Dodger prospects could be surprisingly active come Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft, as there are two prospects drawing significant interest and two who might be plucked.
Ben Badler of Baseball America has tweeted on more than one occasion in the last week that Jose Dominguez is seen as a potential Rule 5 draftee. Additionally, John Manuel wrote about him on Tuesday at Baseball America (subscription required).
Dominguez, 22, is facing a 25-game suspension after being busted last month for violating MLB‘s drug policy. He touched triple-digits in the minors this season and regularly sits in the high-90s.
Odds are the Dodgers left a flame-throwing reliever like this unprotected because of the drug suspension and the fact he threw just seven innings in Double-A this season after throwing 72 at Low-A Great Lakes.
Chance Of Selection: 60%
Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports tweeted that Rafael Ynoa is generating interest as a possible selection.
Ynoa, 25, had a solid, yet unspectacular season at Double-A Chattanooga, posting a .278/.364/.352 triple-slash after drawing a career-high 58 walks. He profiles as a utility player, but his strength lies in the middle infield. Ynoa split time evenly between second base and shortstop this season. He also had a good Arizona Fall League, leading the Mesa Solar Sox in batting.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a team drafted Ynoa on Thursday. Despite having a limited ceiling, there is at least some value in his game.
Chance Of Selection: 40%
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com listed his top Rule 5 Draft prospects to watch and neither Dominguez nor Ynoa made the cut. However, Jarret Martin and Blake Smith did.
I hadn’t given Martin, 23, much thought — and I still don’t. He was acquired last winter along with Tyler Henson from Baltimore for Dana Eveland. He threw just 3 2/3 innings at High-A Rancho Cucamonga — his highest level of the minors.
Martin, who Mayo ranked 11th, has a good fastball that sits in the low-90s as a starter and can touch 95 MPH. He also has a slider. However, control issues have hindered him, as his 5.8 walks per nine innings would indicate.
Chance Of Selection: 10%
Finally, Smith (one of my boys), is more appealing than I may have first thought. Mayo ranked him as the 18th-best prospect available.
Smith, 24, had a decent season with the Lookouts, hitting 13 home runs and posting a 12.1 percent walk rate — a career-high. Smith has good power potential, plays a good right field, and has a cannon for a right arm. All those skills are enticing. Last season was his first in Double-A, so I’m not sure just how attractive he is to other teams.
Chance Of Selection: 20%
As for the Dodgers, I don’t really see them taking anyone. After all, part of the reason some of these guys are available to begin with is their 40-man roster crunch. On the other side though, odds are good that they end up losing a guy or two on this list to the draft.
Should be interesting to follow.