At the end of the winter meetings, in Las Vegas this year, the Rule 5 draft is held in a large conference room. Prospect geeks get pretty excited about the draft, as players who can be labled as “misfits” get a chance to start over with a new organization, and sometimes become a major league player in the time it takes to say the player’s name.
Players who are eligible to be drafted have to be 1) Not placed on their team’s 40-man roster, and 2) were either signed when they were 19 or older and have played in professional baseball for four years, or were signed at 18 and have played for five years (mlb.com). Players taken in the major league portion of the draft must play all of 2019 in the big leagues, or be offered back to his original team.
So when the names were called at noon EST on Thursday in that conference room, one former Valley Leaguer was picked: Reed Garrett, who pitched in New Market in 2013.
Reed was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 2014, in the 16th round. He was moved to the bullpen in 2017, and saw a jump in velocity that made him attractive to other organizations. Enough so, actually, that he was picked 5th in the draft by the Detroit Tigers.
In 2018, Garrett threw 42 2/3 innings in Double-A, and 19 in Triple-A. In AA, he went 3-1, 1.69, with 16 saves, a 1.008 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, and 9.7 K/9. In AAA, he went 1-1, 2.84, with a 1.632 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, and 7.1 K/9.
(By the way, back in 2013 in the Valley League, Reed, over 25 2/3 innings for the Rebels, went 2-1, 5.36, with a 1.440 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, and 9.5 K/9.)
About Garrett, Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper said, “Another high-octane bullpen arm,” and Fangraphs said Reed touches 99 (mph with his fastball), and has two good breaking balls. Both publications believe Reed has a decent chance to stick with the Tigers out of Spring Training in a few months.