This morning the annual Rule Five draft took place in Indianapolis as part of the Winter Meetings. Baseball America has a complete listing of all the players selected today. I hope to give a quick overview of the notable prospects chosen.
The Yankees obtained the rights to the number one pick outfielder Jaime Hoffmann from the Dodgers as part of their deal to send Brian Bruney to Washington. Hoffmann saw some brief action with Los Angeles this past season racking up four hits in 22 at-bats. Hofmann is sort of like a jack of all trades, master of none. He does a little bit of everything but does not excel in one aspect. He has good size (6-3, 225 pounds) and athleticism but has mustered a career ISO of .118 in the minors. His career walk rate is 9.8 percent, which is only average. He does have decent speed and stole 15 and 28 bases the past two seasons, respectively. He has played the majority of his innings in centerfield, although Total Zone suggests he is much better suited in right. Hoffmann may be able to add some depth on the Yankees bench, although I have questions regarding whether or not the 24-year-old can develop into a regular contributor.
Pittsburgh took outfielder John Raynor form the Florida Marlins with the second pick. Raynor was a ninth-round pick in 2006 and can flat out fly. Raynor struggled in Triple-A last year with a .311 wOBA. Raynor has a minor league career triple-slash of .299/.383/.452. He has also stolen 142 bases over four seasons with an 83 percent success rate. Raynor is now 25 years old and could add value as a fourth outfielder or late game pinch-runner or defensive substitute.
The Texas Rangers acquired left-handed pitcher Ben Snyder with the third pick. Snyder was a fourth-round pick by San Francisco in 2006. He spent his first three seasons as a starting pitcher before moving to the bullpen last year in Double-A. Snyder has a career strikeout-to-walk rate of 3.17 and a FIP of 3.28. Snyder seems to have found his niche coming out of the pen. His fastball sits in the high 80s and he mixes in a solid change-up and decent curve ball.