Dodgers lose Carson Taylor & Darlin Pinales in MiLB stage of 2023 Rule 5 Draft

(Photo: Tim Campbell/MiLB)

The Rule 5 Draft happened today at the Winter Meetings in Nashville. A few weeks back, the Dodgers protected three prospects that would have been eligible for the draft, adding pitchers Nick Frasso and Landon Knack along with catcher Hunter Feduccia to their 40-man roster.

Everyone else in the minor league system that is Rule 5 eligible was subject to be taken in the Major League portion of today’s draft. Somewhat surprisingly, however, the Dodgers lost zero players in the MLB phase of the draft.

The name that most surprised me in going untaken was left-handed reliver Alec Gamboa. He had a very solid year in 2023, reaching Triple-A and setting himself up well for a Major League debut next season. Gamboa’s has an analytically-fantastic fastball and I expected a team to chose him to slot into the back part of their bullpen, especially given that he covered multiple innings in many of his relief appearances in 2023.

Los Angeles will also hold onto valuable players in Jose Ramos, John Rooney and Braydon Fisher. Ramos has holes to fix at the plate but will get another year to grow into his power potential within the Dodgers system. Rooney, another southpaw reliever, and the younger right-hander Fisher could each see time in L.A. next year if the need arises.

After the Jason Heyward signing was finalized this morning (coverage of that deal), the Dodgers’ 40-man roster was full, so they had to pass on drafting anyone themselves in the Major League section (although they likely would have passed either way).


The draft then moved to the minor league portion, where the rules are slightly different. Players taken in this part have no roster restrictions placed on them with new clubs. Last year, the Dodgers took right-hander Yon Castro and outfielder Josh Stowers in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft.

With the new organizational roster limits impending, the Dodgers passed on their pick in the minor league stage. However, they lost two players to other teams: young right-hander Darlin Pinales went to Arizona and catcher Carson Taylor went to Philadelphia.

Pinales, 21, had a nice 2022 season and reached Single-A for the first time. However, his 2023 season was a train wreck, as he walked 45 batters in just 38 2/3 innings pitched. Pinales couldn’t get above Single-A, posting a 9.86 ERA in eight games with Rancho Cucamonga.

Taylor, 24, was a fourth round pick out of Virginia Tech back in 2020. He went straight to High-A in 2021 and posted an .804 OPS in his pro debut. However, upon reaching Double-A the last two years, Taylor’s bat has struggled. He dropped being a switch-hitter and only batted from the left side in 2023, but his season still resulted in below-average offensive production.


Overall, the Dodgers have to be happy with how the Rule 5 Draft went. The 40-man roster has been a crunch this offseason, and they did not get burned with too much lost talent like may have been expected. Pinales and Taylor will each head to new organizations hoping for clearer paths to the Major Leagues moving forward.

About Bruce Kuntz

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I'm a Long Beach State journalism student and I've been writing about the Dodgers and their farm system since I was in high school.