Brewers Rule 5 Draft Preview: 10 Names To Consider Selecting, 5 Who Could Be Poached

Who could the Brewers select or possibly lose in this year's Rule 5 Draft?

Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Pitchers

4. Tanner Burns, RHP, Guardians

Tanner Burns is a former first round pick and the Guardians are known for developing pitching and Burns shows a lot of traits the Brewers like. He's had strong results in the upper levels of the minors as both a starter and reliever. Burns' induced vertical break (IVB) on his fastball is elite, running 20 inches of IVB, and that's a number the Brewers typically covet. He can adapt to different roles, which would be needed in Milwaukee, who could use him as a starter, reliever, or swingman.

5. Justin Slaten, RHP, Rangers

Slaten is a typically Rule 5 selection, similar to the profile Gus Varland had last year. He's a power pitcher, reaching the upper 90s that finally figured out some walk problems and has experience in the upper levels of the minors. He generates whiffs and has quality stuff and would be an excellent option for the Brewers bullpen, if he lasts long enough in the Draft to get to Milwaukee's pick.

6. Shane Drohan, LHP, Red Sox

You can never have enough lefties. Drohan showcased improved stuff in 2023. He struggled once promoted to Triple-A as a starter, but he has four pitches, including a big league changeup. Focusing on that changeup, Drohan could find a role out of a bullpen as a lefty with an elite offspeed pitch.

7. CJ Van Eyk, RHP, Blue Jays

Van Eyk has the pedigree of a top pick, but has struggled to stay healthy over his career. He's healthy now, though, and has a hammer curveball that could play up out of the bullpen. His fastball could play up as well in shorter stints, which will be needed if he's going to succeed at the big league level.

8. Brendan Cellucci, LHP, Red Sox

Cellucci has a profile similar to that of Brent Suter in the fact that he's a soft-throwing lefty with a pitch arsenal that just stymies hitters and is very analytically freindly. He generates a lot of whiffs and tops out at just 91 MPH. His slider is his best pitch.

9. R.J. Dabovich, RHP, Giants

Dabovich didn't pitch much in 2023, missing most of the season with hip surgery, but he brings the heat. Dabovich can top out at 99 MPH and sits in the mid-90s. While health is a concern, Dabovich has the power profile that would make him fit right in in Milwaukee's bullpen. He may not be ready to start the season, but when he is finally ready to go out there, he has the stuff to be a leverage arm.

10. Ryan Fernandez, RHP, Red Sox

Fernandez also throws heat, topping out at 97 MPH and has a three pitch mix, including a cutter and slider. He generates a lot of strikeouts and can spin the ball well, which is a trait the Brewers historically target. Fernandez has struggled to stay on the field in the past, but he's healthy right now and he could help out the bullpen.