The Rule 5 draft is a very exciting time of the year for me. The results are much more immediate than the Rule 4 draft and the ability to out value players over opposing teams are much more apparent than in Free Agency. Everyone has a fair shot in the Rule 5 draft; unlike Free Agency, money means little. If a GM can out analyze his peers, your team could walk away with a Johan Santana, Roberto Clemente, Jesus Flores or, even though not as sexy, a useful RP that can save your club millions to be used elsewhere. MLBTradeRumors compiled a list of names from various writers of players to keep an eye on for the Rule 5 draft. Using thebaseballcube.com, I have pulled their numbers and offer my own analysis to each player.
Juan Abreu - RHP
Great K numbers, walk rate not so much. The walk rate is not a rusty arm coming back from injury either; it's always been this bad. Pass in the major league phase, questionable in the minor league phase.
Jordan Brown - LH
Good eye at the plate, mediocre power. The latter is not a great combination for a 1st Basemen prospects, especially considering Brown's eye wasn't as keen his first season in AAA. Pass in the major league phase.
Bobby Brownlie - RHP
Brownlie is a nice little story, working his way back to minor league ball after spending time in the independent league. However, at his best, he's a control pitcher who gets inexperienced hitters out with his breaking stuff. His stuff just doesn't cut in the higher levels as shown by his high H9 and HR9. Pass in major league phase.
Matt Fox - RHP
Fox has always done an extremely good job of keeping the ball in the park. Couple that with a good walk rate and a reasonable K rate and he looks like he has potential, except, he is way too old for his league and has been throughout his career. I know the Twins are loaded with prospects, but for Fox sake they should have at least tested him in AA, someone will probably take him in the minor league portion.
Alan Horne - RHP
Horne has always been a bit overhyped, but he is still a better pitcher than he showed last year in an injury-marred season. He doesn't make sense for the Mets, but I could see a team like the Pirates taking a chance on him if he's healthy.
Kei Igawa – LHP
I kind of hate Kei Igawa. I'm a big fan of the NPB (Go Buffaloes!) and it was always obvious the Igawa was not as good as his stats showed, as well as actually declining at his young age. Now, I didn't think he would flop as hard as he did, but still the money the Yankees gave him was reactionary to the Red Sox getting Dice-K and, in my opinion, furthered NYs distrust in Japanese ballplayers, much in the same way Kaz Matsui and Satoru Komiyama did. I hate Igawa for the latter. I'm not saying we should sign as many Japanese players as we can or that even that Omar listens to the fan base (he did after all offer the second highest bid for Dice-K even after the Matsui flop,) but it's painful when the reaction of the fanbase is so predictable that it actually limits our options. Just like how the Mets will never sign Adam Dunn, (the fanbase would go nuts,) I don't know if the fanbase would accept money spent on Japanese players much in the same way Latin American players are acquired. I guess what I'm trying to say is hate the player not the hype/country of origin/style of playing baseball, e.g. take-n-rake. I've gone way off topic and probably totally off-base so here comes a softball to get my swing back.