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2007 Rule 5 Draft

Here's a pick-by-pick look at the 2007 Rule 5 Draft (position, name, rating, team drafted by):
  1. P Tim Lahey (47), Devil Rays (subsequently traded to White Sox) - Lahey has good size at 6'5" and 250 pounds, and between that and Chicago's affinity for flame-throwers, my guess is that Lahey possesses a power arm. However, he hasn't shown an ability to strike a high number of batters out. He was a decent AA reliever last year, and the White Sox would be making a mistake if they hold on to him.
  2. P Evan Meek (55), Pirates - Meek is from Bellevue and went to Bellevue CC, so I can't help but root for a local guy. He is a somewhat promising reliever, but he's also not quite ready for the majors. However, the Pirates roster isn't exactly a spoil of riches, so Meek has a good chance to stick in their bullpen.
  3. P Randor Bierd (65), Orioles - I really like this pick. Baltimore's bullpen was atrocious last year, and Bierd was dominant in AA last year. He's good enough to contribute to many bullpens, but he'll especially be a welcome addition to this staff. His chances of staying and contributing are excellent.
  4. P Jose Capellan (23), Giants - Capellan is really hard to project because he played in short-season advanced rookie ball last year, five levels below the major leagues. His numbers are fantastic, but it's hard to imagine he can make such a huge jump successfully.
  5. P Carlos Guevara (62), Marlins (subsequently traded to Padres) - Guevara is one of the better picks of the Rule 5 draft, but the Padres pitching staff is already strong, so I wonder if he will make their roster. He was picked out of the Reds organization, and given how bad Cincinnati's bullpen is, I don't understand why they did not have him on their 40-man roster.
  6. P Sergio Valenzuela (34), Reds - Maybe there is a reason the Reds' pitching staff is so bad. They don't protect a pitcher like Carlos Guevara, but do have the room on their roster to add a guy like Sergio Valenzuela. There's no way this guy will make their staff. He's horrible. His ERA was an even 7.00 last year, and he split time between high-A and AA.
  7. 3B Matt Whitney (51), Nationals - Whitney showed great power last year, belting 32 homers and 30 doubles. Overall, his numbers are solid, but they were accumulated between high-A and AA. He's not major league material right now.
  8. P Wesley Wright (53), Astros - Wright, a southpaw, is intriguing. He's difficult to hit, as evidenced by a low batting average against and high number of strikeouts. However, he also walks quite a few hitters, and he's a little prone to giving up home runs as well. Looking at his numbers, it looks like he has really good stuff, but little control. I'm sure the Astros see him as a specialty lefty though, so he has a chance to stick even if he should not.
  9. P Fernando Hernandez (58), Athletics - Fernando fits the moneyball mold: low walks, low home runs allowed, and a high strikeout rate. He could be a decent option as a mop-up man right now, with the potential to be more in the future. I'm not sure he is good enough for the A's to keep him, but he should get a chance to make the team.
  10. OF Brian Barton (59), Cardinals - I kind of like this pick. Barton has shown good plate discipline in the minors, and a little speed. I don't know how good his defense is, but if it is good he could be a nice defensive replacement/pinch runner off the bench, with the chance to develop into a solid fourth outfielder.
  11. P Randy Wells (62), Blue Jays - Wells had a 4.52 ERA in AAA last year, but he is better than that number suggests. He struck out a bunch of batters, and has a chance to stick on Toronto's staff as a mop-up man out of the bullpen.
  12. P R.A. Dickey (64), Mariners - Dickey is 33 years old, which is significantly older than most Rule 5 draft picks, but he still has plenty of intrigue. Dickey has been working on mastering a knuckleball that past couple years, and he seemed to really start to get command of it the second half of last year. He'll get a look as a number five starter, and considering his competition is Ho-Ram right now, he's liable to get it. He'd also be a nice long reliever.
  13. P Steven Register (53), Mets - Register saved an impressive 37 games in AA last year, but that statistic is misleading. He was good, but not great, and I do not think he is good enough to earn a spot on the Mets.
  14. P Michael Gardner (57), Padres - Gardner had a nice year in AA, most notably allowing only 1 home run in 81 1/3 innings. I would keep Guevara over Gardner though, and I'm not sure there is room for either, much less both, on the Padres staff.
  15. P Travis Blackley (64), Phillies - Pat Gillick continues to collect every prospect he loved when he was with the Mariners. Honestly, Blackley is one of the best players picked in this year's Rule 5 draft, and between the Phillies' relatively weak pitching staff and Gillick's adoration of him, he has a good chance to stay with the team.
  16. OF Garret Guzman (57), Nationals - Guzman was drafted out of the Twins organization, and given their offensive struggles, it would not be the first place I would look for offensive talent in the Rule 5 draft. Guzman is not bad, but he's not real good either.
  17. 2B Callix Crabbe (69), Padres - The Padres really did their homework for this year's Rule 5 draft, as evidenced by three selections, and their ability to pick up a hidden gem like Crabbe. At first glance, his numbers aren't impressive, but he doesn't really have a weakness either. He has always shown good plate discipline, but added more power this past season. Moreover, second base is a glaring hole for the Padres right now, and they do not want to sign a free agent that will block Matt Antonelli's path. Crabbe is no savior, but the only pick that may have been better than this one in the whole draft is Randor Bierd.
  18. P Lincoln Holdzkom (52), Phillies - Holdzkom split time between AA and AAA, and appears to have pretty good stuff, but a lack of control. He's not major league material at this point.
There are a number of players from this Rule 5 draft that have the potential to be productive major league players. Most of them aren't quite ready for the majors, but Bierd, Dickey, Blackley, and Crabbe all appear to be, at least in some capacity. Whether this year's bunch has a guy as good as Johan Santana, Dan Uggla, or Shane Victorino, time will tell.