Is this the face of a man with some tough decisions in his near future? Wednesday at 9:00 PM Pacific all players who are going to be protected from the Rule 5 draft must be on the 40-man roster. Right now, the Padres have 38 players on the roster. This leaves them room to add one player and leave one empty spot for a Rule 5 addition. Maybe Byrnes and Co. will decide to add two players and not participate in the draft at all. Maybe there are players that are going to be released in the very near future. Here is a list of the players who are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft and their chances of being protected by the Padres.
Keyvius Sampson (AAA – RHP) – Sampson may not be Major League ready after his struggles in AAA to close last year but, that wouldn’t stop a team from picking him up if left available. Sampson sports a career minor league ERA of 3.79 which was slightly elevated with a poor showing for Tucson in his 9 starts there last season. Whatever was ailing him may have been rectified based on his stellar showing during 11.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League (0.79 ERA, 10 K’s). With high strikeout numbers and walk numbers that are steadily declining, there is no doubt a team would stash Sampson in the bullpen for a season in order to enjoy the spoils of his future development. Chances of being added to the 40-man roster: 100%
Dean Anna (AAA – 2B) – Some may think that a player who had his highest average this season (.331) and most AB’s of his career (498) in AAA would have nothing left to prove. However, Anna did not receive a call-up when the Padres needed infield help mid-season or when rosters expanded in September. In fact, Anna has been left exposed to the Rule 5 draft for the past two seasons yet remains a Padre. Most likely the belief within the organization is that Anna had a career year at AAA Tucson and that it was an aberration. Although they would prefer he not be taken and play one more year in El Paso before becoming a minor league free agent, I think the Padres will take their chances again with Anna and the draft. Chances of being added to the 40-man roster: 30%
Jonathan Galvez (AAA – 2B) – Galvez is going to be a tough one for the front office. He really doesn’t have anything left to prove in the minors with a career slash of .280/.368/.424. He has been very impressive in Spring Training for two years now. Josh Byrnes has to believe that Galvez may not make it through the draft. I think that the team feels that he was lucky to make it through the last draft. This past season in AAA Galvez played 2B, 3B and LF. He appears to be poised to take over a utility spot with the big club. I don’t think he will be exposed to the draft yet again. Chances of being added to the 40-man roster: 80%
Cody Decker (AAA-1B) – Cody Decker batted .272 with 17 HR’s last season with Tucson. His numbers would appear to be those of someone deserving of a call-up. The Padres do not appear to see things that way, though. Last season Reymond Fuentes, Jaff Decker and Tommy Medica received call-ups and spots on the 40-man instead of Cody. I think that the Padres will take their chances with Decker in the Rule 5 draft. Chances of being added to the 40-man roster: 20%
Donn Roach (AA – RHP) – If I had to pick one player out of all of the eligible players who has the best chance of being selected by another team, it would be Roach. Roach doesn’t strikeout a large number of batters. He doesn’t walk a large number of batters. He does get a lot of ground balls and strand a lot of runners. He will probably be left unprotected just because there are better prospects that need the spots. He is a potential quality middle reliever and very well could be one for a Major League team come next season. Chances of being added to the 40-man roster: 40%
Juan Oramas (AA – LHP) – I would like to see Oramas added to the 40-man. Oramas strikes out a large number of batters (10.35 K/9 in AA). He also strands 70% of runners. Josh Byrnes has mentioned that he would like to have a left-handed pitcher in the fifth starter spot next season. If added to the 40-man, Oramas could be a big player in the inevitable fifth starter competition. Whether he is or isn’t added, whether he is or isn’t a Padre next season, I think he would make an outstanding left-handed reliever for a Major League team in need. Chances of being added to the 40-man roster: 60%
The following players are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft but in my opinion have very little chance of being added to the 40-man:
Rico Noel (AA – OF), Donavan Tate (A – OF), Everett Williams (AA – OF), Jason Hagerty (AAA – C), Matt Branham (AA-RHP)
Stay tuned to Friars on Base for a follow-up on Thursday morning to see who was and wasn’t added to the 40-man.