The Rule 5 Draft is quickly approaching, what players could the Diamondbacks lose?
The Rule 5 Draft is quickly approaching, even as the CBA is in huge danger of expiring and creating a lockout. The Diamondbacks made some adjustments to their roster by protecting Kristian Robinson, Cooper Hummel, and Ryan Weiss. By doing that, they outrighted Kevin Ginkel and two other players. The Rule 5 Draft is a draft in which teams select minor league players from other teams for their MLB roster. For more information on how it works and the history of it with Arizona, click here. As for what players from the Diamondbacks minor league system are available? Well, let’s go through the biggest names and I’ll give you a percentage on how likely I think they get taken. 100% is completely likely to be taken, 0% is not at all likely to be taken. Foreword, this is based on my scouting, so if I’m wrong, please be nice.
Without further delay, let’s begin!
Andrew Yerzy, Catcher: The former 2nd round pick in 2016 has struggled mightily in the minors. He’s only reached Double-AA 5 years later. His lack of hitting ability and striking out often has prevented him from further movement. 0% he gets taken.
Camden Duzenack, 2B, 3B, SS: He played last year in Triple-AAA and did surprisingly decent. He’s a great fielder with a very low power stick and his hitting is just alright. He’s your poor man’s version of Jose Iglesias. He doesn’t walk at all and is reliant on making contact. Despite playing in very advantageous hitting parks, he only managed a 103 WRC+ (100 is average). 20% likely to be taken.
Buddy Kennedy, Third Baseman: While playing at Double-AA, Buddy put on a show. He displayed his great power, solid fielding, and his eyes at the plate. He is ranked among the top-40 prospects of the team after being drafted in the 5th round in 2017. Additionally, he won a player of the week award during his play at the Arizona Fall League. With a 140 WRC+, 12.33% walk rate, and 23.99% K rate, I’m worried the team might lose him. I place at a 60% likelihood.
Ben DeLuzio, Outfielder: The outfielder from Triple-AAA is 27 and likely ready for a shot at the bigs. I project him to be a solid 4th outfielder for a big-league roster if he ever gets that shot. He’s a good hitter with average power. His fielding and speed are solid. I’d expect him to debut at some point in 22′. I’d predict his chances of being taken at around 35-40%.
Eduardo Diaz, Outfielder: Diaz climbed two levels last year, finally reaching Double-AA in his age-24 season. He has forgotten how to take pitches and swings and misses far too much. Despite that, he’s got great power and is rather fast for his side. He hit 21 HRs and 58 RBIs while swiping 13 bags last year. His slugging was a super .516. With all that said, I’d say he has a 35-40% chance of being taken in the Rule 5 Draft as I’m not sure a team will risk a spot for a player of his current abilities.
Matt Tabor, Starting Pitcher: This was a shocker. I fully expected Tabor to be protected, but he wasn’t. He was the team’s 3rd round pick in the 17′ draft and climbed 3 levels last to reach Triple-AAA. He’s only 23 and is rated as the team’s 14th overall prospect. Tabor has probably the best changeup among all our minor league pitchers and is seen as a 4-5 in the rotation or solid bullpen arm. He struck out 96 while walking 38 in 107.1 innings last year. I’d put his likelihood of being selected around 75% or so.
Josh Green, Starting/Relief Pitcher: What a fall from grace Green has encountered. After winning the 2019 MILB pitcher of the year for the Diamondbacks, he’s struggled greatly. The 26-year old pitched in Triple-AAA all last season going 8-4 pitching in both the rotation and bullpen. He had a sky-high 7.34 ERA and only struck out 62 while walking 30 in 99.1 innings. When he’s on point, he’s an elite control artist limiting walks and inducing a ton of ground balls. Despite not being protected, I’d say he’s only 50% likely to be taken if a team thinks they can fix him.
Shumpei Yoshikawa, Relief Pitcher: The AFL All-Star for the Diamondbacks this past fall is 26 and finally reached Triple-AAA last year. He came to the team as a MILB free agent signing from Japan. Shumpei is a strikeout artist that has a live arm. He averaged 12.46 Ks/9 innings but also walked 4.57 batters per 9. He has the potential to be a good bullpen arm if he can get his control again. Shumpei’s around 40% likely to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft.
Keegan Curtis, Relief Pitcher: Another pitcher I was surprised the team didn’t protect was the one we got from the Yankees in the Rule 5 Draft. Playing in Triple-AAA at 26 was a good fit for the right-hander. He’s extremely likely to debut in 22′ and has solid peripherals that back up his stats. I see him as a strikeout bullpen arm that has the potential to be a late-innings type pitcher. His FIP last year was below 2.00 while he struck out 35 across 27.1 innings. His 11.52/3.59 K to Walk numbers are great for a bullpen arm too. I’m very worried he gets taken and put at around 90% likely to be drafted.
Mack Lemieux, Relief Pitcher: The former 6th round pick in the 16′ draft reached Triple-AAA for the first time this year. While he’s 25, his arm is still wild despite possessing the great potential to strike out many batters. He typically has a lower FIP than ERA which says he has been unlikely to a certain degree. The biggest thing holding him back is his control as he walked 28 batters in only 45.2 innings last year. Although, in those same innings, he struck out 58 hitters. If he can get his control under control, he has a bright future. I’m putting him at 70% likely to be taken.
Levi Kelly, Relief Pitcher: Many Diamondbacks fans will remember this player from summer camp last year. The fact he wasn’t protected upset many, including me. He has elite closer potential. While he was injured for most of 2021, I’m not sure teams will worry too much about that. The 22-year old that was picked in the 8th round of the 16′ draft should debut at some point in 22′. He struggled with his command a lot this past season, but that can be fixed. He was already in Double-AA at 22, nearly 2 years younger than his fellow league-mates. He has a bright future, and I put him at 90% likely to be taken.
Blake Workman, Relief Pitcher: Another rather good bullpen arm that I am high on. He’s 24 and reached Double-AA. Surprisingly, he was the 22th-round pick by the Dbacks in the 18′ draft. His future is solidly in the bullpen and his peripherals paint a picture of a good 7th-inning pitcher with some upside. He’s got amazing command of his pitches and limits walks while striking out loads of batters. Blake walked a mere 13 while striking out 71 in only 52.2 innings. His biggest issue is that he gives up lots of fly balls which can lead to homers. Despite that, he’s expected to debut by mid-23′ at the latest. Blake’s probably around 75% likely to be taken. I hope he isn’t.
I hope all these players survive the Rule 5 Draft and stay with the Diamondbacks so that we can continue to build towards a bright future. Most of these players should reach the majors and will help the Diamondbacks. Here’s to a Rule 5 Draft in which none of these players are taken!
May the Force be with you…