MLB Rule 5 Draft Prospects 2012: High-Risk Players Teams Were Smart to Bet on

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2012

Courtesy of Mark Baer, USA Today Sports
Courtesy of Mark Baer, USA Today Sports

The Major League Baseball Rule 5 draft is all about taking risks. None of the players available will be at the top of a team's prospect list—if they are, there is something seriously wrong with the development process—but there is plenty of value to be found. 

Championship teams are not going to be built through the Rule 5 draft process, so impact is limited. If you can find one piece who plays any role for even a handful of games, you've got a great return on your investment. 

Here is a full look at all the players taken in Thursday's Rule 5 draft, as well as the players with the highest risk that teams were smart to take a chance on. 


1. Houston Astros Select RHP Josh Fields
2. Chicago Cubs Select RHP Hector Rondon
3. Colorado Rockies Select LHP Danny Rosenbaum
4. Minnesota Twins Select RHP Ryan Pressly
5. Cleveland Indians Select 1B Chris McGuiness
6. Miami Marlins Select OF Alfredo Silverio
7. Boston Red Sox Select 2B Jeff Kobernus; Traded to Tigers
8. New York Mets Select LHP Kyle Lobstein; Trade To Tigers Expected
9. Arizona Diamondbacks Select RHP Starling Peralta
10. Philadelphia Phillies Select OF Ender Inciarte
11. Chicago White Sox Select SS Angel Sanchez
12. Baltimore Orioles Select LHP T.J. McFarland
13. Texas Rangers Select RHP Coty Woods
14. Houston Astros Select 1B Nate Freiman
15. Miami Marlins Select LHP Braulio Lara


1B Nate Freiman

2012 Stats at Double-A San Antonio: 137 G, .298/.370/.502, 154 Hits, 24 HR, 49 BB, 95 K

Freiman has been moving slowly through the minors despite being drafted out of college in 2009. His only playable skill is his ability to hit for power, though in order to do that he will have to prove that he can hit the ball against big league pitching. 

Teams are always looking for power, so it makes sense that the Astros would take a flier on Freiman. He just doesn't have enough tools or upside to make him a regular on a big league club, though anything can change with a slight tweak in mechanics. 


RHP Hector Rondon

2012 Stats at Double-A Akron: 2 G, 4 IP, 4 Hits, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Rondon used to be the top pitching prospect in the Cleveland Indians organization, but he blew out his elbow in 2010, underwent Tommy John surgery and has really never got back on track. 

In the last two seasons, Rondon has thrown just 10 innings in the minor leagues. He is just 24 years old, so there is some hope that he can get close to the level he was at prior to the injury. 

At this point, it would be hard to envision him going back in the rotation because he has lost so much time and will need at least one year to stretch out his arm. The Cubs could be looking to throw him in the bullpen and hope to catch lightning in a bottle. 


Alfredo Silverio

2011 Stats at Double-A: 132 G, .306/.340/.542, 163 Hits, 16 HR, 30 BB, 91 K

Silverio missed the entire 2012 season due to a serious car accident that left him with a concussion and injuries to his neck, back, shoulders and chest. He had just been added to the Dodgers' 40-man roster before the accident. 

The Marlins may have received encouraging news about Silverio's recovery. He did play in the 2011 Futures Game, hitting a home run for the World team. 

More than any other player in this year's Rule 5 draft, Silverio has risk. However, the upside could be good for a Marlins team that needs an infusion of talent.