Brewers: 3 Rule 5 Prospects the Crew Could Select, 3 They Could Have Taken from Them
By Matt Carroll
Here are three players the Brewers could have taken from them in the 2022 MLB Rule 5 Draft.
1. SS Cam Devanney
When taking a look at players who could be protected from the Rule 5 Draft by the Brewers, we listed shortstop Cam Devanney in our "Warrants consideration" section. He did not end up getting added to the 40-man and now teams across the league may be warranting consideration on selecting him this week.
Devanney was a 15th round selection in the 2019 draft by Milwaukee who had his first true breakout season in 2022. He hit .264 with a .834 OPS, swatted 32 doubles and 23 homers, and knocked in 68 in 128 games played across both the Double-A and Triple-A levels.
Though he was primarily a shortstop, Devanney got almost as much work in at third base last year, so he brings versatility as well. He only has 13 games of Triple-A experience and there may be questions on whether he will continue to repeat 2022's success. But that's the type or risk that a young team with roster space may be willing to take for a player who plays Devanney's positions.
2. RHP Lucas Erceg
Once thought to be approaching potential draft bust status, Lucas Erceg, a former corner infielder, reinvented himself as a two-way player in 2021 before becoming a full-time pitcher last season. It's a move that set his career right back on track.
As one might expect, the road was a little bumpy for Erceg at the start of his transition before he really started to impress. He played his final 33 games at Triple-A Nashville last season, finishing 2-1 with a 3.43 ERA as well as 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
The Brewers quickly re-signed Erceg to another minor league contract after the season was over but he remains Rule 5 eligible. For Milwaukee's sake, they are hoping that other teams don't see his blistering fastball and major league readiness and snatch him away before seeing him possibly develop into a member of their MLB pitching staff.
3. RHP Victor Castaneda
If it's starting pitching that teams are looking for instead, then perhaps Victor Castaneda may be of interest. The 2017 international signee of the Milwaukee Brewers may not have pitched as closely to the majors as Erceg but comes with much more solid pitching experience.
Castaneda has been pitching in at least Rookie Level ball for the Brewers since 2018 and made it up to Triple-A for the first time last season. In total, he has made 95 appearances in the minors for Milwaukee, 56 of them starts, and compiled a 18-22 record and a 4.57 ERA.
Castaneda hasn't necessarily put up a dominant season in his minor league career yet but also hasn't had a major letdown season either. He has a solid career 1.368 WHIP and 9.6 K/9. He's similar to Devanney in that he doesn't have much Triple-A experience, but perhaps he still gets a shot to be selected.
Teams aren't required to select any players in the Rule 5 Draft, though, so after today, the Brewers active roster may look the same as it did yesterday. Who knows whether the minor league rosters will as well.