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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Catchers and the Rule 5 Draft

Shortly after the Astros set their 40-man roster last week, I read some speculation that catcher Carlos Perez could be lost in the Rule 5 Draft.  Perez, who was acquired from Toronto during the summer, was left off of the 40-man roster, and is vulnerable to the Rule 5 Draft next Thursday.

My first reaction to the speculation was that Perez, who finished the season playing 26 games with High A Lancaster, was too low in the Astros' system to be coveted by another organization at this point in time.  Would a big league team be willing to have an undeveloped player man the catcher position one or two times a week for the entire season?  I doubted it.

My second reaction to the speculation was to do some research about catchers and the Rule 5 Draft. Thanks to Wikipedia, here is what I uncovered:

In the last 10 Rule 5 Drafts(2002-2011), just seven catchers have been selected in the major league phase(178 players have been selected over-all).  No catchers have been selected in the last three editions of the Rule 5 draft.  Of the seven catchers selected, two of them stuck with the team that drafted them throughout the next season.

The Seven Selected:

2008- Lou Palmisano- drafted by Baltimore.  Highest Level in 2008- High A- 19 games.

Palmisano, who was traded by Baltimore to Houston before the 2008 season, never played in the major leagues.

2008- James Skelton- drafted by Arizona.  Highest Level in 2008- AA- 24 games.

Skelton never played in the major leagues.

2006- Jesus Flores- drafted by Washington.  Highest Level in 2006- High A- 120 games.

Flores stuck with Washington through 2007.  He is still with the Nationals and has played a total of 311 games with them through 2012.  Thanks to @andrewtyler on Twitter for pointing out my errant information in the original post.(I had posted that Flores never made it to the majors.)

2006- Adam Donachie- drafted by Philadelphia.  Highest Level in 2006- AA- 29 games.

Donachie never played in the major leagues.

2006- Ryan Budde- drafted by Philadelphia.  Highest Level in 2006- AAA- 72 games.

Budde did not stick with the Phillies, but he has played 29 games in the big leagues with the Angels.

2003- Chris Shelton- drafted by Detroit.  Highest Level in 2003- AA- 35 games.

Shelton stuck with a rebuilding Tigers team through the 2004 season.  However, he spent more time as a first baseman or outfielder than he did as a catcher.  Shelton went on to play 299 games in the major leagues.

2002- Ronny Paulino- drafted by Kansas City.  Highest Level in 2002- High A- 119 games.

Paulino was sent back to Pittsburgh and eventually became the Pirates' starting catcher for two seasons.  Through 2012, he has played 725 big league games. 

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