The Detroit Tigers selected right-hander Rony Garcia with the No. 1 pick in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft Thursday at baseball’s winter meetings in San Diego.
Eleven players were selected, with only the Baltimore Orioles making multiple selections. The Houston Astros had the most players selected out of their minor league system, with three players picked, and the Chicago Cubs had two players picked from their system.
Garcia, 21, was 4-13 with a 4.01 ERA in 25 appearances in the New York Yankees‘ system last season, finishing the year at Double-A Trenton.
The Orioles selected right-hander Brandon Bailey with the second pick from the Astros. Bailey, 23, finished the season at Double-A Corpus Christi and was 6-8 with a 2.80 ERA in 25 appearances overall. Right-hander Sterling Sharp went third overall to the Miami Marlins, who picked the 24-year-old from the Washington Nationals‘ system. Sharp advanced to Double-A Harrisburg last season and was 5-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 14 appearances at three levels.
Right-hander Stephen Woods was selected No. 4 overall, going to the Kansas City Royals out of the Tampa Bay Rays system. Woods, 24, pitched for the Rays’ Class A team in Charlotte last season, going 9-3 with a 1.88 ERA in 18 appearances.
Right-hander Yohan Ramirez, 24, was selected at No. 5 by Seattle Mariners, from the Astros’ system. Ramirez was 4-7 with a 3.99 ERA in 27 appearances at three levels and finishing at Double-A Corpus Christi.
The first position player selected was outfielder Mark Payton at No. 6 by the Cincinnati Reds, from the Oakland Athletics‘ system. Payton hit .334 with 30 home runs and 97 RBIs in 118 games for Triple-A Las Vegas last season.
The rest of the selections in Round 1 were right-hander Dany Jimenez by the San Francisco Giants, from the Toronto Blue Jays‘ system (7-3, 2.59 ERA in 25 games, finished at Double-A New Hampshire); shortstop Vimael Machin by the Phillies, from the Cubs (.295, 7 HR, 65 RBIs in 129 games, finished at Triple-A Iowa); right-hander Trevor Megill, by the Cubs, from the San Diego Padres (2-2, 3.86 ERA in 39 games, finished at Triple-A El Paso); and shortstop Jonathan Arauz, by the Boston Red Sox, from the Astros (.249, 11 HR, 55 RBIs in 115 games, finished at Double-A Corpus Christi).
The Phillies later traded Machin to the A’s for cash considerations.
Only one player was selected in Round 2, with the Orioles picking right-hander Michael Rucker from the Cubs (0-3, 4.18 ERA in 36 games; finished at Triple-A Iowa).
Only players not on teams’ 40-man rosters were eligible to be selected. Teams selecting a player in the draft pay a fee of $100,000 and the selected players must remain in the majors the entire season or be offered back to their original teams for $50,000.
Last season, of the 14 players selected in the major league phase of the draft, only three players remained in the majors with the clubs who picked them the entire season: shortstop Richie Martin (Orioles), pitcher Elvis Luciano (Blue Jays) and pitcher Brandon Brennan (Mariners).
Many players selected will eventually be returned during the season, but several established major leaguers got their big league starts via the Rule 5 draft. The most recent success story is right-hander Brad Keller, who was selected by the Reds in 2017 and traded to the Kansas City Royals. Since joining Kansas City, Keller has made 48 starts in two seasons and owns a 3.68 ERA.