The Rule 5 Draft occurs at the end of the Winter Meetings which will be December 14th this year. A few years ago, Wei Chung Wang was picked in the Rule 5 and was the last that was able to stick around with the Milwaukee Brewers.
As for who they could pick this year, no one knows. David Stearns doesn’t even know. But he will have an idea as to who he would want to protect from the draft.
As a refresher on the rules, players taken in the MLB portion of the draft must remain on the 25 man rosters for the whole season or be offered back to the original club. Players signed at 18 must be on the 40 man roster within five seasons and players signed at 19 or older must be added within four seasons or they are eligible.
Last year, Miguel Diaz was taken from the Crew with the first overall pick by the Padres. Also, the Milwaukee Brewers had six top 30 prospects to protect from the draft. They left Diaz unprotected and lost him. This year, it appears there are less.
It looks as if the Brewers have three prospects in their Top 30 to protect.
#11 Freddy Peralta
The 21-year old Peralta earned a mid-season promotion from High-A Carolina to Double-A Biloxi. He went 3-8 on the year but the record doesn’t indicate how much success he had in 2017. He pitched to a 2.63 ERA in 25 games with 169 K’s and opponents batting .178 against him. Peralta is a righty starter that has a future as a mid-rotation arm in the big leagues. Keeping him is a must. Peralta came over in the Adam Lind trade.
#15 Marcos Diplan
Diplan is much further away from the Majors than Peralta and didn’t have much success in Carolina this year, pitching to a 5.23 ERA. He is 21 years old, same as Peralta but he hasn’t been able to take the next step that Peralta has. Diplan could be a guy David Stearns elects to keep off the 40-man roster and run the risk of him being taken by another team. Diplan came as a part of the Yovani Gallardo trade in 2015 that brought Corey Knebel to the Crew.
#19 Jacob Nottingham
Nottingham came over in the Khris Davis deal with Oakland and has yet to produce. He was supposed to be the future at catcher after Jonathan Lucroy was inevitably traded but he hasn’t been able to hit since coming over. He hit .209 this year in Double-A with only nine home runs. Power is his calling card but it seems like he only has batting practice power. Stearns could elect to keep Nottingham if the team still believes in him but don’t be surprised if he’s left unprotected.
This is going to be a very interesting off-season now that the Milwaukee Brewers are getting back to contention and will act more like a contender than a rebuilding club. It’s still a young ball club and finding the right mix of veterans and young talent is essential to the success of the team.
The Hot Stove, as its called, has been more of a lukewarm stove over the past few years as the team traded away pieces quietly and made scrap heap additions to the outskirts of the roster. Now David Stearns is ready to set this roster up for contention for many years. It could be one big splash, it could be multiple splashes, but this roster will look different on Opening Day in 2018, that’s for sure.
Although the Brewers aren’t going to the postseason, the off-season is still an exciting time as each team looks to improve for next year. Now Brewers fans have hope that the team will be in the postseason next year based on their play on the field. Fans will be more attuned to the wheelings and dealings of David Stearns. And now he is going to have a lot more to think about based on the play of this roster in 2017.
There will be a lot of rumors flying around, same as the July Trade Deadline, but now teams have more time to talk to each other about potential deals. A lot of trades that don’t go down in July could happen during the winter. There will be a lot of shuffling as teams prepare for next season and the Milwaukee Brewers could be doing the most shuffling of all of them.