The most important part to be understood about this draft is the fact that the selected player must spend the next season on the drafting team's major league's roster. This is important as it certainly plays into which players are protected and left unprotected. For example, a player which a certain organization has determined is unlikely to be ready for the major leagues in a given season is more likely to be left unprotected. And that makes it a little more difficult for a drafting team as opposed to another player that may already be major league ready. While there are some instances where a team can store a player in the back of a roster for a season, the value of roster spots makes it tougher for a player who is not ready for the major leagues to make it through an entire season without contributing very much.
The main purpose of this draft is to allow younger players the opportunity to go to another organization if there is not a fair enough opportunity that exists with the team they currently belong to. A team may have a starting 3B and two top prospects that also play the same position on the 40 man roster. A forth player is on track to make it to the major leagues, but the team has no room on the 40 man roster to store the player. If he is left unprotected, a team that does not have as much depth in regards to 3B can draft the player and give him a chance to play in the majors for a different organization.
This year's draft saw a lot of action with 13 teams making selections. Out of the 13 players selected, 9 have played in the major leagues this season. Out of the 9 who have played in the major leagues this season, 7 are still playing for their respective major league team. The Mets received RHP Logan Verritt back from the Rangers and Braves LHP Andrew McKirahan was just suspended 80 games for a violation of MLB's drug treatment and prevention program.
RHP Jason Garcia was originally selected by the Astros from the Red Sox. He was then traded to the Orioles. When a Rule 5 pick is traded, the same rules apply that the player has to spend the entirety of the season on the major league roster or be offered back to their original team (which in Garcia's case would be the Red Sox). Garcia, to this point, has been stored in the back of the Orioles bullpen and has pitched in 8 games and to a 5.93 ERA. The Twins selected RHP JR Graham from the Braves and he has pitched to a 1.54 ERA in 10 games for the Twins. Infielder Taylor Featherston was taken by the Angels from the Rockies and has appeared in 13 games, going 1-12 with two walks and an RBI.
The remaining four players taken in the Rule 5 draft are interesting for different reasons. The Rangers selected the former number 8 overall pick of the draft from the Astros, Delino DeShields, Jr. DeShields has been a forth OF type and is currently 7-34 with 7 SB and 7 RBI for the Rangers. Though DeShields is no sure thing as a future MLB regular, he is worth it for the Rangers to keep him around for the season as they do not have as much depth in the OF on the farm as they do on the infield.
What makes the Rangers decision to draft DeShields interesting is the fact that they failed to protect 2B Odubel Herrera. He was left unprotected because of the Rangers depth at the middle infield positions, but taken by the Phillies to play CF. Herrera has adjusted well to his new position and is playing everyday for the Phillies, hitting .267, 1, 10 in 32 games and 116 ABs. In my opinion, Herrera has a little more upside than DeShields and may have been a better choice to move the OF and remain with Texas. Both players are not known for their power and rely on their speed and defense, but Herrera has proven in the minors to be a better hitter for average.
The Mets selected LHP Sean Gilmartin from the Braves with the intention of converting him into a left handed specialist. However, Gilmartin had pitched in 80 minor league games for the Twins and Braves, but just one as a reliever. In fact, his only relief appearance came in 2013 for the Braves rookie league team as part of a rehabilitation assignment. After a little uncertainty, Gilmartin has gotten more comfortable in his role and has pitched to a 2.45 ERA in 11 games.
The Rockies selected OF Mark Canha from the Marlins and then traded him to the Oakland Athletics. Canha has been a regular for the Athletics up to this point, hitting .253, 5, 15 in 27 games. Canha hit 20 HR last year in the Miami organization and it is understood why there was a little bit of a log jam with the talented OFs the Marlins have.
The best Rule 5 draft pick in the history of the sport was Roberto Clemente, who was taken by the Pirates from the Brooklyn Dodgers. Three stand out among others. LHP Johan Santana was taken by the Twins from the Astros, 2B Dan Uggla was taken by the Marlins from the Diamondbacks and OF Josh Hamilton was taken by the Reds from the Rays.