Last week, Major League Baseball held its Rule 5 draft. If you don’t know how it works, here’s an overview: If you’re drafted in the major league phase in the Rule 5 draft, then the drafting team essentially has to keep you on their 25-man major league roster for the whole season, or offer them back to the original team. There is also some money involved in the deal (I think it costs to draft and when offered back the original team has to pay something). There is also a Triple-A phase and a Double-A phase. If you’re not on one of those rosters by X number of years, you’re eligible for Rule 5.
Here’s a look at ex-66ers and ex-Quakes who went in the draft:
Major League phase
1st selection. Jamie Hoffmann OF, drafted by Washington from the Dodgers, then traded to the Yankees.
Hoffmann, the hockey player from Minnesota turned baseball player who had a breakout season in 2007 with the 66ers (.309, 9 HR, 81 RBIs), was liked by teammates and hated by opponents for his hard-nosed, hard-sliding personality. Of those present, who can forget the Sixers-Mavericks brawl that year that started with a hard slide into second by Hoffmann? Also had what was known as the HofHawk, a mohawk-type haircut that he got rid of as soon as his parents came to town.He’ll have a tough time making the Yankees roster, but who knows with a lot of free agents out there. The 25-year-old Hoffmann hit one home run in 14 big-league games for the Dodgers last year.
9th selection, Bobby Cassevah, RHP drafted by Oakland from the Angels.
Cassevah was solid for the Quakes in 2008, going 2-3 with a 3.79 ERA. He followed that up with a 3-7, 3.68 ERA for Double-A Arkansas in 2009. But he wasn’t in a lot of closing situations, with only five saves combined in the two seasons. Obviously, the A’s see something in him to give him a shot.
10th selection, Zechry Zinicola, RHP drafted by Toronto from Washington.
He’s not from the Cal League, but he was born in Loma Linda and his initials are ZZ. So he deserves a mention.
15th selection, Steven Johnson, RHP drafted by San Francisco from Baltimore
Johnson was awful in the second half of 2008 with the 66ers, going 3-6,with a 7.10 ERA in 11 starts. He had a breakthrough first half of 2009, going 8-4, 3.82 before he was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. He was dealt to Baltimore in the George Sherrill deal and was 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA for Baltimore’s Double-A. Definite prospect, but where does he fit in with the pitching-rich Giants?
17th selection, David Herndon, RHP drafted by Philadelphia from the Angels
His overall numbers from the Quakes in 2008 (3-7, 5.01 ERA) were unimpressive to say the least, but a mid-season change to the bullpen changed his career path and Herndon saved 17 games in the second half of 2008. Was 5-6 with a 3.03 ERA and 11 saves for Double-A Arkansas in 2009. The Phillies need bullpen help, but is Herndon ready to pitch in the big-leagues? He’s at least some insurance they can look at in spring training.
TRIPLE A PHASE
10th selection, James Tomlin, OF drafted by Texas from Dodgers
Tomlin, 27, who played for High Desert in 2006, was signed by the Dodgers before 2007 and was inactive for the 66ers for the better part of the first month or so. When he did play, he made a difference, batting .283 with seven stolen bases in 31 games before he was promoted to Double-A. Although he batted .313 in Double_A in 2008 and .315 in 2009, he hasn’t advanced beyond Double-A. Good defensive outfielder with some speed who might deserve a look. Although he’s defniitely smart, Tomlin has the smallest hat size of any normal-sized adult I’ve ever met, something like a 6 7/8!
16th selection, Marshall Hubbard, 1B drafted by NY Mets from Seattle
Hubbard was decent in leading the 2006 Sixers to the first half title, batting .265 with six home runs and 27 walks in 61 games. But many (including myself) felt that he was promoted too early when he went up at the half-way point in ’06. He’s been at Double-A ever since, with his best year power-wise coming in 2007, when he had 15 home runs and 78 RBIs and batted .270 for West Tennessee. Hubbard, who turns 28 next April, obviously wasn’t going anywhere with the Mariners. The Mets haven’t had the best farm system, so this might be a great opportunity for him.