For the third year in a row, the O's made at least one selection in the Rule V draft.
Their first selection was infielder Michael Almanzar from Triple-A Pawtucket in the Boston Red Sox's organization. During the Triple-A phase of the draft, the Birds took outfielder Julio Borbon from Double-A Tennessee in the Chicago Cubs' organization.
Almanzar is a right-handed hitter capable of playing both third and first base. He batted .268/.328/.432 in 131 games at Double-A Portland in 2013. He also collected 29 doubles and 16 homers, tallied 81 RBI and stole 13 bases. Over six minor league seasons, the 23-year-old is a career .250/.302/.373 hitter.
Borbon, on the other hand, is a left-handed hitting outfielder who has major league experience and who played for the Texas Rangers in the 2010 World Series. Over parts off four major league seasons, Borbon has hit .272/.318/.347. In 2013 with the Cubs, he batted .202/.284/.279 in 72 games.
It will be tough for the O's to keep Almanzar on their 25-man roster all season, as he has never played above the Double-A level and the team already has a right-handed hitter who plays the infield corners in Danny Valencia, who destroyed left-handed pitching last season (.371 batting average, .392 OBP, 14 doubles, four homers, 13 RBI, 97 at-bats). On paper, there doesn't appear to be a need for Almanzar on the O's roster, and it's not like his career minor league numbers are eye-popping.
Borbon, though, should be easy for the O's to hang on to, as he doesn't have to remain on the 25-man roster all season. He adds some experienced outfield depth to the O's organization and will likely spend most of the season at Triple-A Norfolk, coming up to the majors when the O's need more depth due to an injury or are otherwise shorthanded.
The selection of Almanzar seems a bit futile, making the Rule V draft a bit of a failure for the team at the major league level. However, adding Borbon in the Triple-A portion of the draft was definitely a solid depth move and keeps the draft from being a complete waste of time and resources for Baltimore.