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Everything you need to know about MLB’s 2020 Rule 5 draft

We break down the rules for the Rule 5 draft and the best prospects available in 2020.

A general view of the draft board after the completion of the second round during the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft at MLB Network on Thursday, June 11, 2020 in Secaucus, New Jersey. Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Rule 5 Draft results

Round 1 — Major League phase

1) Pirates: Jose Soriano, RHP (Angels)
2) Rangers: Brett de Geus, RHP (Dodgers)
3) Tigers: Akil Baddoo, OF (Twins)
4) Red Sox: Garrett Whitlock, RHP (Yankees)
5) Orioles: Mac Sceroler, RHP (Reds)
6) D-backs: Zach Pop, RHP (Orioles)
7) Rockies: Jordan Sheffield, RHP (Dodgers)
8) Angels: Jose Rivera, RHP (Astros)
9) Mets: Luis Oviedo, RHP (Indians)
10) Mariners: Will Vest, RHP (Tigers)|
11) Phillies: Kyle Holder, SS (Yankees)
12) Giants: Dedniel Nunez, RHP (Mets)
13) Marlins: Paul Campbell, RHP (Rays)
14) Cubs: Gray Fenter, RHP (Orioles)
15) Indians: Trevor Stephan, RHP (Yankees)
16) A’s: Ka’ai Tom, CF (Indians)

Round 2 — Major League phase

17) Orioles: Tyler Wells, RHP (Twins)
18) A’s: Dany Jimenez, RHP (Blue Jays)

Round 1 — Minor League phase

1) Pirates: Shea Spitzbarth, RHP (Dodgers)
2) Rangers: Matthew Wivinis, RHP (Yankees)
3) Tigers: Yunior Perez, RHP (Cubs)
4) Red Sox: Tyreque Reed, 1B (Rangers)
5) Orioles: Rickey Ramirez, RHP (Twins)
6) D-backs: Tyler Gilbert, LHP (Dodgers)
7) Angels: Brendon Davis, SS (Rangers)
8) Mets: Andrew Ferguson, CF (Astros)
9) Mariners: Amador Arias, 2B (Rays)
10) Giants: Vince Fernandez, OF (Rockies)
11) Astros: Joe Record, RHP (Twins)
12) Marlins: Jake Fishman, LHP (Blue Jays)
13) Reds: Errol Robinson, SS (Dodgers)
14) Cardinals: Garrett Williams, LHP (Angels)
15) Blue Jays: Sebastian Espino, SS (Mets)
16) Yankees: Matt Krook, LHP (Rays)
17) Cubs: Nicholas Padilla, RHP (Rays)
18) White Sox: Martin Carrasco, RHP (Padres)
19) Indians: Chris Roller, CF (Dodgers)
20) Braves: A.J. Puckett, RHP (White Sox)
21) A’s: Zach Jackson, RHP (Blue Jays)
22) Twins: Jhonleider Salinas, RHP (Rays)
23) Padres: Yorman Rodriguez, C (Blue Jays)
24) Rays: Jordan Brink, RHP (Cardinals)
25) Dodgers: Ryan January, C (D-backs)

Round 2

26) Pirates: Claudio Finol, SS (Reds)
27) Rangers: Yohel Pozo, C (Padres)
28) Red Sox: Kaleb Ort, RHP (Yankees)
29) Orioles: Christopher Hudgins, C (Royals)
30) Angels: Gustavo Campero, C (Yankees)
31) Mets: Justin Dillon, RHP (Blue Jays)
32) Giants: Ronnie Williams, RHP (Cardinals)
33) Astros: Seth Martinez, RHP (A’s)
34) Marlins: Dylan Bice, RHP (Rangers)
35) Reds: Wilfred Astudillo, C (Mets)
36) Yankees: Reggie McClain, RHP (Phillies)
37) Cubs: Samuel Reyes, RHP (Pirates)
38) Braves: Jalen Miller, 2B (Giants)
39) A’s: Brett Graves, RHP (Marlins)
40) Twins: Josh Mitchell, LHP (Royals)
41) Padres: Ben Ruta, LF (Yankees)
42) Rays: Ezequiel Zabaleta, RHP (Mets)
43) Dodgers: Roimer Bolivar, RHP (Rays)

Round 3

44) Pirates: Jeffrey Passantino, RHP (Cubs)
45) Rangers: Justin Marsden, RHP (Rays)
46) Orioles: Ignacio Feliz, RHP (Padres)
47) Mets: Drew Jackson, 2B (Dodgers)
48) Giants: Mitchell Tolman, 2B (Mets)
49) Marlins: Marcus Chiu, 2B (Dodgers)
50) Reds: Chuckie Robinson, C (Astros)
51) Braves: Jacob Pearson, OF (Twins)

Round 4

52) Mets: Jesus Reyes, RHP (Reds)
53) Reds: Yoel Yanqui, 1B (D-backs)

Round 5

54) Mets: Jose Zorrilla, LHP (Reds)
55) Reds: Wes Robertson, RHP (Rangers)

Round 6

56) Reds: Steven Leyton, SS (D-backs)


The MLB Winter Meetings are taking place in a virtual manner in 2020, but it has not slowed the progress of deals. We’ve seen some notable contracts signed and trades executed, but Thursday brings another tradition. The annual Rule 5 draft is scheduled to get going at noon ET.

What is the Rule 5 draft?

The draft is an attempt to prevent teams from stock-piling young talent on their minor league rosters that other teams might be willing to promote to the major leagues. Teams have a 40-man roster that includes minor leaguers, but players not on the 40-man roster are eligible if they meet certain age/time rules.

What happens to a player selected?

If team A selects a player from team B on Thursday, they have to keep that player on their active major league roster for the length of the 2021 season. If they want to demote the player to the minor league system at any point during the 2021 season, they first have to offer the player back to his original team. Making a pick costs $100,000, and if later offered back to the original team, it is at half the price ($50,000). A player can be sent to the minors after that full season, but not during it.

Who is eligible to be picked

Players are eligible to be picked if they are not on a 40-man roster and either:

  1. were 18 or younger on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is the fifth Rule 5 draft upcoming since they joined the organization; or
  2. were 19 or older on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is the fourth Rule 5 draft upcoming since they joined the organization.

Who are the top prospects for the 2020 Rule 5 draft?

MLB.com has a rundown of the top 30 prospects on each team and offers a look at those players available this year. Players in the top 15 of their team’s system include:

Jose Alberto Rivera, RHP, Astros (14th)
Seuly Matias, OF, Roayls (14th)
Packy Naughton, LHP, Angels (12th)
Jose Soriano, RHP, Angels (13th)
Zack Brown, RHP, Brewers (14th)
Wander Javier, SS, Twins (9th)
Akil Baddoo, OF, Twins (13th)
Shervyen Newton, INF, Mets (14th)
Jordan Diaz, 3B, Athletics (13th)
Enyel De Los Santos, RHP (9th)
Julio E. Rodriguez, C, Cardinals (15th)
Moises Gomez, OF, Rays (15th)
Israel Pineda, C, Nationals (14th)

What is the draft order?

The order is based on the reverse order of the 2020 regular-season standings. A team has to have an open spot on its 40-man roster in order to make a pick. Here are the top ten picks, with teams at the 40-man limited noted, courtesy of mlb.com.

1. Pirates
2. Rangers
3. Tigers (40)
4. Red Sox
5. Orioles
6. Diamondbacks (40)
7. Royals
8. Rockies
9. Angels
10. Mets

Why is it called the Rule 5 draft?

It comes from Rule 5 in The Official Professional Baseball Rules Book. Rule 4 is the designation for the annual amateur draft in the summer.

How many players are usually selected?

Usually somewhere between 10 and 20 players change organizations during the Rule 5 draft. 2019 saw 11 players, and dating back to 2014, the numbers were 14, 18, 18, 16, and 14.

Who are the best Rule 5 players in history?

There’s a lengthy list of talents, but some of the biggest names would be Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente and All Stars Johan Santana, Bobby Bonilla, George Bell, Dan Uggla, and Fernando Vina.

What is the minor league phase of it?

There is a minor league phase of the draft that involves protected Triple-A players. Any player who is on the 38-player Triple-A roster is protected from selection in the minor league phase. Notable players picked in that version of the draft include Scott Podsednik, John Hudek, Paul Blair, Alexi Ogando, and Manny Trillo.