The deadline for adding players to a team’s 40-man roster in order to protect them in the December 12 Rule 5 Draft was last night (midnight, November 20) and there was a flurry of activity by teams looking to protect some of their young talent. We’re going to run it down here by team, but much of this information comes from MLB Trade Rumors and MLB.com. For more information and commentary, visit our sister sites on the FanSided network.
The Baltimore Orioles protected three players from the Rule 5 Draft on Wednesday: left-handed pitcher Tim Berry, righty Eddie Gamboa and catcher Michael Ohlman. Berry, 22, had a strong season in High-A Frederick of the the Carolina League while Ohlman, also 22, led the Carolina League in batting with a .313/.410/.524 line. Gamboa is a 28 year old pitcher who has developed a knuckleball and was very strong in Double-A Bowie but walked 28 in 43 1/3 innings in Triple-A Norfolk.
The Boston Red Sox added three to the 40-man, including two big prospect names. Pitcher Anthony Ranaudo, outfielder Bryce Brentz and third baseman Garin Cecchini. Cecchini and Ranaudo are in the top 100 prospects for MLB.com with Ranaudo impressing in both Double-A and Triple-A while Cecchini combined for an OBP of .443 between High-A and Double-A.
The Yankees added five players as well as acquiring super-utility man Dean Anna from the Padres. Anna had an outstanding season for Triple-A, hitting .331 with a .410 OBP. Added to the 40-man roster were pitchers Jose Campos, Bryan Mitchell and Shane Greene, outfielder Slade Heathcott and catcher Gary Sanchez. Heathcott had a solid season in Double-A while Sanchez had an up-and-down season split between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. Of the three pitchers, Mitchell and Greene both reached Double-A and Greene shows excellent control (walking only 30 in 154 1/3 innings). Campos spent the season in Class-A Charleston posting strong numbers for a 21 year old.
For the Tampa Bay Rays, four players are being added to the roster: righties Jesse Hahn, Kirby Yates, lefty C.J. Riefenhauser and infielder Vince Belnome. 25-year-old Belnome had an outstanding year in Triple-A Durham, posting an OBP over .400 and playing three infield positions. Hahn was outstanding in High-A Charlotte while Riefenhauser and Yates excelled in Triple-A.
For the Toronto Blue Jays, there were only two additions. Deck McGuire, the eleventh overall pick in the 2010 draft, goes on the 40-man after a solid season in Double-A while his New Hampshire teammate, CF Kenny Wilson also grabs a spot. The Blue Jays are sitting at 39 players on the 40-man roster.
The White Sox are adding infielder Carlos Sanchez and outfielder Trayce Thompson to the 40-man roster. Thompson appears to be a very good defensive outfielder, splitting time between center and right field in Double-A Birmingham but still has work to do with his bat, hitting .229/.321/.383. He stole 25 bases and hit 15 home runs, showing a lot of potential if he can cut down his strikeouts (139 in 590 PAs).
The Indians added Jesus Aguilar, a hard-hitting first baseman, to their 40-man in addition to pitchers Bryan Price and Austin Adams, infielder Erik Gonzalez and outfielder Carlos Moncrief. Both pitchers had outstanding seasons, striking out gobs of batters.
The Tigers added a grand total of seven players to the 40-man, bringing the total up to 39 (teams must have at least one spot remaining to select players in the Rule 5 Draft so this leaves them able to do so). Three pitchers — lefty Kyle Lobstein and righties Justin Miller and Jose Valdez — were added as well as first baseman Jordan Lennerton (who played for the World team in the MLB Futures Game), shortstop Eugenio Suarez and outfielders Daniel Fields and Steven Moya.
For the Royals, four players were added: outfielder Lane Adams, righty Michael Mariot, third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert and middle infielder Christian Colon. Colon was strong in Triple-A at the age of 24 while Mariot, who turned 25 last month, had a decent season out of the bullpen for Triple-A Omaha. Both Adams and Cuthbert are considered to be highly rated prospects who both reached Double-A. Cuthbert struggled after a promotion from High-A while Adams still managed to put up good numbers despite a drop of about 30 points to his batting average after his promotion.
The Minnesota Twins protected four players: lefty Logan Darnell, outfielder Max Kepler, middle infielder Jorge Polanco and first baseman Kennys Vargas. Kepler, a 20 year old from Germany, played in the Arizona Fall League after a mediocre first year of full-season ball. Darnell is 24 and reached Triple-A Rochester this season. Polanco is also 20 and had an outstanding year in the Midwest League for Cedar Rapids while Vargas is a 23-year-old, 6’5″ Venezuelan who hit 19 HRs in the Florida State League.