Sunday, November 20, 2011

Erickson, Martin, St. Clair among prospects unprotected for Rule 5 Draft

The Dodgers added five players to the 40-man roster on Friday night ahead of the deadline.

The players protected from Dec. 8's Rule 5 Draft are LHP Michael Antonini, OF Alex Castellanos, RHP Stephen Fife, RHP Josh Wall and RHP Chris Withrow.

Outfielders Alfredo Silverio and Scott Van Slyke were added on Nov. 3.

Castellanos, Wall and Withrow are no-brainers. All of them would have been appealing to other MLB teams.

Fife could have gone either way. He enjoyed decent success in Double-A, though he pitched better for the Red Sox's Double-A affiliate than he did for the Dodgers'.

Antonini, acquired last winter from the Mets for Chin-lung Hu, is a head-scratcher, especially in place of someone left off the list (see below).

He is left-handed and is technically a starter. But any success he has in the majors would come out of the bullpen.

His numbers weren't great, but they were in line with his career averages. His WHIP and K/9 were the only peripherals that were significantly different. Still, I don't see him a better lefty than Cole St. Clair.

More surprising are a couple of the names left unprotected.

Gorman Erickson, the Dodgers' best catching prospect in my book, could be selected, but it's unlikely. He played less than half his games with Chattanooga (41 games), but he did enjoy some success (.275/.329/.479). Catchers with a little pop are rare and hot commodities, so Erickson could get a look. Despite that, it'd still be surprising to see a team use a pick on him.

Former first-round pick Ethan Martin is among the unprotected. His omission isn't entirely surprising, as he cannot throw strikes in the minor leagues and a team isn't going to waste a 25-man roster spot on a guy like that.

The most likely player to be selected is the aforementioned St. Clair. He's a lefty who's had a solid Minor League career. He has a 3.42 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 9.5 K/9 and 2.88 BB/K ratio in 176 1/3 career innings. With the Lookouts in 2011, he posted a 3.04 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 7.7 H/9, 8.2 K/9 and a 3.54 K/BB ratio. The 25-year-old could be appealing to a team.

Some other Dodgers left unprotected are Tony Delmonico, Jon Michael Redding and Kyle Russell. It's highly unlikely any of them -- or other eligible players -- are selected in the Major League portion of the draft.

Here's the rest of unprotecteds, courtesy of True Blue L.A.:

Geison Aguasviva, Pedro Baez, Joe Becker, Robert Boothe, Nick Buss, Jose Dominguez, Bladimir Franco, Carlos Frias, Austin Gallagher, Pedro Guerrero, Elian Herrera, Chris Jacobs, Ramon Jean, Justin Miller, Charlie Mirabal, Jaime Pedroza, Jordan Roberts, Andres Santiago, Tim Sexton, Steve Smith, Daniel Tamares, Matt Wallach, Josh Walter, Rafael Ynoa

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Reminder: I'll be posting my 2012 Top 50 prospects tomorrow.

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