Can the Orioles keep one or both of their 2014 Rule 5 Draft picks? Logan Verrett, the pitcher with more minor league experience appears to have the upper hand, but A-ball pitcher Jason Garcia has also pitched well. Verrett is a more polished product, but Garcia’s live fastball may allow him the opportunity to develop his secondary pitches at the major league level.
The Birds’ recent history shows that they are not afraid to roll the dice on a Rule 5 player. The club utilized the draft in each year of the Duquette/Showalter regime. The Rule 5 Draft fits with the organizational strategy in two ways:
- It brings players into the organization that have a track record at some level of professional baseball. These minor league players have been successful enough to warrant taking a (limited) risk to try to keep them on a Major League roster for an entire season.
- The high-level minor league depth was so thin in 2012, that bringing players into the organization that can be optioned for the next several years provides the Orioles with both talented players and 40-man flexibility
Ryan Flaherty and T.J. McFarland may not be All-Stars. But both have been contributors to a winning ball club since their arrival. They stuck in the organization because they have (at least) marginal big league talent, but represent an upgrade over previous in-house options.
Recent Orioles Rule 5 Draft selections have been the most successful in team history. The O’s have selected 11 total players in the MLB phase of the Rule 5 Draft, and two of them have stuck within the organization. An additional two were re-acquired (either by working out a trade with the originating team, or later via free agency).