It has been a while since the Astros faced the real possibility of losing a player in the Rule 5 draft. The last time they actually lost a player in the major league phase of the draft was before Farmstros made its appearance online. Given these facts, I hope you will bear with me as I attempt a foray into this new area of covering the Astros of the Future.
One player the Astros left unprotected heading into December is Jason Stoffel. Stoffel is a right-handed relief pitcher who spent the 2012 season with the Astros' AA affiliate. Interestingly, in last December's draft, Houston picked a right-handed reliever who spent most of his 2011 season with the Mets' AA affiliate, Rhiner Cruz. Cruz, who stayed on the Astros' 25-man roster throughout the 2012 season, was the first over-all selection in 2011.
A comparison of Cruz in 2011 and Stoffel in 2012:
Rhiner Cruz, 25(on day of 2011 Rule 5 draft).
w/High A, St. Lucie
8 Games, 13 IP, 9 H, 6 BB, 18 K, 2.77 ERA, (2-1, 0 Saves)
36 Games, 59 IP, 43 H, 39 BB, 51 K, 4.14 ERA, (3-2, 7 Saves)
Jason Stoffel, 24(on day of 2012 Rule 5 draft).
w/AA, Corpus Christi
56 Games, 58 IP, 41 H, 16 BB, 57 K, 2.33 ERA, (2-1, 27 Saves)