Baltimore Orioles 2016 Rule Five Draft Player Recap

Dec 7, 2016; National Harbor, MD, USA; A general view of stage microphones on day three of the 2016 Baseball Winter Meetings at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 7, 2016; National Harbor, MD, USA; A general view of stage microphones on day three of the 2016 Baseball Winter Meetings at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Orioles have drafted four players in this year’s Rule 5 Draft, here’s a quick look at each player and what they could potentially contribute to the team.

The Baltimore Orioles have had decent success with the Rule 5 Draft, which happens every year at the Winter Meetings. Rarely does the draft ever produce a superstar player for a major league team. In fact, in its history, the Rule 5 Draft has produced 30 All-Stars and one Hall of Famer (Roberto Clemente).

But while it doesn’t often produce superstars, the Rule 5 Draft can often produce a useful player. This year, the Baltimore Orioles have selected two players in the major league phase of the draft, and two players in the minor league phase.

If you’re unfamiliar with how the Rule 5 Draft works, it’s relatively simple: teams draft players from other teams, provided those players are not currently on the 40-man roster. Those players that are drafted are then added to the drafting team’s 40-man roster.

Once the season starts, the players chosen must be on the selecting team’s 25-man roster for the entire season and may not be optioned or designated to the minors.

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They can, however, be placed on waivers, and if they clear waivers, they are immediately offered to the team they came from in the Rule 5 Draft. If a player spends an entire season on a 25-man roster, his status is returned to normal after the season ends.

As for the Baltimore Orioles, they selected four total players, and we’re going to take a quick look at each one and see how they could contribute to the team.

1. Aneury Tavarez – OF from Boston Red Sox

The first pick from the Orioles is probably my favorite pick of the four. Aneury Tavarez is 24-years-old and has a nice combination of speed and power. He’s not going to be a 30/30 guy or anything, but he could be a 10-15 HR, 20 SB guy.

Last season between AA and AAA, Tavarez hit .330/.374/.495 with 7 HRs, 59 R, 47 RBIs and 20 SBs. Tavarez has an above average strikeout rate (15.2% last year) but a below average walk rate (6.8% last year).

Overall, Tavarez has good speed, good power, and can make solid contact. Is he going to be an All-Star? I don’t know, probably not, but I think he can certainly be a useful outfielder for the Orioles.

2. Anthony Santander – OF from Cleveland Indians

This pick is a little tricky. Anthony Santander seems to be a talented guy with potential, but, according to GM Dan Duquette, Santander underwent right shoulder surgery. With that in mind, he could potentially be on the DL this season.

It would appear that the Orioles weren’t necessarily aware of the surgery, as they didn’t have full access to Santander’s medicals, but they were not discouraged from selecting him.

Last season in high-A ball for the Indians, Santander hit .290/.368/.494 with 20 HRs, 90 R, 95 RBIs, and 10 SBs. A really good season overall, though it’s important to keep in mind that this is high-A ball.

Santander is only 21 though, so he’s got plenty of time to develop. He strikes out a good amount (20.6% of the time last year) but can take a walk too. He’s a solid fielder with an above-average arm who makes solid contact with good raw power.

We’ll see how his skills translate as he moves up in the minor league system, and how the injury affects him, but he’s certainly got potential.

3. Jefri Hernandez – P from Cincinnati Reds

Jefri Hernandez was the Orioles first pick in the minor league portion of the draft. He served as a reliever last season between AA and AAA, and pitched a 3.06 ERA with 20 walks and 32 strikeouts in 32.1 innings.

Hernandez has a career 4.77 ERA during his time in the minors and has almost exclusively served as a reliever, which is likely where he’ll play for the Orioles.

Hernandez is 25 years old, so he isn’t really a prospect for much longer. Likely he just is what he is at this point and will probably serve as a middle reliever for the Orioles.

4. Brian Moran – P from Atlanta Braves

Brian Moran is the nephew of former-Oriole B.J. Surhoff. He’s 28 years old and hasn’t really done a whole lot in the minors. He only pitched six games last season for the Braves AAA team, and pitched a 3.56 ERA in 2015 with the Mariners AA affiliate.

Moran has a career 4.00 ERA with a K/9 of 8.02. It seems like he too won’t be much more than a middle reliever for the Orioles, and it remains to be seen if he’ll be an effective one.

Next: Orioles Interested In Jarrod Dyson

The Rule 5 Draft may not be the most exciting thing around, but you never know what these guys could turn into. Perhaps if the Orioles are lucky, one of these players will turn into the next Rule 5 All-Star.