2012 Rule 5 Draft: Live blog
10:36am ET: The Double-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft has completed and no Indians were selected. Also, with that, the Rule 5 Draft is over. I'll provide more insight on the loss of McFarland and Rondon and the pickup of McGuiness in this afternoon's winter meetings recap.
10:33am ET: The Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft has completed and no Indians players were selected.
10:32am ET: McFarland, 23, went 16-8 with a 4.03 ERA in 27 combined starts for Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus last year. He pitched really well in Akron (8-2, 2.69 ERA) but really struggled in Columbus (8-6, 4.82 ERA). He is a soft-tossing lefty that sits in the upper 80s and will touch the low 90s from time to time, and specializes in groundballs because of a very good sinker. He is very durable and is versatile where he could be a back-of-the-rotation starter, long reliever, or even a matchup lefty. He struggled some this past season against lefties, especially at Columbus, but he has had better success against lefties in prior seasons.
10:29am ET: Rondon, 24, pitched just two innings in affiliate ball this past season and has only pitched 41.2 innings over the last three seasons thanks to Tommy John surgery in the summer of 2010 and an elbow fracture in November of 2011. He has looked healthy this offseason pitching in the Venezuela Winter League and has reportedly been back into the mid-90s with his fastball. Durability and the lack of any dominant secondary stuff remains a big concern, but he is a former high-end prospect that is still intriguing because of his explosive fastball.
10:22am ET: McGuinnes, 24, played last season at Double-A Frisco and hit .268 with 23 HR, 77 RBI and .840 OPS in 123 games. He is 6’1” 210 pounds and hits with an open left-handed stance. He has a good approach at the plate and tracks pitches well which help him limit strikeouts and be patient enough to draw walks. He is a below average runner with average power, and is a solid defender at first base. He has only played first base in the minors, but this offseason he is working on playing some outfield, so this is something that maybe intrigued the Indians where he could play first base but also play some left field.
10:13am ET: The Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft is over and there were a total of 15 picks, two of them were Indians: Rondon and McFarland. The Triple-A and Double-A phase of the draft will start up momentarily, and these players that are selected are lost for good and are not given back. I'll have some thoughts on McFarland, Rondon, and McGuiness in a few minutes.
10:09am ET: The Orioles have selected Indians left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland.
10:03am ET: The Cubs have selected Indians right-handed pitcher Hector Rondon with the second pick in the draft. More on this after the conclusion of the draft. The Indians have selected first baseman Chris McGuiness from the Rangers.
9:40am ET: I will be updating this posting with news and notes from today’s Rule 5 Draft, though I have to say in advance that I expect the updates to be minimal mostly because the Indians are probably not going to draft anyone (at least in the Major League phase) and it looks like there is a good chance no one gets drafted. As new updates come in I will timestamp them and log them on top of each previous update in this posting.
The draft starts at 10:00am ET. Here are a few quick notes leading up to the start of the draft:
- I provided a thorough preview of the draft in yesterday's piece, but the Indians names to watch are left-hander T.J. McFarland, right-hander Hector Rondon, right-hander Matt Langwell, right-hander Tyler Sturdevant, right-hander Austin Adams, first baseman Chun Chen, and first baseman Jesus Aguilar.
- As noted in our nine-year review of the Rule 5 Draft, middle relievers are the prime target as over the past nine years 54% of the picks have been pen arms. Starting pitchers (19%) and outfielders (9%) make up the majority of the rest of the picks. Pitching is the focus and versatility on the diamond is always a secondary focus, so corner infielders and outfielders rarely are picked.
- Teams generally focus on power arms in the bullpen, and two guys that I think could interest teams are Adams and Sturdevant because of their ability to pitch in the mid-90s and hit the upper 90s. Lefty T.J. McFarland is a soft-tossing groundball machine, and is getting some interest as a potential matchup lefty in the pen, although his splits last season versus lefties was not very good.
- The draft starts momentarily, so I will update things as they occur.
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