The Houston Astros will protect players from the Rule 5 draft on Friday, but had two players claimed by the Diamondbacks and Braves.
On Friday, the Atlanta Braves claimed infielder Jack Mayfield off waivers. The 30-year-old played all around the infield except for first base in his two seasons with the Astros. He will be joining Ozzie Albies, Johan Camargo, Freddie Freeman, Austin Riley, and Dansby Swanson as a platoon, defensive specialist in the near future.
Mayfield, the former Oklahoma Sooner, went undrafted in 2013 and signed with the Astros on June 17, 2013 as an amateur free agent. Mayfield played well enough in high school to make it on a Division 1 team along with a team in the Cape Cod League. The numbers show that anyone who went Mayfield’s route wouldn’t see a pitch at the MLB level, but he was one to break the trend.
“Super Jack” finally reached the show at 28 years old and excelled in his first game with the Astros against the Chicago Cubs. The bat was cold for the taxi squad player, and through 106 at bats in two seasons, he hit .170/.198/.283. The struggles continued at the plate while he struck out 30 times to only three walks. The Astros couldn’t find a place in the order for Mayfield other than ninth, but his speed helped when he could find ways to get on base.
Defensively, Mayfield proved reliable. As he could play every spot in the infield, he only made one error in 29 games in the field. That brings his career fielding percentage to .984 which can look a little iffy, but the sample size is small.
Rogelio Armenteros just hit the field for the first time since March, and a video surfaced on Twitter of him pitching in the Dominican Winter League. I recently wrote about his comeback and future as an Astro a few days ago, but now he will be joining the Arizona Diamondbacks after his winter in the Dominican. The 27-year-old missed all of the 2020 season due a bone spur removal, but the future is bright, and he could see a starting role for a team lacking arm depth.
The Astros are now at 35 out of 40 spots filled on their 40-man roster, while the Atlanta Braves just filled their 38th spot and the Arizona Diamondbacks filled their 39th spot. This leaves the Astros with seven infielders and two of them – Abraham Toro and Aledmys Díaz – can play every position. With Armenteros gone, Cristian Javier is a strong candidate to be the long reliever of the future. The Astros seemed to not have any future role set for Mayfield which led to him being claimed by a team with a lack of infield depth.