On Wednesday, the minor-league phase of the Rule 5 Draft commenced, as the Houston Astros were among the teams active. The major-league phase was not conducted in part to there being no Collective Bargaining Agreement in place.
The rules are similar to the major-league phase of the Rule 5 Draft, which will happen once the lockout ends. Eligible players can be protected from the Draft by being added to an organization’s Triple-A 38-man roster, others would be left exposed.
The Astros lost three prospects and gained one in the minor-league phase of the Rule 5 Draft.
Lost: Outfielder Ronnie Dawson
Ronnie Dawson made his major-league debut in 2021, while filling a 40-man roster spot in April in part to health and safety protocol. The Astros leaned on their alternate training site for depth at this time, but Dawson’s contract was never selected again.
The 26-year-old hit to a .715 OPS in Triple-A, while he was only one of the core Sugar Land Skeeters’ outfielder to not finish the ’21 season at the major-league level, respectively. Jake Meyers, Jose Siri and Bryan De La Cruz (Miami Marlins) all finished their seasons in the majors.
Dawson was the first to embark on a major-league stint, but his success at the alternate training site didn’t translate to Triple-A. The Ohio native and Ohio State University graduate returns to his home state with the Cincinnati Reds. The former second-round pick looked to be left unprotected and could have a better chance on a rebuilding team in the Reds.
Lost: Pitcher Brett Daniels
While a former 17th-round selection, Brett Daniels never climbed past Double-A in the Astros’ organization. The right-hander posted a 6.58 ERA in 2021 with a 11.2 strikeout per nine innings, while punching 112 batters in total.
Daniels was selected by the Cleveland Guardians, as the 25-year-old joins a franchise known for producing quality starters.
Lost: Pitcher Manny Ramirez
The New York Yankees selected right-handed pitcher Manny Ramirez from the Astros, while the Low-A hurler used to be on the Astros’ top prospects list. The 22-year-old missed the entire ’21 season, as he sat on the 60-day injured list.
Gained: Pitcher Ruben Garcia
The Astros were only active in the first round of the Draft, while adding right-handed pitcher Ruben Garcia from the Detroit Tigers. The reliever climbed to Double-A in 2021, posting a 5.93 ERA and an 11.2 strikeout per nine innings in 41 innings.
Baseball America identifies Garcia’s fastball as an “incredibly unusual look at 95-97 MPH with more spin and run than vertical break.”