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The Rule 5 Draft: A nine year look back

The Rule 5 Draft: A nine year look back
November 29, 2012
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One of the first articles I wrote for this site was a Rule 5 Draft piece to show how it has changed and developed over the years and a breakdown of each draft to try to find the trends in the draft. Then, I talk about who is likely to be selected and who should be safe.  Today, this is my fourth time writing this review in advance of the Rule 5 Draft.

Every year the fans tend to get a little too nervous about this draft. Every year I have fans asking me, with fear, if a certain player is going to be selected.  This is my attempt to preemptively try and answer some of those questions before the draft occurs.

So here is a break down, now a nine-year retrospective on the Rule 5 Draft. Some of the material is updated, while material is borrowed from previous years. At the end of the day, I hope this will allow everyone to better see how things are likely to develop with the draft this year. 

2003

In the 2003 Rule 5 Draft there were a total of 20 selections, only 7 of which were kept (roughly 1/3). There was one trade which most Indians fans will remember: the Indians traded a selected player, Willy Taveras, along with Luke Scott for Jeriome Robertson. While a stinker of a deal now, I can’t fault the Indians for trading for a lefty coming off a 15 win season in a hitter’s park. The most  frustrating part about that deal in general has to be that Luke Scott was just a throw in. The really interesting thing about this draft was 5 of the first 6 picks were from the Pirates. The GM really blew this process, and while most were returned, I don't see how a team that bad  could decide to not protect prospects.

The breakdown of players selected in the draft is as follows:

Starting pitchers: 1 (5%)
Middle relievers: 12 (60%)
Catchers: 0 (0%)
First basemen: 1 (5%)
Second baseman: 0 (0%)
Shortstops: 2 (10%)
Third basemen: 0 (0%)
Utility: 2 (10%)
Outfielders: 2 (10%)

Indians selected: 4 (20%)

The big name in this draft was that of Jose Bautista who was an All Star that played for five different teams that year, so it was not just Pittsburgh who missed on him as any team in baseball could have picked him up at multiple points.  Another name to note is Jason Grilli who has had an up and down career but was a central part of the pen for the Pirates last year. The four Indians selected in the draft were Willy Taveras, Hector Luna, Lino Urdaneta, and Matt White. Of these players only Luna was not offered back to the Tribe. The biggest names selected in the draft were either Taveras, Matt White, or Chris Shelton to Detroit. In other words, it’s not like any All Stars were taken that year. White’s name is only well known because he is baseball’s first billionaire player, thanks to buying land and finding out it was worth over $2 billion, thanks to a deposit of rare stone, and not because his 7 games of big league play. I have listed the category of a utility player – this is a player who logs 50 or more games at multiple infield positions.

Now for the information on levels:

MLB: 2 (10%)
AAA: 6 (30%)
AA: 10 (50%)
A+: 2 (10%)

Teams seemed to take the biggest risks with utility players and middle relievers when they reached down to AA. Luna and Gonzales were both players who spent a full year in AA. The two players taken from high A were Taveras and Bautista, both had logged a lot of time in high A and came with solid pedigrees. Taveras was the Indians 4th ranked prospect in 2001 and Bautista was the 7th ranked prospect in 2003.

2004

In the 2004 Rule 5 Draft there were 12 players selected and of those only three were kept. There were no deals and the Indians did not have any players selected. The breakdown this year was:

Starting pitchers: 3 (25%)
Middle relievers: 5 (42%)
Catchers: 0 (0%)
First basemen: 0 (0%)
Second basemen: 0 (0%)
Shortstops: 0 (0%)
Third basemen: 1 (8%)
Utility: 0 (0%)
Outfielders: 3 (25%)

Of the players kept, Andy Sisco is someone people made a big deal of when he was first drafted but who has really failed to do much since then. The best player selected in this draft was Shane Victorino, but he was not actually kept. Victorino could not make the Philly squad, but the Dodgers didn’t want to pay the money for the return fee so Philly was able to keep him. It’s undoubtedly a mistake the Dodgers regret to this day as the return fee is virtually nothing. Another name of note is Tyler Johnson who was a solid reliever for the Cardinals the year they won the World Series, but has since suffered an injury which derailed his career.

Now for the information on levels:

MLB: 1 (8%)
AA: 5 (42%)
A+: 4 (33%)
A-: 1 (8%)
R: 1 (8%)

Victorino was the one player with MLB experience. The players taken from the low levels where Andy Sisco who was a 6’10” lefty, Angel Garcia a 6’7” righty, and Marcus Carvajal who was a reliever. Sisco and Carvajal both stayed with their teams for the year working out of the pen.

2005

In the 2005 Rule 5 Draft there were again 12 selections and only 3 players kept. There were also no trades and zero Indians selected. The breakdown this year was:

Starting pitchers: 2 (17%)
Middle relievers: 8 (67%)
Catchers: 0 (0%)
First basemen: 0 (0%)
Second basemen: 1 (8%)
Shortstops: 0 (0%)
Third basemen: 0 (0%)
Utility: 0 (0%)
Outfielders: 1 (8%)

The big player that was selected during this year was Dan Uggla, who moved from Arizona to Florida. Another interesting aspect of this draft was pitcher Victor Santos who was selected, stayed on roster all year, and then was cut after the season was over. Now three years into this review we see that the draft is dominated by middle relief arms, specifically players who were relievers in the minors.

Now for the information on levels:

MLB: 2 (17%)
AAA: 6 (50%)
AA: 1 (8%)
A+: 3 (25%)

The big name from this draft Uggla was a player who had repeated AA, and seemed like a player who had stalled. The rest of the players where more of a who’s who of the typical Rule 5 pick, that being a reliever who had failed to do much.

2006

This year there was a rise in both players selected and kept. There were 19 players taken and 4 kept, but the percentage of players kept dropped to 21%. There were also two trades that happened this season. The first player taken was an Indian, Ryan Goleski, but I am sure Oakland wishes they had taken Josh Hamilton instead. Here is the breakdown for the draft:

Starting pitchers: 1 (5%)
Middle relievers: 10 (53%)
Catchers: 3 (15%)
First basemen: 1 (5%)
Second basemen: 0 (0%)
Shortstops: 0 (0%)
Third basemen: 0 (0%)
Utility: 2 (11%)
Outfielders: 2 (11%)

Indians selected: 2 (11%)

This is the most interesting draft in this five year cycle because not only were there two Indians taken, but two future All-Stars were also selected. The two Indians were Ryan Goleski and Jim Ed Warden, both of whom were returned to the Tribe. The All-Star players that year were Josh Hamilton and Joakim Soria. Both players were surprise picks at the time but have since looked like genius moves. Hamilton had been so long out of the game and Soria had never played above A ball. They were both well thought of and ended up being the 2nd and 3rd players selected in the draft. Another interesting pick was when Baltimore took Alfredo Simon, traded him and in time he was returned to Texas.  In just two more years he would end up back in Baltimore as their closer after being signed from the Mexican League.

This draft should also be noted for the solid relievers that it turned out with players such as Jared Burton, Kevin Cameron, and Sean White, thus meaning that over a quarter of this draft ended up being productive. 2006 might go down as the best draft ever for the Rule 5 just in terms of results.

Now for the information on levels:

MLB: 2 (11%)
AAA: 4 (21%)
AA: 9 (47%)
A+: 3 (16%)
A-: 1 (5%)

The lowest player selected was Soria, but it should be pointed out that he had been pitching in the Mexican League that year and faced a better level of competition early on. San Diego owned his rights and tried to stash him and failed after they had signed him out of Mexico after he left the Dodgers organization. Josh Hamilton actually counts as a AA player. I know the stories tell about low A, but he had some time in AA in the years before 2006. The three relievers I mentioned before were all at AA, as were both of the Indians losses that year. I must say I think 2006 was a year with a clear loser in Oakland as not only did they draft the wrong player first and pass on two All Stars, but then they lost a solid reliever in Burton and ended up with nothing to show for any of it.

2007

The 2007 Draft saw a total of 18 players drafted, and of those only 3 were kept. Once again the percentage of players kept this time was around 17%. In terms of trades there were a total of four, so a lot more players were able to stay with the team that selected them. There were two Indians selected and one of them, Brian Barton, was one of the players kept. Here is the breakdown:

Starting pitchers: 2 (11%)
Middle relievers: 12 (67%)
Catchers: 0 (0%)
First basemen: 0 (0%)
Second basemen: 1 (5%)
Shortstops: 0 (0%)
Third basemen: 1 (5%)
Utility: 0 (0%)
Outfielders: 2 (11%)

Indians selected: 2 (11%)

There was one future All Star in this draft, R.A. Dickey. He was drafted by Seattle who later made a trade with the Twins to keep him. He had already started to throw his knuckle ball, and was just looking for an extended chance at this point in his career. After the season was done he resigned with the Twins as a free agent.  Once again the draft was dominated by guys that teams take a flier on to see if they can help the pen. After all, $50K is cheaper than even the minimum free agent contract.

Now for the information on levels:

MLB: 1 (6%)
AAA: 7 (37%)
AA: 7 (37%)
A+: 2 (11%)
A-: 1 (6%)

In 2007 there was a huge switch to relievers in the higher levels. Of the players taken from the lower levels all were returned. Teams seemed a lot more hesitant to take a risk on a player who was farther away.

2008

The 2008 Draft saw a lot of players selected with a total of 21 taken. Even after all of the fear Cleveland fans had that year not one of the players taken came from Cleveland. Four players lasted the whole year with their new team or roughly 20% of the players, though it should be noted one of the players had Tommy John surgery and that’s why he was able to be kept. There was one trade with Minnesota gaining starting pitcher Justin Jones. Also 4 players were out right waived and one of them is now in the Independent leagues. Here is the breakdown:

Starting pitchers: 5 (24%)
Middle relievers: 11 (53%)
Catchers: 2 (10%)
First basemen: 0 (0%)
Second basemen: 0 (0%)
Shortstops: 0 (0%)
Third basemen: 0 (0%)
Utility: 2 (10%)
Outfielders: 1 (5%)

Indians selected: 0 (0%)

The most successful player who was taken and kept was Everth Cabrera who San Diego selected with the third pick from Colorado. He has turned into a solid starter who led the National league in stolen bases last year.  The player who has been the most successful though was Ivan Nova, who was taken and returned by the Padres before the end of March. He has gone on to be a solid starter for the Yankees. While there was a rise in starting pitchers taken, the draft was still dominated by the middle relievers.

Now for the information on levels:

MLB: 1 (5%)
AAA: 4 (19%)
AA: 11 (53%)
A+:5 (25%)

As it is most years, the majority of players taken are players who are in AA. The reason for this is simple: if you are successful in AAA, then you are more than likely protected. If you’re in AA and eligible for the Rule 5 Draft then somewhere along the way you had a hiccup. Maybe you repeated a level or got hurt, but either way it slowed your development. Teams try and find those players who could help them from those who have had a slower development cycle.

2009

The 2009 Draft saw a drop in players taken with only 17 players selected. The interesting thing about 2009 was the number of deals that occurred as parts of other deals. For instance the first pick in this draft was traded to the Yankees as the player to be named later from an earlier Brian Bruney deal, this also happened between Houston and Florida and Baltimore and Texas. In all cases these players were later returned to their original team. This was the lowest total since 2005. Cleveland had only one player selected, Chuck Lofgren, who the Indians worked out a deal so Milwaukee could keep him in exchange for hard throwing but wild reliever Omar Aguilar.

Two players lasted the whole year with their new team or roughly 11% which is another number that is lower than normal as it usually is in the 16-22% range. One of two players was Hector Ambriz, who was chosen by the Tribe and injuries derailed his career. Three players were waived, and their original team declined to pay the return fee for them. Here is the breakdown:

Starting pitchers: 6 (35%)
Middle relievers: 8 (47%)
Catchers: 0 (0%)
First basemen: 0 (0%)
Second basemen: 0 (0%)
Shortstops: 0 (0%)
Third basemen: 1 (6%)
Utility: 0 (0%)
Outfielders: 2 (12%)

Indians selected: 1 (6%)

In terms of success there are really only three choices. Hector Ambriz of the Indians, which I am sure no Tribe fan will be shocked to hear was not the most successful of the chosen players. The other two choices are David Herndon who was the last choice and managed to stay the whole year on a very good Phillies team. The other choice is Kanekoa Texeira who was drafted by Seattle, then waived and spent the rest of the year with KC. In the end the player who went on to make the bigger impact is Herndon.  He pitched for a good team, but suffered an arm injury which caused him to be released, and is still trying to get back to the majors.

Now for the information on levels:

MLB: 2 (12%)
AAA: 6 (35%)
AA: 7 (41%)
A+: 2(12%)

As it is most years the majority of players taken are players who are in AA. The difference in this case is that there were almost as many AAA players as AA players. The gap between the levels was a lot closer that year in terms of talent taken.

2010

The 2010 Draft saw 19 players taken just like the year before, and on top of that the top two picks were both Indians. Jose Flores also started out a new trend that year where we saw players taken from low A. It was the most players taken from low A and also the most players selected from A ball that we have seen in this sample size. It means teams are reaching lower to try and find an arm that can help them, looking to maybe find the next Soria. Of the 19 picks, 5 made it without being offered back or 26% of the players chosen which is also higher than usual. The amount of trades were also up as 4 players including the Indians own Josh Rodriguez was traded.

Starting pitchers: 6 (32%)
Middle relievers: 10 (53%)
Catchers: 0 (0%)
First basemen: 0 (0%)
Second basemen: 0 (0%)
Shortstops: 0 (0%)
Third basemen: 0 (0%)
Utility: 3 (16%)
Outfielders: 0 (0%)

Indians selected: 2 (11%)

As mentioned before this was interesting for Tribe fans as the top two picks came from the Indians. The most successful player was actually the pick right after them as Joe Patterson became an important lefty for the Diamondbacks pen.  The top player has to be George Kontos who was taken by San Diego and returned to the Yankees before March was over, a lot like the Nova pick. Kontos would later be traded to the Giants, and this past season was an important piece in their pen, appearing in 44 games with an era of 2.44. Of the 4 players to make it three were pen arms, and the only bat was Michael Martinez, a 27 year old utility player. So of the 4 players chosen three of them were on playoff teams proving good teams can still find help in this draft.

Now for the information on levels:

MLB: 0 (0%)
AAA: 8 (42%)
AA: 5 (26%)
A+: 3(16%)
A-: 3 (16%)

The trend here is the teams willing to spend $50K and take a risk on a low level arm. This is a trend that I think could hurt the Indians long term as the Indians have a lot of promising arms in the lower levels who are eligible. The other interesting change is that this shift comes at the expense of AA where in the past the majority of players had been taken. The data shows to me that the Indians might need to be more worried about losing highly projectable arms or near ready arms instead of just a solid pitcher in AA.

2011

Last year's draft was one of the most interesting ones to date. The reason is simple, and that is because there was a brand new trend to take players who are on the DL. There were only 12 selections last year and 4 of those selections spent the whole year on the DL. This means those players are still subject to the same rules this year, but still shows teams have no fear about injured players when it comes to rolling the dice in Rule 5.  It strikes me that teams might have realized that the real value might just be in these players.

The data for this draft is weird as technically 9 players were kept which would be 75%, which would be more than the previous top two years combined, in terms of players kept. The problem is almost half of those players are still under Rule 5 stipulations, so in many ways total players kept is incomplete. The bottom floor value is 41%,  which is already the highest value of recent years in terms of players kept.

Starting pitchers: 3 (25%)
Middle relievers: 5 (42%)
Catchers: 0 (0%)
First basemen: 0 (0%)
Second basemen: 0 (0%)
Shortstops: 0 (0%)
Third basemen:  (0%)
Utility: 3 (25%)
Outfielders: 1 (8%)

Indians selected: 0 (0%)

The most successful player selected has to be Lucas Luetge, who was a great left handed specialist for the Mariners this year. The other players who were selected in general put up some pretty ugly numbers, and many will more than likely see themselves in the minors this year.  Luetge was the only player to not post a negative WAR of any player selected last year.  There was only one trade made to keep a player, but we did see another 2 trades where teams acquired players who had been selected.

Now for the information on levels:

MLB: 0 (0%)
AAA: 4 (33%)
AA: 6 (50%)
A+: 2(17%)
A-: 0 (0%)

The last two years, there has been a change where the players are coming almost entirely from the upper levels. This changes the previous trend, where teams were trying to go lower and grab top talent in the lower levels and develop them. Teams are now just grabbing upper level players and hoping they can help.

9 year total

Now, if the data from the past nine years is added together, it is possible to see who and what a team like the Indians could lose. In the nine year cycle there were 150 players selected and a total of 36 kept, so roughly only 24% of all players selected stick, this could be even higher as I am not counting the players from last year who were on the DL. The average amount of players selected every year is 17, which basically means an average of 4 players sticking with a Major League club. In that same time there were 14 trades, which shows by and large teams are reluctant to let their own players go.

Starting pitchers: 29 (19%)
Middle relievers: 81 (54%)
Catchers: 5 (3%)
First basemen: 2 (1%)
Second basemen: 2 (1%)
Shortstops: 2 (1%)
Third basemen: 3 (2%)
Utility: 12 (8%)
Outfielders: 14 (9%)

Indians selected: 11 (7%)

What this data shows (at least to me) is that the main use of the Rule 5 Draft is to find bullpen help. I mean, there were more relievers taken than every other position combined. There are also a decent amount of outfielders, utility players and starting pitching selected, but by and large the draft is dominated by bullpen help.

It is a bit distressing to see 7% of all players selected come from the Indians, but even so a vast majority of those players have been returned so the Indians have actually just gained a lot of cash in exchange for their players being selected. Still, for a team that has not been good for a majority of this time table, one would think the protection of the players who are young and under control would be a priority.

Now for the information on levels:

MLB: 11 (7%)
AAA: 45 (30%)
AA: 61 (41%)
A+: 26(17%)
A-: 6 (4%)
R: 1 (1%)

So by and large the players who are selected are from the upper levels as 78% of all players taken are from AA or higher. This is the areas from which a team like the Indians should be most concerned about losing a player.  Also a team like the Astros seems to  have taken the approach under their new front office where they know their team is terrible so they add cheap talent and see if they can find anyone.

So it's now time to take a look at the players who Indians fans are concerned might be taken in the Rule 5 draft:

Jesus Aguilar, is a guy who Indians fans have loved the past two years because of the power he has shown in the minors.  Yet in the last 9 nine years a total of two first basemen have been selected, and none since 2006. I think he should be safe as there is a lot of work he needs to do. At the end of the day it's really hard for a team to carry a player to be exclusively a back up first basemen.

T.J. McFarland was a former high round pick for the Indians. He had a great year in AA, and then had a bad time in AAA. In most other systems he would probably have already been turned into a lefty specialist, also known as a loogy. He has been very good against lefties for his career, and I think he ends up making the Majors as a loogy.  Lefty specialists are very often picked in the Rule 5. It is something every team needs, but few want to make a trade to get, so these players are mined from the Rule 5 to try and fill the need for cheap and if they fail well all it cost was a few bucks. This is the reason I really think that McFarland has a chance to be selected, he is a ready lefty specialist in the making.  I think there is a 50% chance he is taken as teams always need more left-handed pitching after all.

The last player who really must be talked about being taken is Austin Adams. In seasons past he would have been safe, but last year showed teams have no problems taking a guy who is injured. Adams was considered a top ten prospect a year ago, and really could be compared to a player who was rostered in CC Lee. Both were guys who were close in rankings, both projected as pen arms, and both missed most of last year because of injuries. Adams is a power arm, who looked like one of those sleepers turned into a major league player. If he had not gotten hurt, I believe he would have been in the majors last year. Adams really fits the bill as a Rule 5 pick. He is from the AA level, he projects as a reliever, and he throws hard.  I think there will be a team that is willing to take a risk on him. He has the arm and pedigree to be just too interesting for a team to pass on. This basically leads me to believe that the chance that Austin Adams is selected is 100%.

The other two guys to watch would be Matt Langwell who has pitched well but doesn't have the explosive stuff teams look for, and Tyler Sturdevant who is another pen arm who got hurt last year but does throw hard. The issue is he is soon to be 27, and had a bad year, so I just don't see him getting selected.

So there it is, the Rule 5 Draft in depth. I think in general the Rule 5 Draft has become less important.  The last All Star selected in it was RA Dickey back in 2007, and his route to the All Star level was about as unusual as it gets.  Even finding a regular starter is rare, so basically the Rule 5 Draft is for finding lefty specialists and guys to fill in last spots in your pen. It is an interesting event and fun to follow, but no team has looked back on the Rule 5 and thought they owed their World Series victory to the decisions made on that day.

Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffmlbdraft, or email him at jellis121@yahoo.com

User Comments

Tony
November 30, 2012 - 11:28 AM EST
Not sure why the Indians and Rondon did not wait, but teams typically just sign their minor league signings without worry of the Rule 5 Draft. Few if any minor league signings are ever seriously considered in Rule 5, and like we saw with Adam Miller two years ago, that didn't matter. I think a lot of people are really over inflating Rondon's value at the moment. The guy is not looked at as a high level or mid level prospect anymore. He's older, limited to the pen, coming off two significant elbow injuries, and is a guy many doubt can stay durable enough to be much of a factor. There are always exceptions and we all hope Rondon is the one as he could really help.....but just because he is pitching again and pitching well in Venezuela does not mean his value is back.
Tony
November 30, 2012 - 11:21 AM EST
The thing with a lot of those injury picks last year, if I am not mistaken, is they got hurt during the year or later in it. So teams had ample chances to scout them that season going into the Rule 5 Draft. That's a big difference than for a guy like Adams who NO ONE has seen pitch since Sept 2011. Teams seriously dislike old scouting reports. Same can be said for Rondon, a guy most teams have not seen pitch in almost three years. Some may see him some right now in Venezuela, but that's not a league where much is learned from a scouting perspective. I'd be surprised if Adams or Rondon were picked, and very surprised if they were picked and stuck.
Schnabs
November 30, 2012 - 4:02 AM EST
Why didn't the Indians simply wait a month and a half to sign Hector Rondon as a free agent? He would not have been eligible for the Rule 5 draft in that scenario. It was not likely that he would have preferred to sign elsewhere considering his relationship with the Indians.
Ed LaRose
November 30, 2012 - 1:04 AM EST
So like the Indians' luck that while a position like 3rd base is rarely drafted (at least recently) one of their first and biggest losses to Rule 5, about 29 years ago, was Kelly Gruber - a guy who turned out to be a fine player and good hitter with pop.
Matt
November 29, 2012 - 9:50 PM EST
Jeff, Dennis, I agree. When I first started coming to IPI Rodriguez was my favorite middle infield prospect over guys like phelps, donald and kipnis. I will always blame his rule 5 situation for his demise, I thought he was a sure fire ML util IF at worst but bouncing back and forth between cle and pit seemed to destroy his career.
Jeff
November 29, 2012 - 8:03 PM EST
Tony I was in agreement till I saw last years data, Adams was a guy who was just off a few top 100 lists. Maybe I am wrong, and it is likely but last year showed me teams view 50K as nothing, and injuries are not a concern.

As for you Dennis, I think there is a major impact. Case and point would be former Indian Ryan Goleski, had a crazy good season and went number one. Was not kept, and seemed to enter a funk was not happy in Cle and wanted out badly.

As a player it is always a good thing to be selected because you are now on the 40 man and pay will be better, and a team wants you. It does cause some guys to lose development time, and others to end up sitting on benches. I think the worst part is the day they are offered back, as it means another roadblock to the MLB dream
Tony
November 29, 2012 - 4:28 PM EST
I'll have a more thorough breakdown of who is maybe taken next week, but I have to disagree with Jeff a little on Adams. He's back throwing bullpens and should be ready to go in spring training though even if ready the Indians will open him in extended to monitor his workload. I just don't see him as an option since he is a guy that may not be a 60-day DL candidate to open the season and a team is gonna have him make their roster out of spring training when not even pitching last year? I put it at more like 20% he is taken to me. In fact, I'm not sure anyone is taken. Rondon might, but again, that's a lot of faith on a guy whose value is next to nothing in the industry after not pitching for basically three years. I think we sometimes fall into the trap of overvaluing our own players. I mean, I remember two years ago when so many people were worried about Adam Miller going Rule 5. He didn't. And his true low value to the industry showed over the last two years.
Seth
November 29, 2012 - 3:58 PM EST
I'd have thought it would be surprising if Adams were taken. Shoulder surgery is a big deal for a pitcher, it's not like he's coming off Tommy John. The odds of him being ready to pitch in the big leagues by the second half of this year would seem pretty slim, I would think it would be a waste of $50k.
Dennis
November 29, 2012 - 1:18 PM EST
Thanks. I love reading these summaries. A couple of things I don't know that you have considered:

1. The psychological impact that this has on a player's development - It is my perception that players who go through this process of being selected, going to ML ST and then not making it and being returned to their original team then have a significantly reduced likelihood of every making it to the major leagues. Now, while that would be hard to quantitate, if you looked at their prospect ranking at the time of the Rule 5 and compared it to other, similar, prospects, you could probably get a comparison of whehter it does stunt a player's development, maybe forever.

2. The other factors involved. Yes, if you don't PERMANNTLY lose a guy does that make the decision to not roster him a correct one? On a human sense these kids are people but, to an organization that has probably invested hundreds of thousands of dollar in them, they have to be considered, at least to some extent, assets. Small market teams should value their homegrown assets more than 4A scrap heap guys. If you are allowing your guys to be drafted when you make room for non-prospects instead, whether or not you lose those guys still says there are some issues with how you perceive talent.

BTW, I predict that at least Rondon and maybe 1-2 others this year will be selected and at least Rondon will stick with another organization and be lost for the cheap years of his career.

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