Houston Astros: The 5 Players they will most likely lose in Rule V draft.


These Houston Astros Rule V Eligible Players are Most Likely to Go

The Houston Astros announced Friday around 1 pm that they added five prospects who were eligible to be selected in the Rule V draft to the 40-man roster. The players that they decided to hang onto was catcher Alfredo Gonzalez, RHP Jandel Gustave, RHP Joseph Musgrove, RHP Juan Minaya, and RHP David Paulino. While several of them were expected in Musgrove, Gustave, and Paulino, the other two were surprises. Last year the Astros made a mistake at not protecting Delino DeShields Jr for Ronald Torreyes. The Astros later released Torreyes, so it was a poor choice.

Out of the 11 top 30 Astros players that were eligible for the Rule-V draft, the Astros chose not to protect eight of them. They are LHP Reymin Guduan, OF Teoscar Hernandez, RHP Chris Devenski, OF Danry Vasquez, RHP Brady Rodgers, OF Andrew Aplin, INF Nolan Fontana, and RHP Kyle Smith. While they could all be chosen by another team, there are five of them that are most likely to be selected by another team according to JJ Cooper at Baseball America.

These players would be losses, but they will have to remain on the selecting team’s major league for the entire season. So the following players could be selected, but will they stick?

Roberto Pena

While he is not in the top 30 prospect list, it is easier to carry a young defensive minded catcher as the backup catcher for the whole season. The Astros chose to protect Gonzalez over Pena, going with the better hitting ability and better pitch framer. Does that sound familiar, that was the reasoning behind the trade for Hank Conger. After hitting 13 homers in 2014 with a .249 batting average, Pena was limited to one home run with a .237 batting average.

2015 Stats: .237/ 1 homer/ 22 RBI in 74 games.

Likelihood Chosen: 40%

Likelihood of Sticking: 70%

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Reymin Guduan

I wrote earlier today that the Astros would probably protect Guduan with his ability to throw 100 mph left-handed. That’s all fine and dandy, but he has not shown much with his career 5.02 ERA in six years in the minors. He was a starting pitcher but was moved to the bullpen to take more advantage of his 100 mph arm. While he has the plus arm, he still has yet to master how to pitch as he has walked almost as many hitters as he has struck out. With a little refinement, the Astros could develop him into a back of the bullpen type of pitcher. However, the Astros could be gambling that no one will select him based on his career stats.

2015 Stats from Baseball-Reference: 4-6/ 5.52 ERA/ 59 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings.

Likelihood Chosen: 100%

Likelihood of Sticking: 40%

Nolan Fontana

This is a player that I was surprised that the Astros didn’t protect, but like Teoscar Hernandez is coming off a down season. Fontana drew my attention with his ability to get on-base, with a high walk rate. He profiles as a Marwin Gonzalez type of player. One season he had 102 walks and 100 strikeouts.

Stats from Baseball-Reference: .241/ 3 homers/ 40 RBI/ 6 steals.

Likelihood Chosen: 80%

Likelihood of Sticking:80%

Update: He was added to the 40-man roster late yesterday.

Chris Devenski

Of the top 5 on Cooper’s list of most likely going to be selected, Devenski is probably the most major league ready and likely to stick. Devenski was drafted as a reliever, but, was later converted to a starter early in his minor league career. Devenski has a plus change-up and quality control on the mound, threw a perfect game in the 6th inning of the Triple-A Championship Game for Fresno last year. Wherever Devenski goes, he is a fan favorite. His nickname is Dragon, and he exhibits those qualities on the mound. He may be drafted and stuck in the back of the Astros bullpen to be used seldom used, but could be effective with his pitch speed differential.

Stats from Baseball-Reference: 7-4/ 3.01 ERA/ 104 strikeouts in 119 1/3 innings.

Likelihood Chosen: 80%

Likelihood of Sticking: 40%

Andrew Aplin

This player had the biggest support from the fan base because they have followed him since he was drafted. He was supposed to be one of the outfielders of the future but has been passed by several of the current players/prospects. While he doesn’t hit for much power, he has a decent on-base and OPS percentages with plus speed. He is similar to Colin Moran being a power-gap hitter.

Stats from Baseball-Reference: .296/ 2 homers/ 40 RBI/ 32 steals

Likelihood Chosen: 100%

Likelihood of Sticking: 60%

Update: The Astros added him to the 40-man roster by DFA L.J. Hoes.

Next: Houston Astros: The Astros Add 2 More to 40-Man Roster, Aplin, Fontana

Who will be taken, we will not know until December 10th during the rule five draft but the Astros have protected seven of the Rule V eligible prospects? Another name to keep your eyes on is Kyle Smith (Tommy John surgery). This year’s Winter Meetings is setting up to be exciting.