Dodgers Prospects who Could be Picked in the Rule 5 Draft
The Dodgers and the rest of the MLB’s front office staffs will depart from the winter meetings today and with the conclusion of the meetings comes the annual rule five draft.
The rule five draft signals the end of the winter meetings and that will happen today as the Dodgers wrap up and head home from Las Vegas. The Dodgers had seven top thirty prospects facing rule five draft eligibility and chose to protect all but three of them. The prospects the Dodgers chose to protect were Keibert Ruiz, Yadier Alvarez, Edwin Rios, and Matt Beaty.
Those three unprotected top thirty prospects are Andrew Sopko, Drew Jackson, and Cristian Santana. Of the three, the one who may be picked off is Drew Jackson. Jackson is the closest to being big league ready of the three and is going to be twenty-six years old next season. Jackson could be a utility player for another club in the Chris Taylor mold as he plays the middle infield and some outfield.
Jackson had a good power year for the Double-A Tulsa Drillers this season as he clubbed fifteen home runs which was a minor league career high for him. Like Taylor, Jackson was picked up from the Seattle Mariners but there is no room on the forty man roster for him with the versatility of Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor making him an expendable prospect.
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Andrew Sopko is the one Dodgers’ pitching prospect who is exposed in the rule five draft. Sopko is unlikely to be selected in the rule five draft as he turns twenty-five next season and has been solid but nothing spectacular in the minors.
This past season, Sopko split his season between Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa and posted a 3.52 ERA. He allowed a .310 batting average against in Double-A and is ticketed for another season buried on the depth chart.
The last Dodger prospect eligible for the rule five draft is an interesting one in Cristian Santana. Santana had a very productive season for the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes hitting .302 with 24 home runs and an organization leading 109 RBI’s.
Santana will turn 22 in February so it’s unlikely a team will claim him and keep him on their big league roster all season. Santana is listed as a third baseman but remains a work in progress defensively as he committed 22 errors at third base alone. The Dodgers roster is full at forty men so the Dodgers will not be selecting anyone in the rule five draft.