Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rule 5 Notes

Texas passed on taking someone in the Major league portion of the Rule 5 draft today.

TR Sullivan reports that Texas was interested moving up in the Rule5 today. A trade could still be announced before the minor league phase is over. Texas traded to acquire the Snyder pick last year and then traded to keep him.

And...right on queue, TRS reports TX has traded for 6.4/220 (22.7 a/o 4/1/11) RHP Mason Tobin, selected by the Cubs from the Angels (16th rd 2007). John Manuel had nothing to say about him in his Rule5 preview. He missed the last 1 1/2 years due to elbow issues and TJ surgery but will be healthy enough to compete for a bullpen spot. In the end, this pick seems like another Ben Snyder, a guy who won't pitch well enough to make the club, but who TX hopes will be good enough to merit the acquisition his rights via trade rather than sent back to LA. 2 pitch bullpen arm, with some questions about his "slurve" (inconsistent arm slot).

Tobin has not pitched in the AFL or winter leagues this fall, so I'm not sure how much Texas could have seen him over the last 6 months. Since he is under another team's control at the time of the draft, one would think that Texas does not have access to his medicals. Food for thought.

JD had this to say:
General manager Jon Daniels said Tobin will attempt to make the club as a reliever. If he does, he must stay on the 25-man roster for the 2011 season or be offered back to the Angels.Daniels desribed him as a 6-foot-4, 220-pound with a "live fastball in the mid 90s and plus life and a good breaking ball."Tobin had Tommy John surgery in April 2009 and is trying to come back from that."A number of our scouts who have some history with him in the Northwest really like his upside," Daniels said. "He made a good impression with the Angels in big league camp two years ago before he got hurt."

He was the Angels' #10 prospect going into 2009. He had shoulder soreness in 2007 and 2008, making on 8 starts that year. He has only 96IP in 4years, 40ip over the last three. Tobin saw a velo spike during his first year in full season, pitching in the low 90s and touching 97, with heavy sink and good armside run from a low 3/4 slot. His slider was inconsistent, flashing hard, but mostly slurvy. He had a rudimentary change at that point. His delivery is said to be "less than fluid" and requires some effort (Source, BA 2009 Prospect Guide).

Harry Pavlidis notes that he was 94.5-97.3 in one spring 2009 exhibition game, with a 76mph slurve. In this outing, He pitched up in the zone, threw what might have been some sinkers, and no changeups. Those sinkers could also just be his 4-seam, which has heavy sinking action according to some reports.

In the minor league phase, 24 picks selected in the AAA phase, and only 4 in the AA phase. Texas lost no one in either phase. So much for the 40-man/Rule 5 apocalypse. As expected Texas took a catcher, Fausto "Jessie" Mier (Chattanooga, LAD), and also took LH reliever Starling de la Rosa (23.5, 4/1/11) (NW Ark,KC). Jesse Mier (26yo, 4/1/11) was a 12th rd pick of the Dodgers in the 2007 draft and has not appeared above AA (46g 2010). Hasn't appeared in many games over the last 4 years, so injuries have likely been an issue. Might have had his best year last year given that it was in AA, but he doesn't hit for power, can't hit LHP and only appeared in 10g during the second half. He is likely an org guy with good catchability who will play in the LowA to AA levels (perhps even in short season) in 2011 and who will work well with young pitchers.

De la Rosa is played all or part of his first 5 years in short-season ball including this year though he did get a taste of A-ball but demonstrated zero command, principally vs LHH. So, given that he is not a loogie, I guess he must throw very hard. Very tall, very skinny, from San Pedro de Macoris so TX should be familiar with him both in the DSL and from EST in Surprise, a complex the share with KC. He had 3-4 bad games in A ball that might mask some significant progress that he may have made last year but who knows. Long shot, who might be released in ST if he can't make the HighA club given the depth in the low minors - think Winston Marquez, who they took last year in the minor league phase but released in ST.

Neither player seems to have appeared in any winter league action.

First Inning: Starling de la Rosa
First Inning: Jesse Mier

Kevin Goldstein seems to think that Tobin had a plus changeup at some point which isn't supported by any other facts, including Jon Daniels most recent comments. He is and has been a 2 pitch guy: sinking fastball, slurve.

Other Notes
Former Rangers Jacob Rasner and Roan Salas were selected by other clubs. Roan Salas disappeared from the DSL roster one off-season and then materialized in the VSL for the Rays. 4 years in the VSL/DSL (and LG this winter) - must have had a visa issue.


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