The Rule 5 draft was held yesterday, during the last day of the MLB Winter Meetings. Count me as one of the nerds who gets pretty excited about what unprotected players might be moving elsewhere.
While no VBLers were chosen in the major league portion of the draft (which means they would have to stay in the major leagues for the 2018 season or be offered back to the original team), five were chosen in the Triple-A portion. There are no stipulations on these players; they can just stay in the minors all year long.
It’s still exciting though; each of the selected players have shown something that made them attractive to another organization.
Here they are:
- Joe Odom (Winchester 2012), was selected by the Seattle Mariners (original team: Atlanta). Joe has battled injuries for much of his career, but he has a good bat (he was one of the triumvirate in Winchester who annihilated the VL pitchers in 2012, along with Jimmy Yezzo and Leo Rojas).
- Jay Gonzalez (Harrisonburg 2011) was selected by Arizona (original team: Baltimore). Jay is faaaaast. He’s 10th in the modern-day record book with 122 career steals, and tied for 9th with 43 in one season- in 2016.
- Jacob Wilson (Luray 2009) was picked by the Nationals from the Cardinals. Jacob hit 248/337/417 in Double-A in 2017.
- Chris Nunn (Winchester 2010) was selected by the Houston Astros (from the Chicago Cubs). Chris has had an interesting career so far. He spent 2012-2015 in the San Diego Padres’ organization, and was released. He spent 2016 out of baseball, but signed with Evansville of the independent Frontier League for 2017. He pitched in one game, striking out 9 in 5 innings, and was scooped up by the Cubs. Now the Astros grabbed him.
- Kaleb Fleck (Waynesboro 2008,2010), picked by the Nationals from the Diamondbacks. Kaleb might join Jacob Wilson at Syracuse in 2018. He also ranks 9th (tied) in career saves in the modern day minor league record book.
Good luck to all five players- may you all be called up to the major leagues in 2018!