Tuesday was a busy day for all 30 teams in terms of roster maintenance.
By 6 p.m., the trade wire was firing to make a decision on who would be added to the 40-man roster. A lot of expectations have been raised In order to prevent them from being taken in the December rule 5 draft.
First-signed players must be added to the 40-man roster within five seasons of being 18 or under or become eligible to be drafted by other organizations through the Rule 5 process. Players signed 19 years of age and older must be protected for four seasons. Clubs pay $100,000 to select a player in the Major League Rule 5 draft. If that player does not remain on the big league active roster for the entire season, he must be offered to his former team for $50,000.
For this year, that means a 2018 signed international or high school draft pick should be protected. A college player taken in the 2019 draft was in the same position. There were 15 players on MLB Pipeline. Top 100 Not surprisingly, the Orioles’ leader in need of protection at No. 4 overall is Grayson Rodriguez, all 15 of whom were added to the roster. A total of 76 prospects in the top 30 lists also earned roster spots.
But there were also a good number of promising prospects on Tuesday, and they’re definitely worth keeping an eye on. Last year’s list Unsurprising expectations They include reliever Steven Kwan of the Orioles, who finished third in this year’s American League Rookie of the Year poll, and Baltimore closer Felix Bautista.
Here are 10 unrated players this year who are expected to follow that path in 2023.
Jake Alu, INF, Nationality: Alu, a 2019 24th round pick out of Boston College, has shown the ability to make contact from the left side of the plate. Last year in Triple-A, he hit .323/.372/.553 with 40 doubles and 20 homers between Double-A and Triple-A, showing a bit more pop overall. He’s played mostly third base and seen time at second and left field, but it’s his bat that should propel him to the big leagues next season at age 26.
Isaiah Campbell, RHP, Mariners: Campbell was added to the Mariners’ top 30 on Wednesday when the Teoscar Hernandez trade sent Adam Macon to the Blue Jays. The 2019 second-round pick out of Arkansas raised his profile with a full-time move to the bullpen after struggling to stay healthy in 2021 and now features a fastball that sits at 96 mph and a nasty slider.
Johnny DeLuca, OF, Dodgers: The Dodgers took DeLuca in the 25th round of the 2019 draft and watched him turn his athleticism into performance and make some impressive strides. He was a track standout in high school before focusing on baseball at Oregon and is still an explosive athlete with some powerful tools. He has an incredible power-speed combination, and his improvements in plate discipline helped him utilize those tools, finishing 2022 with 25 homers and 17 steals.
Brent Herrick, LHP, Twins: A 2019 ninth-round pick out of Illinois State, Herrick reached Double-A for the first time and really came on as the 2022 season loomed. He’s a 6-foot-6 lefty whose stuff has shown up this season, with a fastball that hovered around 89 mph in 2021, to go along with a deeper slider that averaged just shy of 92 mph this past year. A lot can come here and he has a chance to start, although that thing could be offensive from the left side of the bullpen and as a result Rule 5 could be a hot commodity.
Matt Krook, LHP, Yankees: Croce He was a first-round pick out of high school in 2013, didn’t sign, went to Oregon and was a fourth-round pick by the Giants in 2016. He was really plagued by injuries, and the Yankees took him in the minor league phase of the 2020 Rule 5 Draft. He’s now 28 and is on the roster for the first time as a lefty who gets a ton of groundball outs (1.80 GO/AO last year) and misses his slider and changeup at bats.
Rodry Munoz, RHP, Braves: Signed in June 2018 for just $30,000, Munoz has worked mostly as a starter in the Braves’ system, though he missed the 2021 season with an injury. In the year In 2022, he hit 10.7 in nine innings and reached Double-A for the first time to 100 IP. He can pitch in the bullpen, and in addition to a 95-98 mph fastball and slider, he’ll be a flashy, power arm that teams can hit with a long Rule 5.
Riley Pints, RHP, Rockies: This could be a great comeback story. Pint was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 draft, but a combination of injuries and a lack of hitting caused him to leave the game entirely. But he came back in 2022 and reached Triple-A as a reliever. Command is still an issue, but he averaged 11.4 per nine last season with a touchable fastball in the low 90s and a nasty slider to complement it.
Sean Reynolds, RHP, Marlins: Reynolds Was a fourth round pick out of high school in 2016…as an outfielder/first baseman. He had excellent raw power but couldn’t make enough contact to get there, so he moved to the mound in 2021. He made his way to Double-A last year, hitting 11.4 in nine innings and hitting .201. batting average. The 6-foot-8 right-hander threw his fastball 97-100 mph in 2022.
John Singleton, 1B, Brewers: Granted, he’s no longer Hope, but this is a story of redemption in progress. Singleton was once a high-profile prospect who looked like the future for the Astros’ first base. But he hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2015, was out of baseball from 2018 to 2020 and signed in Mexico in 2021 before leading the Brewers’ system with 24 homers and 117 walks in all of the minor leagues. A minor-league deal with the Brewers last month made him eligible for Rule 5 consideration, so the Brewers added the 31-year-old, the first time they’ve been listed on the 40-man since November 2016.
Colby White, RHP, Rays: The Mississippi State product was a sixth-round pick of the Rays in 2019. He was in the top 30 last year and looked like he could make an impact in the big leagues when he made his way to Triple-A after the 2021 season. Pen in 2022 until he needs Tommy John surgery in April. In the year Assuming he’s healthy in 2023, he should be able to bring a 95-97 mph fastball that gets him in the zone and a very effective slider to Tampa.