Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rule 5 Draft Results

The Twins lost 4 players and gained 3 players in the Rule 5 Draft today, with 2 players going and 1 coming in the Major League portion of the draft, and 2 players going each way in the AAA portion of the draft.

This doesn't mean that these players are gone for good (or that we'll be keeping the players we drafted)- players drafted in the Major League portion of the draft must stay on the Active Roster (a.k.a. the 25-man roster) for the entire Major League season, or else be sent back to their original team. While I am not certain of the official rules for the AAA Phase of the draft, one must assume that it is essentially the same deal - the player must stay in AAA or above for the entirety of the next season, or else be offered back to the original team.

So, without further ado:

Rule 5 Losses

Kevin Cameron - RHRP - Rochester Red Wings - (to San Diego)
Losing Cameron hurts, because he's a pretty solid pitcher. He had a horrible Arizona Fall League season, but I still thought that the bulk of his Minor League career would make him a valuable pick-up for somebody, and San Diego proved me right. He posted a 2.98 ERA in 40 appearances for Rochester last season, before struggling with a 8.58 ERA in 11 appearances in the AFL.

Chance of staying in SD: 60% (San Diego might be good enough to need the roster spot)

Levale Speigner - RHRP - Rochester Red Wings - (to Washington)

Speigner was a starter for most of 2005 in New Britain, but was converted to relief for the 2006 season. In 40 appearances with New Britain, he posted a 3.26 ERA before being promoted to Rochester, where he made 9 appearances and struggled, posting a 4.97 ERA. I didn't think that his numbers made Speigner an attractive enough candidate for a team to have on the roster for a full season, and apparently neither did the Twins. However, Washington is a good fit, since they have a horrendous team with numerous holes, and can probably afford to keep a guy like Speigner on the roster for a season. Don't expect him to make more than 15-20 appearances in 2007 for Washington, before being shipped off to AAA in 2008 for more seasoning.

Chance of staying in WAS: 80%

Erold Andrus - OF - Ft. Myers Miracle - (to Tampa in the AAA Phase)
This seems a bit of a stretch to me. Andrus has never played above the High-A level, and will now be asked to compete against AAA quality pitchers. He hit just .207 last season for Ft. Myers, taking a major step back (his career batting average is .266). This is not a big loss for the Twins, as Andrus was just a backup at the High-A level and didn't seem to be on the way to a promotion anytime soon.

Chance of staying in Tampa: 90%

Justin Jones - LHSP - Ft. Myers Miracle - (to Washington in the AAA Phase)
This one hurts a little bit, although the Twins probably don't mind too much. Jones was on the 40-man roster until the season ended and the Twins cleaned house a little bit. The fact that they removed him indicated either that (1) they thought he was no longer a player worth protecting, or (2) they thought he was too far away from being useful to protect with a coveted roster spot. Either way, Washington felt that Jones was good enough (or, perhaps, left-handed enough) to select in the AAA Phase. The departure of Jones means that the Doug Mientkiewicz trade was pretty much a bust, as the Twins got nothing out of the deal. Jones had an odd 2006 season, starting off hot in AA (a 3.25 ERA in 6 starts with a 29-15 K-BB ratio), before being demoted for some reason; perhaps he had a bad attitude, or a mechanical flaw, or something. As it is, the demotion hurt him - in 12 games (10 starts), Jones posted a 5.20 ERA before finishing the season on the DL.

Chance of staying in WAS: 90%

Rule 5 Gains

Alejandro Machado - 2B/SS - Washington Nationals
Machado was just signed to a minor league contract by the Nationals, but that didn't prevent him from being drafted by the Twins in the Rule 5 Draft. He spent his 2006 season with AAA Pawtucket (Red Sox organization), and hit .260 with 4 HR and 32 RBI in 116 games. He will be 25 years old in April. Machado will likely be given an opportunity to compete with Luis Rodriguez for the backup middle infielder position on the active roster. If he shows some flash, there is at least a chance that he could make the team. However, Rodriguez seems like the more likely candidate to emerge from that position. It's always possible that the Twins could keep both on the roster, but that seems awfully unlikely.

Chance of staying with the Twins: 15%

Jesse Floyd - RHSP - San Francisco Giants - (AAA Phase)
Floyd had a solid 2006 season, posting a 4.00 ERA in 25 starts for AA Connecticut (San Francisco organization). He posted a fantastic 100-38 K-BB ratio, although with 135 innings pitched that isn't an overwhelming number of strikeuts overall. Floyd will be 26 years old in January, so he's getting to the make-it-or-break-it point in his career. He should be a useful starter for the Twins in AAA.

Chance of staying with the Twins: 90%

Brian Buscher - 3B - San Francisco Giants - (AAA Phase)
Buscher was also with Connecticut in AA last season, hitting .259 in 130 games with 7 HR and 49 RBI. His fielding seems to need a little work, and he's not quite as exciting a pick-up as Floyd, but hopefully the Twins knew what they were doing when they selected Buscher - it would be great if he had a solid minor league season in 2007, and inserted himself into the discussion about who should be the Twins' 3B in 2008. He will be 26 in April, so like Floyd he's probably got to produce relatively soon, or risk seeing his career come to a close.

Chance of staying with the Twins: 75%


  • At Thu Dec 07, 02:25:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thanks for the Rule 5 analysis...
    We'll see whether they're really gone, or returned by the end of Spring Training.

  • At Mon Dec 11, 01:32:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    You say Buscher's fielding needs work yet he was named the Eastern Leagues best defensive 3rd baseman. Hmmm...

  • At Mon Dec 11, 04:47:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    Well, I'll tell you what I made that statement based on. All I know about Buscher is what I found on The Baseball Cube. I don't have fielding statistics for 2006, but looking at his numbers from 2004 and 2005, his defense left something to be desired (fielding percentage of a woeful .879 at high A in 2005, and of a not so good .939 at AA).

    I wasn't aware that he was the best defensive 3rd baseman in the Eastern League this year - but I'm glad to hear it. It suggests that he turned a corner.

    Sadly, I can't be an expert - I'm a law student with very little free time who does this stuff for fun. I do my best - and that's pretty much all I can do.


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