.
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If anyone is not familiar with the Rule 5 Draft, it takes place every year at the winter meetings. The purpose of the Rule 5 Draft is to prevent teams from stockpiling too much young talent in their farm systems. The one caveat to this is that those players drafted in the Rule 5 Draft must spend the year on the 25 man Major League roster. If that player is waived and not claimed by another team, they must be offered back to the original team.
Teams are able to add players to their 40 man rosters that they wish to protect from the Rule 5 draft, thus keeping those players in their organization. Teams that have a full 40 man roster are not allowed to make a pick in this year’s draft. The Red Sox have a full 40 man roster, so they will not be able to make a pick this year.
There are a few players who Red Sox fans should keep an eye on as potential Rule 5 picks. The one name that keeps popping up is Justin Haley. Justin Haley pitched in Double A and Triple A this year. He went 13-10 with a 3.01 ERA. He is a right handed starter. Baseball America has Justin Haley as one of the top Rule 5 draft prospects available to all teams.
Haley will most likely not be a starter for the major league team that selects him. He should start as a reliever. If Haley is selected and has success at the Major League level, I look for him to have to earn his spot on the major league team after this year. I do expect Haley to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft.
There may be some other prospects from the Red Sox that could get taken in the Rule 5 draft, but Justin Haley should go early. After the essential gutting of the system, and the Winter Meetings the Red Sox, as an organization, should hope that none of the guys they view as top tier will get selected.
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The Red Sox did add a current Minor League pitcher to their 40 Man Roster in Kyle Martin. Kyle Martin is not eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft by any team. The Red Sox also added Williams Jerez to the 40 Man Roster. Williams was a player who was probably going to be selected by a team if not added to the 40 man. Williams had showed a lot, in the most recent spring training with the big league team, so a lot of teams were able to watch him pitch, against big league ready hitters. Williams is also a player that is clearly valued by the Red Sox. The Red Sox didn’t cut him after he fizzled out as an Outfielder. Williams seems to have found his niche as a pitcher.
I look forward to seeing which prospects exchange teams and who to look forward to watching in this years season.