Recapping who Dodgers gained and lost in Rule 5 Draft

Thomas Carannante
Mar 21, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Ryan Noda (93) dives for a ball in the second inning during a spring training game against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch-Glendale. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 21, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Ryan Noda (93) dives for a ball in the second inning during a spring training game against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch-Glendale. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Rule 5 Draft quickly came and went on the final day of the Winter Meetings. Wednesday was largely uneventful outside of the San Diego Padres striking at the buzzer to sign Xander Bogaerts, so, as you can imagine, the Rule 5 Draft didn’t exactly break barriers.

In the end, the Dodgers drafted three players and lost two players in the minor-league portion of the draft and then lost three players in the Major League portion, which is almost a guarantee during the Andrew Friedman era.

The Dodgers get pillaged each and every year because they can only protect so many players from being taken. This year, they opted to place Michael Busch, Diego Cartaya, Andy Pages and Jonny DeLuca on the 40-man roster to keep them from the draft.

But they left Jose Ramos, Carlos Duran and Ryan Ward exposed, all of whom were ranked in their top 30 in their farm system, per MLB Pipeline. Funny enough … they lost none of those guys!

In the end, the Dodgers didn’t necessarily lose anybody of value, but the A’s, Pirates, Brewers, Cardinals and Blue Jays took turns picking their way through the Dodgers crop of players.

Here are the results from the Dodgers’ Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings

Here’s the rundown for each player taken:

  • OF Ryan Noda: Je was with the Dodgers the last two years at Double-A and Triple-A. And he was good. He hit .255 with 54 home runs, 168 RBI and 23 stolen bases across 248 games. However, he struck out 289 times. He’s heading into his age-27 season. LA has better and younger outfielders.
  • Jose Hernandez: The Dodgers signed Hernandez out of the Dominican Republic years ago and he made his professional debut in 2016. After missing 2019 and 2020 (in addition to pitching just 37 games from 2016-2018), Hernandez started to find his footing the last two years. He tossed 105 innings in 83 games and struck out 130 batters. Going into his age-25 season, though, Hernandez still has work to do before he even reaches Triple-A.
  • Gus Varland: No loss here. Varland, a right-hander, registered ERAs of 5.71 and 6.11 over the last two seasons at Double-A. His WHIPs were 1.47 and 1.64. He started in 2021 and then transitioned to relief in 2022. Neither result was good.

Onto the MiLB departures and newcomers:

  • Kekai Rios: The catcher is headed to the Blue Jays. In his age-25 season at High-A, he hit just .218 with a .635 OPS. Self-explanatory stuff.
  • Jose Martinez: The 23-year-old pitcher just reached Triple-A OKC in 2022, but only for one game. He registered a 4.81 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 27 games (58 innings) at Double-A. It seems like the lost 2020 season really hurt his development. He’s now a Cardinal.
  • Yon Castro: The Dodgers selected Castro, a 23-year-old right-hander, from the Yankees. In 2022, he pitched to a 3.59 ERA and 1.23 WHIP while striking out 103 batters in 22 games (20 starts), totaling 87.2 innings.
  • Carlo Reyes: The Dodgers took Reyes from the Phillies. Another 23-year-old right-hander, Reyes reached Double-A last year, but wasn’t very good. His stint at High-A was much more promising, where he logged a 2.84 ERA and 1.13 WHIP with 54 strikeouts in 20 games (four starts), totaling 44.1 innings.
  • Josh Stowers: And lastly, Stowers, an outfielder, was grabbed from the Rangers. He spent time at Double-A the last two seasons and hit 30 home runs with 106 RBI in 194 games. He saw a big dip in his slugging percentage in 2022, though. Entering his age-26 season, there’s not much else to see.

And that’s a wrap! Like we said, fairly uneventful. But it’s a good reference to return to if any of these guys start making noise in 2023.

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