The Twins were never expected to pick anyone in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft, but there was some concern about losing players. As luck would have it, the Twins were also able to retain all of their Rule 5-eligible players.
Due to his elite defense and speed, and a semi-breakout on offense, DaShawn Keirsey was the main player at risk of departing in the the MLB portion of the Rule 5 draft, but he was not made a priority by any of the other 29 teams. In total, only 10 players were taken, two of which were position players.
Other significant Rule 5-eligible players not taken from the Twins organization include Anthony Prato, Aaron Sabato, Michael Helman, and Alerick Solarie. Assuming they were all tendered contracts, they will each be back in Twins’ system next season.
Minor League Phase
There tends to be more action in the minor league phase since there isn’t the same 26 or 40-man roster requirements. Any players eligible for the Rule 5 draft who are also not protected on a team’s 38-man Triple A roster can be selected in the minor league phase and assigned to any level of an organization. Additionally, the payment for selecting a player is only $25,000 as opposed to $100,000 for the Major League phase.
I should also note that players selected in the Minor League phase are typically nothing more than organizational depth. Brock Stewart was selected by the Cubs back in 2019, but that was pre-Tommy John surgery when he was still a journeyman starter. Since these are mostly lower-level players, publicly available information and scouting reports are fairly limited.
The Twins did not have any players taken from their system in the Minor League phase, but selected four new players.
Rafael Marcano, 23, LHP (PHI)
- Marcano spend 2023 on the Phillies High-A team, pitching 93.1 innings in 23 games with a 3.95 ERA/4.15 RA9, 9.4 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, and a 1.361 WHIP. He is not listed among the Phillies’ top prospects, but according to Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs he is a relief candidate with a plus breaking ball and slow fastball.
Rafael Escalante, 22, C (PIT)
- The second Rafael selected is a catcher from the Pirates organization. He’s spent five years in Pittsburgh’s lower levels, never advancing past rookie ball. Scouting information is limited, but Escalante has played 144 games in his minor league career with a batting line of .241/.399/.367 and five total home runs.
Angel Del Rosario, 21, IF (TOR)
- Del Rosario has bounced around the infield for the Blue Jays since signing as an international FA. He spent most of last season with Toronto’s Low-A team where he hit .280/.359/.434 while stealing 25 bases in 57 games.
Sheldon Reed, 26, RHP (CHC)
- Reed is a converted college outfielder trying to make his way as a reliever. He has an okay fastball/slider combo, but he’s 26 and was stuck on the Cubs’ High-A team for all of 2023. He threw 53.1 innings with a 3.38 ERA/4.05 RA9, 10.6 K/9, 4.4 BB/9 and a 1.219 WHIP.