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Thursday, December 8, 2011

18 Eligible for 2012 Rule 5 Draft

Shortly before being dismissed as the Astros' General Manager, Ed Wade made the comment that one result of building a good franchise is that a team will get to a point that losing a player of two in the Rule 5 Draft is a good possibility. Once again today, the Astros came through the Major League phase of this draft unscathed. For the past several years in fact, the Astros have had ample room to protect players on their 40-man roster, thus keeping them protected from the Rule 5. Indeed, the club hasn't lost a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft since 2004, when the Dodgers selected right-handed pitcher D.J. Houlton.(Thank you, Wikipedia.) A look at the Rule 5 status of Astros prospects gives hope that this trend could shift as soon as December 2012.

Below you will find the names of 18 players who will be vulnerable to the Rule 5 Draft for the first time next December. Please note that all of these players spent at least part of 2011 with Lancaster(High A) or higher. In addition, three of the prospects finished the season at AAA Oklahoma City. Looking at this list, it seems likely that Jeff Luhnow and his staff will be more nervous about losing a player in the Rule 5 Draft in 2012 than Ed Wade was at any time during his tenure.

Jay Austin, OF
Erik Castro, IF
Jose Cisnero, RHP
Kirk Clark, RHP
Luis Cruz, LHP
Robby Donovan, RHP
Rene Garcia, C
Jacob Goebbert, OF
Zachary Grimmett, RHP
Grant Hogue, OF
Dallas Keuchel, LHP
Wes Musick, LHP
Brett Oberholtzer, LHP
Hector Rodriguez, IF
Ross Seaton, RHP
Jason Stoffel, RHP
Jonathan Villar, SS
Josh Zeid, RHP

In addition to these 18, pitchers Brad Dydalewicz, Chia-jen Lo and Brandt Walker, who have had their development slowed by injury, are first-time eligible in 2012.

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