Using the 1st overall pick in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft, the Houston Astros added right-hander Josh Fields to their bullpen, taking a chance on a 27 year old with great upside who could legitimately help their bullpen this coming season. Fourteen other players were taken in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 and twenty-seven more followed in the Minor League portion.
Fields was once very highly regarded and when the Seattle Mariners selected him in the 1st Round of the 2008 Draft he was widely viewed as someone who could move through the minors quickly. Fields was part of a run of college closers taken early in the draft by teams with this belief, but he – like the others – failed to live up to that lofty expectation. Fields struggled in his first season and a half with the Mariners, walking too many batters and struggling to keep inherited runners from scoring. He’d start to turn things around in time for a mid-2011 trade that would send him to the Boston Red Sox. Making 32 appearances at Double-A and 10 more at Triple-A Fields posted a 4-3 mark and 2.01 ERA this past season, adding a 0.960 WHIP, 12.0 K/9, and just 2.8 BB/9.
Boston will receive $50,000 from Houston for Fields, though they’ll have a chance to re-obtain him should the Astros not manage to keep him on their active roster all season. Considering the team’s needs at the backend of their bullpen it would appear possible that Fields could have a big impact for the team this season.
Baseball America has a full list of the 41 other players taken in this year’s Rule 5 Draft, along with brief scouting reports for many. Some of the other notable selections were as follows:
Hector Rondon, RHP, Chicago Cubs – Rondon missed nearly all of the 2012 season but is a hard thrower who could complement Carlos Marmol well in the Cubs bullpen. He could also not be ready and necessitate a return to the Cleveland Indians organization.
Daniel Rosenbaum, LHP, Colorado Rockies – Rosenbaum got off to a hot start for Washington’s Double-A affiliate this past season, only to come crashing back to Earth in the season’s second half. He’s inconsistent but eats innings, meaning he could have some value in Colorado’s quirky pitching setup. He was the first of four Nationals players to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft.
Chris McGuiness, 1B, Cleveland Indians – McGuiness was named MVP of the 2012 Arizona Fall League Season and Cleveland could use a first baseman. He showed some decent power in Double-A this past season.
Alfredo Silverio, OF, Miami Marlins – Silverio missed all of the 2012 season due to injuries suffered in a car accident. Prior to the accident he was considered one of the better prospects in the Dodgers’ organization.
Braulio Lara, LHP, Miami Marlins – Lara is a projectable left-hander with a lot of potential, but he’d also be making the jump directly from High-A to the Majors if he is able to stick with the Marlins. It is the Marlins, however, so anything could be possible.