Washington Nationals selected four players in the MiLB Rule 5 Draft


Rejoice, now we have some precise Main League Baseball information! At the very least, we sort of do, as yesterday, the minor league section of the Rule 5 Draft was in a position to happen.

Whereas the present MLB lockout prevents the traditional free company and trades from happening, transactions that don’t contain these on the 40-man roster, i.e. the players who’re at present a part of the MLB Players Affiliation that’s locked out, can nonetheless happen.

It’s not a lot, however in these sluggish information occasions, we’ll take it for the time being — so hurry up and are available to an settlement, MLB and MLBPA, fairly please.

Anyway, the MiLB Rule 5 Draft permits groups to pick players who are usually not at present on a 40-man or Triple-A roster and place them on their very own Triple-A roster. Often although, inserting them on the Triple-A roster is procedural, and as soon as the season begins, players selected in the MiLB section of the Rule 5 Draft may be positioned at any degree the group likes.

Most of these taken received’t see the huge leagues and are often considered as strong minor league position players, however there have been success tales earlier than, together with Tyler Gilbert who was picked in final 12 months’s minor league section and threw a significant league no-hitter final season.

Often, the Washington Nationals aren’t notably busy throughout both section of the Rule 5 Draft. This 12 months although, the entrance workplace obtained a bit extra adventurous and made a whopping four alternatives to prime up their Triple-A roster…

Andrew Younger, 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks

There have been few acquainted names that popped up throughout the MiLB Rule 5 Draft, comparable to Carson Fulmer and Jon Duplantier, each former excessive draft picks and highly-rated prospects not too way back.

Younger can be a participant that has come up in the information cycle various occasions. The utility man was a part of the commerce bundle — together with Carson Kelly, Luke Weaver, and a draft decide — that the St. Louis Cardinals despatched to the Diamondbacks in return for Paul Goldschmidt two years in the past.

Regardless of spectacular slash strains in the minor leagues, Younger has struggled to ascertain himself at the huge league degree. In components of the final two years with the Diamondbacks, he has sported a .205/.319/.462 slash line and 108 OPS+ in 138 plate appearances.

The place Younger wants to enhance although is limiting strikeouts. In these 138 plate appearances, he’s struck out a whopping 39.9% of the time, one thing he’ll have to enhance on if he’s going to make it to the majors with the Nats, at the same time as a bench bat.

Nationals followers might also bear in mind Younger’s identify as he took Patrick Corbin deep for a grand slam in April of this previous season. Possibly he received’t sustain his 1.600 profession OPS at Nationals Park, however he’s hit at each degree of baseball he’s been at, making him a pleasant low-risk flier…

Curtis Taylor, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays

For his or her second decide of the draft, the Nationals went to the mound and picked up Taylor, a right-handed reliever from the Blue Jays.

Acquired in a commerce for Eric Sogard in 2019, Taylor has been a strong minor league reliever so far in his profession. Throughout 209 frames in 5 years, the 26-year-old has a 3.32 ERA with 245 strikeouts and 80 walks since being drafted in the fourth spherical by Arizona in 2016.

2021, nonetheless, was Taylor’s worst season up to now. Between Double-A and Triple-A, Taylor posted a 5.71 ERA, putting out 41 and strolling 17 in 34.2 innings as his command let him down.

The Nationals will probably be hoping that final season was only a bump in the highway for Taylor — which might be completely comprehensible after a full 12 months with out minor league baseball — and that he can get again to his earlier kind.

Matt Brill, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

(*5*)Frisco RoughRiders v Amarillo Sod Poodles

Picture by John E. Moore III/Getty Pictures

The Nationals dipped into the Diamondbacks’ system as soon as once more for his or her third decide of the draft once they selected Brill.

Whereas the workforce’s earlier decide, Taylor, has had a superb quantity of success in the minor leagues, the identical can’t be mentioned for Brill simply but, who seems to be extra of a bet on his tantalizing stuff on the mound coming round with a change of surroundings.

Baseball America’s JJ Cooper wrote the following about Brill in his Rule 5 Draft Preview:

An unbelievably excessive batting common on balls in play (.391) and a below-average strand charge (66.4%) masked a few of the positives of Brill’s 2021 season… His skill to command and generate constructive outcomes along with his secondaries might make him intriguing regardless of poor statistics in 2021.

In four minor league seasons, the right-hander has a 4.24 ERA and clearly has the swing-and-miss stuff with a superb 27.3% strikeout charge. Whereas he had dangerous luck final 12 months, he’ll additionally want to chop again on his troublesome 13.9% walk-rate is holding him again proper now.

If Brill can put all of it collectively, he undoubtedly has the stuff to doubtlessly contribute at the main league degree out of the bullpen. If not, nicely, the Nationals solely took a flier on him.

Dakody Clemmer, RHP, Cleveland Guardians

Lastly, with one spot left on their Triple-A roster, the Nationals rounded out their draft with one other right-handed reliever in Clemmer from the newly-renamed Guardians’ group.

A bit like Brill, Clemmer has the stuff on the mound to doubtlessly make it to the main leagues as a reliever, nonetheless, his command has let him down at occasions in the minor leagues.

Clemmer was one other participant that BA’s Cooper previewed forward of the draft, saying the following:

Mixing a trio of choices, Clemmer works primarily fastball and slider however will combine his changeup in round ten % of the time… Regardless of below-average command, Clemmer has the arsenal to overlook bats, drive weak floor ball contact, and supply a novel and uncomfortable look in the late innings.

For his minor league profession, Clemmer holds a 3.86 ERA and has struck out 186 in 184.0 innings whereas strolling 86 batters. In 2021 although, the right-hander’s stroll charge jumped to 14.9%, the first time it had been above 10% since his first season in professional ball in 2016.

Command isn’t the best factor to resolve this late in a pitcher’s growth, however Clemmer has typically proven the skill to be enough in limiting walks. He’ll want to do this once more to have an opportunity of creating it to D.C. at any level in his time with the group.