The Winter Meetings normally close with the Rule 5 Draft. There were no formal meetings this year, but there was a Rule 5 Draft. The Dodgers lost two players in the MLB phase — Brett de Geus and Jordan Sheffield — and seven players in the Minor League phase. They also picked up a couple players in the MiLB phase.
The Rangers popped de Geus with the second pick in the draft. The 2017 33rd-rounder had a breakout 2019 campaign that saw him post a 1.75 ERA and a 24.4 K-BB% between then-Low-A Great Lakes and High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He was left unprotected from the draft in favor of pitchers like Gerardo Carrillo, Andre Jackson and Edwin Uceta. He ranked 43rd in my 2020 Top 100 prospects list.
With the eighth selection, the Rockies picked Sheffield. The former supplemental 1st-rounder was eligible last year but went undrafted. The Rockies like the profile (mid-to-high-90s fastball, power curveball, plus-changeup), but Sheffield’s biggest issue has been his command/control. It’s been a struggle for him, but perhaps the rarefied air of Coors Field will help…? He was 37th in my 2020 Top 100.
In the MiLB phase, the Dodgers lost the following players:
- RHP Shea Spitzbarth (Pirates)
- LHP Tyler Gilbert (Diamondbacks)
- IF Errol Robinson (Reds)
- OF Chris Roller (Cleveland)
- IF Drew Jackson (Mets)
- IF Marcus Chiu (Marlins)
No one of terrible consequence here. Spitzbarth is probably the most notable, while Gilbert was acquired for Kyle Garlick last offseason. Robinson was the Dodgers’ 6th rounder in 2016. He’s a glove-first infielder with a light bat. Roller is an athletic outfielder who hasn’t played above Low-A. Jackson was selected in the MLB phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft by Baltimore, but was later returned to the Dodgers after going 0-for-3 in four plate appearances. Chiu is an organization depth guy.
January, 23, was Arizona’s 8th-rounder in 2016. He has a career .239/.361/.394 batting line in 510 minor-league plate appearances. He has never played above Low-A.
Bolivar, 21 today, has hit .256/.374/.325 in 651 minor-league plate appearances — all in the Dominican Summer League. He’s from Venezuela, and we know the Dodgers like their prospects from that country. Still, I wouldn’t expect much from the fleet-footed center fielder.
A couple of old friends were also selected in the MLB phase, and both were part of two significant Andrew Friedman trades. Zach Pop was taken No. 6 overall by Arizona. He was one of the five players who went to Baltimore in the Manny Machado deal in 2018. Brendon Davis was taken in the MiLB phase by the Angels. He was the third piece in the Yu Darvish trade in 2017.