3 Rule 5 Draft possibilities for the White Sox
I feel like Thomas Jefferson Johnson in the movie The Distinguished Gentleman giving my thoughts on the Rule 5 draft, but here we go.
As yous know, I am not a scout, nor do I know much more than you do on the subject of prospects (I look at Fangraphs, MLB.com, have a sub to ESPN to hear Keith Law’s thoughts, etc). Luckily for us, these resources provide enough information for us regular ass fans to give an armchair opinion on the matter. MLB.com in particular provided this cool article to help take a look at some players to watch from various teams READ HERE.
The Rule 5 draft is as complicated as it is simple. Each team may select a player that is left unprotected by the other 29 teams (those rules are a little more complicated and I won’t go into detail on them here) for $50K and may keep them, as long as that player remains on their
25 26 man roster all season long. If they don’t, they can be returned and the selecting team will recoup some, but not all of their original outlay.
I see the White Sox as a young team coming out of a rebuild, ergo, not really in the market for stashing a super young player on their roster to improve the farm org depth OR giving a player a long try-out at a level above their head just to see if it works. I think this is a squad that kinda needs results immediately as many people are thirsting for success.
All that being said, the Rick Hahn White Sox have built up some bullpen depth in the minors, but not nearly enough of it has proven to be major league effective to this point. Hahn was able to pass Burr and Frare through waivers this off-season making more room on the 40 man roster (which is at 37 at time of this article) to snap up some additional depth for the org. If I’m the White Sox, I’m looking around at potential low leverage bullpen options to see if they can stick. Here’s tree that I like from my amateurish look at dees guys.
Connor Jones STL
The Cardinals seem to have some voodoo magic with their prospects, they have all these guys who’s names you have never heard of that make it up to the majors and produce basically right away. It’s a good skill to have. Connor Jones could end up being one of those guys. He throws a million worm killers (those are ground balls for the uninitiated) and that’s a sought after skill at US Comiskullar Rate Guaranteed GooseIsland Park or whatever. His main issue is that he walks the entire ballpark, which is pretty much status quo for the COOP WILL FIX’EM crowd.
Jackson McClelland TOR
This guy is big, throws hard and doesn’t really know where it is going. If that’s not a White Sox bullpen arm I don’t know wtf is. Having nice projectable size and throwing hard is exactly the type of guy that the White Sox have had success fixing in the past, so grabbing a guy like this (similar to the Tayron Guerrero pick up) is valuable if you can just nail one of them. You saw what Drew Pomeranz got in a free agent deal after pitching like 25 good bullpen innings. The market place for bullpen arms is nucking futs!
Sterling Sharp WAS
No, not that Sterling Sharp, this one.
I’ll be honest, from what I have read about this guy, he’s probably too good of an athlete (he’s ranked 14th in the Nats system on THE BOARD and 13th on MLB.com’s rankings) to last to the White Sox spot in the Rule 5 draft (they pick 11th), I’d expect him to go off the board earlier, but if he doesn’t it’s not like the White Sox haven’t had success with former Washington farm hands. He’s another guy that throws a lot of ground balls and they could stretch him into a swing-man spot to fill out the back of the bullpen.
Rick Hahn has done the upfront work to make a move in this Rule 5 draft and with some teams having overflow on their 40 man roster and leaving exposed some potentially helpful pieces for other teams, I hope they select with intent to use.