The Rule 5 draft was held on Thursday during baseball’s winter meetings, with several players with local ties selected.
The Rule 5 draft is held every December, with teams drafting players on other organizations they feel deserve a chance to play at a higher level than they are playing. They are then placed on the 40-man roster. Roberto Clemente was once a Rule 5 pick and more recently, Jose Bautista, Bobby Bonilla, Josh Hamilton, Johan Santana, Dan Uggla, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth were Rule 5 picks.
This year, 12 players were drafted during the Major League Phase, 23 during the Triple-A Phase, and two during the Double-A Phase. At the major league level, the player needs to be kept on the major league roster for the entire season by the drafting team and if they aren’t they have to be offered back to the original team. It also costs some money to make Rule 5 picks. Minor Leaguers have to be kept on the 40-man roster. However, players with limited pro experience are not eligible to be drafted in the Rule 5.
First taken was ex-Miller High and Quake left-hander Robert Fish by the Atlanta Braves. It was the second straight year Fish was taken in the Major League portion of the Rule 5. Last year, he was drafted by the New York Yankees, but didn’t make the club in spring training, then went to Kansas City, before being sent back to the Angels. Fish was 1-0 with two saves and a 3.25 ERA for Double-A Arkansas in 2011. Fish pitched for the Quakes in 2009 and 2010.
Another Angel farmhand, infielder Michael Wing, who went to Upland High and played for the 66ers last year, was drafted. Wing’s 2011 season was solid, but limited to 73 games because of injury. He batted .317 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs for the Sixers. Wing was taken in the Triple-A phase by the San Diego Padres.
Ex-66er left-hander Thomas Melgarejo (Kansas City) and ex-Quakes left-hander Barret Browning (St. Louis), outfielder Gabe Jacobo (Toronto) and third baseman Ricky Alvarez (Chicago Cubs) were taken in the Triple-A phase. Ex-Quake third baseman Matt Sweeney, who went to Tampa Bay in the ill-fated deal that brought Scott Kazmir to the Angels, was selected by Baltimore out of the Tampa Bay organization in the Double-A phase.