Which Prospect(s) Will Astros Protect From Rule 5 Draft?
Every year since Jeff Luhnow has taken over as the Astros GM, the rule 5 draft has been very interesting. This is mostly due to the prospects the Astros lost to other teams. This year is no different as the Astros have a lot of intriguing prospect who need to be protected to avoid the Rule 5 Draft.
The Rule 5 draft is a Major League Baseball player draft that occurs each year in December, at the annual Winter Meeting of general managers. The Rule 5 draft aims to prevent teams from stockpiling too many young players on their minor league affiliate teams when other teams would be willing to have them play in the majors. The better your farm system, the more likely you are to lose a prospect. The way to prevent them from being eligible for the draft is adding them to the 40 man roster. Here is more info on the Rule 5 Draft.
Here are some prospects the Astros will have to make a decision on:
Martin was drafted by the Astros in the 8th round of the 2013 draft. Martin built on his 2016 season and made his way to AA in 2017. He started the season in Buies Creek and hit .287 with 7 HR in 46 games. With Corpus he hit .273 with 24 2B, 11 HR in 79 games. He lead all Astros minor league hitters in doubles with 35 overall. He is a speed threat too with 16 stolen bases and has played all three outfield positions.
2017 Stats: 125 G, .278 BA/.332 OBP/.487 SLG, 35 2B, 5 3B, 18 HR, 66 RBI, 16 SB, 39 BB/124 SO
Deetz was drafted by the Astros in the 11th round of he 2014 draft. He moved his way through the system and good year in 2017. He started the year with the Hooks and went 4-2 with a 1.82 ERA and 9 BB/42 K in 39.2 innings. He was promoted to AAA and struggled a bit there with a 6.40 ERA in 45 IP. The Astros used him in relief some and had success. In the Arizona Fall League he had 4 BB/23 K in 11 IP. Deetz has a 97-99 MPH and a sharp slider making him a good fit in the pen.
2017 Stats: 7-6, 4.25 ERA, 84.2 IP, 73 H, 40 ER, 50 BB, 97 K, 10.3 K/9
Perez is the most interest case. The Astros originally agreed to a contract with Perez for $5.15 million but due to a physical ended up signing him for just $2 million. But since he resigned with the Astros after signing the first, and later voided, contract, he is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. Perez pitched across three levels this season and had a good year. After posting a 4.39 ERA with Quad Cities, he posted a 2.84 ERA with Buies Creek. He was moved to AA and pitched in 13 innings. Overall the lefty had a 4.13 ERA with 83 K in 93.2 IP.
2017 Stats: 6-4, 4.13 ERA, 93.2 IP, 94 H, 43 ER, 27 BB, 83 K, 8.0 K/9
Kemmer was a late round pick in 2013 but has hit at every stop in the minors making it all the way up to AAA. In 2017 he repeated AAA but made huge improvements in every category. Overall he hit .299 with .932 OPS and 16 HR in 87 games. Unfortunately, he missed the end of the season due to an injury. He is another interesting one since he has performed in the minors but is also now 27 years old.
2017 Stats: 87 G, .299 BA/.399 OBP/.533 SLG, 17 2B, 16 HR, 57 RBI, 6 SB, 44 BB/95 SO
Laureano would have been a guarantee add after his 2016 season in which he hit .319 with 15 HR, 73 RBI, 43 SB between A+/AA. Many expected big things from him in 2017 but his season didn’t go well. He hit just .227 with 11 HR in 123 games. Laureano is a good runner and has a very good arm in RF so a team could take a chance on him.
2017 Stats: 123 G, .227 BA/.298 OBP/.369 SLG, 21 2B, 11 HR, 55 RBI, 24 SB, 40 BB/110 SO
Here are some others prospects that the Astros could risk losing if they don’t add them to the 40 man roster:
Jayne Hansen has more on the Rule 5 Draft here.
**Photo Credit: Tammy Tucker**