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2012 Rule 5 Draft: Live blog

2012 Rule 5 Draft: Live blog
December 6, 2012
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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.

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

Shy
December 6, 2012 - 11:27 AM EST
McFarland- a ham and egger, probably a waste of a highschool draft pick, ceiling somewhere around Chris Seddon. Rondon, no question he makes the bigs out of Spring Training. Electric stuff and looks the surgery makes him better, not worse. I think the Cubs made an excellent choice. Why didn't the Indians roster him and leave Mcginnis. How many flat footed left handed first baseman does a last place team need for chris'sake?
art
December 6, 2012 - 10:54 AM EST
Chris McGuiness seems like a Nick Weglarz type of batter who doesn't have the injury issues.
Tony
December 6, 2012 - 10:40 AM EST
Aguilar is still a ways away. Good power, developing defense, but plate discipline still an issue. If he has a good 2013, then MAYBE Aguilar could be in the big leagues in 2014....but he has a long way to go. He's kind of been overvalued by Indians fans because we are so desperate for a first base solution at the big league level. He won't be a star or above average big leaguer, but could be a solid second level ML first baseman if he continues to develop as hoped.
League Park
December 6, 2012 - 10:36 AM EST
Tony-Your thoughts on Aguuilar please. Will he be our 1b and in what year?
Rob
December 6, 2012 - 10:36 AM EST
Any chance this pick has to do with the big trade being worked? Where at completion the Indians would gain flexibility to be able to keep him and send him to AAA? Can we now trade him to Boston to get Steven Wright back?
League Park
December 6, 2012 - 10:36 AM EST
Tony: Will Aguilar be the Indians first base solution. If so, when?
Mooney
December 6, 2012 - 10:27 AM EST
"McGuinness is a solid average defender at 1B with average power & a good approach. Limits Ks, draws BBs thanks to ability to track pitches"

So Tony, you're saying he's the anti-LaPorta. Works for me.
Antonettiismuffcabbage
December 6, 2012 - 10:19 AM EST
Any time you can get a 25 year old 1B with a career OPS of .814 and has never played above AA...you have to pull the trigger...oh and he's left handed too. We are the MLB version of Hoarders!!
Connor
December 6, 2012 - 10:15 AM EST
Ya, that seems like a long shot, but I could see Rondon doing it.
Mooney
December 6, 2012 - 10:12 AM EST
No way McFarland lasts all year in the Orioles rotation/bullpen. Just dont' see it happening.
Connor
December 6, 2012 - 10:06 AM EST
We lost Rondon, but at least we got Mcginnis. He seems like a good pick.

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