Today saw MLB’s Rule 5 draft take place. The draft is the less well known of the two drafts which take place each year, so for those of you less familiar with it, MLB has supplied a handy Q&A link here.
What the 2014 Rule 5 draft has in common with the 2014 version of the better known First-Year Player Draft is that the Astros managed to grab the headlines for undesirable reasons.
Despite Jeff Luhnow’s confidence, two days ago, that Delino DeShields would not be taken in the Rule 5 draft, the outfield prospect was duly selected by the Texas Rangers with the third pick in the draft, as reported by Evan Drellich in the Chronicle.
The Astros used their fourth pick to select Jason Garcia from the Red Sox only to trade him to the Orioles for cash or, that most tantalizing of trades, a player to be named later. We, of course, have a relatively full roster after the arrival of Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek.
It is of course DeShields departure that catches the eye. Perhaps best known outside of the Astros fan base as the guy who caught a 90 mph fastball to the face back in April, DeShields spent the year with the Astros AA affiliate, the Corpus Christi Hooks.
DeShields had a down year at Corpus Christi, only hitting .236 with an on-base percentage of .346 and eleven home runs. These numbers were almost identical to his first season in Lancaster, where he hit .237 with an OBP of /336, and he enjoyed significant improvement in his second year with the Jethawks (.317 and .405 respectively). As Jose de Jesus Ortiz tweeted, in response to the draft, DeShields was pulled from the Hooks game against San Antonio at Minute Maid Park for a lack of hustle and the unavoidable fact remains that he is still very much a prospect rather than a sure thing, but MLB.com rated him as their #66 prospect. The Astros are still very much a team of prospects and to lose one of their more hyped young players is a blow, especially with so little seeming to come back in return, not to mention the lack of marquee free agents arriving so far this off-season.
By way of some consolation, MLB.com named Carlos Correa, recovering from a fractured fibula sustained back in June, as their #2 prospect and Mark Appel as their #41 prospect. Domingo Santana is ranked #50 and Mike Foltynewicz is #57. Santana was the PTBNL in the Hunter Pence trade back in 2011.