Down on the Farm: Rule 5 prospects
In the Rule 5 draft, all players drafted must stick on the 25-man roster or be offered back to the original club for $25,000 (half the draft price). Eligible for the draft are players not on 40-man rosters who have three or four years of professional experience, depending on whether they were older than 18 when they signed.
Tampa Bay: Kevin McGlinchy, RHP (from Braves)
McGlinchy has proven he can pitch well in the major leagues, but he missed most of 2000 and all of 2001 with a torn rotator cuff. If healthy, he can do good work for the Devil Rays in middle relief, or even possibly close.
Pittsburgh: Luis Ugueto, SS (from Marlins)
Traded to Mariners. The Pirates drafted Ugueto from the Marlins, then promptly sold him to the Mariners. He is flashy defensively, and swiped 22 bases in the Florida State League. But he hit just .263 with no power, and seems unlikely to stick in anything better than a utility role.
Kansas City: Miguel Ascencio, RHP (from Phillies)
Went 12-5 with 2.84 ERA in the Florida State League. Possibly the best raw talent available in the draft, Ascencio can hit 93 mph, and has a good changeup. His control needs work, as his 123/70 K/BB ratio was below average for the league. Unlikely to succeed immediately, but has good long-term potential.
Montreal: Joe Valentine, RHP (from White Sox)
Traded to Tigers. Drafted by Montreal, then shipped across the border to the Tigers, where he has a better chance to stick than you might expect. Collected 22 saves at two levels of A-ball. His control gives him trouble occasionally, but he has a good fastball/slider combination, and could stick in middle relief.
Detroit: Jeff Farnsworth, RHP (from Mariners)
Control artist, went 11-10 with 4.35 ERA in Double-A. Fastball is average, but shows a good combination of movement and control. Could hold roster spot as a long reliever.
Milwaukee: Jorge Sosa, RHP (from Mariners)
Posted 1.69 ERA in the short-season Northwest League. A converted outfielder, he throws quite hard, but needs to prove he can outthink hitters at higher levels. Good potential in the long run, but seems unlikely to stick in the majors at this point, or to post good numbers right away if he does.
Anaheim: Steve Kent, LHP (from Mariners)
Posted 2.20 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 65 relief innings in the Class A California League. Being groomed as a anti-lefty short reliever. Throws hard enough to do the job, and has an outside chance of holding that role for the Angels.
Toronto: Corey Thurman, RHP (from Royals)
Went 13-5 with 3.37 ERA in difficult Texas League. Bulldog type, works with 90-mph fastball and solid curve. Could stick as fifth starter or long reliever. Royals essentially let him go in order to draft Ascencio from the Phillies. Thurman doesn't have Ascencio's long-term potential, but is more likely to help in the short run.
San Diego: Ryan Baerlocher, RHP (from Royals)
Won 13 as Thurman's teammate at Wichita last year, with 3.99 ERA. Fastball is average, has a very good changeup and good control. Durable, but workloads have been heavy. Another guy who could be a spot starter or long reliever.
Oakland: Jason Grabowski, 3B (from Mariners)
Hit .297 and drew 61 walks in Triple-A, but with just nine homers. Defense is marginal at third base, but he could be a useful bat off the bench. May pick up some playing time at first base with Giambi gone. Typical Oakland hitter: patient.
San Francisco: Felix Escalona, SS (from Astros)
Hit .289 with 16 homers, 42 doubles, and 46 steals at Class A Lexington. Venezuelan, has good power/speed potential, but arm may be weak for shortstop. Lacks experience at the higher levels, and a long shot to stick on the roster.
Milwaukee: Ryan Christenson, OF (from Arizona)
Former Oakland prospect, was unable to develop his athletic tools into baseball skills. Might stick as a backup, but unlikely to have much of an impact.
John Sickels is working on the 2002 STATS Minor League Scouting Notebook. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas, with his wife, son, and two cats. You can send John questions or comments at JASickels@aol.com, or you can visit his homepage at hometown.aol.com/jasickels/page1.html.