San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) – The Arizona Diamondbacks selected
catcher Oscar Hernandez of the Tampa Bay Rays organization with the first
pick in Major League Baseball’s annual Rule 5 Draft on Thursday.
Hernandez, 21, had been in the Rays’ system since signing as a 16-year-old out
of Venezuela. He appeared in 94 games for Single-A Bowling Green last season
and batted .249 with nine home runs and 63 RBI.
He may have put together one of the greatest Venezuelan Summer League seasons
anyone will ever see in 2011, hitting .402/.503/.732 with 21 home runs.
Hernandez led the league in batting average by 38 points, home runs by 13,
slugging percentage by .238 points, total bases by 37 and on-base percentage
by 39 points.
Hernandez, though, has never come anywhere close to matching those numbers and
isn’t fully polished behind the plate
There were 13 players taken in the major league phase of the draft on
Thursday. If those players do not sign with their new team, they must be
offered back to their original team, effectively canceling the Rule 5 Draft
However, once they spend an entire season on their new team’s 25-man roster,
their status reverts to normal and they may be optioned or designated for
Of course, several players have succeeded through the Rule 5 Draft in the
past, most notably Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, two-time Cy Young Award
winner Johan Santana and 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton. Other prominent
players selected through the Rule 5 Draft include pitchers Joakim Soria,
Matt Mantei and Antonio Alfonseca, as well as second baseman Dan Uggla and
outfielders George Bell, Willy Taveras and Shane Victorino.
Players who are not currently on their team’s 40-man roster are eligible to be
taken in this draft, but only after a standard exemption period has elapsed.
Also, only teams whose rosters are under the 40-man limit are eligible to
A player who is 18 when he’s signed can spend five seasons in an organization
before he has to be protected. Anyone who is 19 or older must be protected
after four years. Once past that time of service, a player must be put on the
40-man roster if that team wants to keep him from becoming eligible for the
Rule 5 Draft.
MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE
1. Arizona Diamondbacks: C Oscar Hernandez, Rays
2. Colorado Rockies: IF Mark Canha, Marlins (Traded to Oakland)
3. Texas Rangers: OF Delino DeShields Jr., Astros
4. Houston Astros: RHP Jason Garcia, Red Sox (Traded to Baltimore)
5. Minnesota Twins: RHP J.R. Graham, Braves
6. Boston Red Sox: RHP Jandel Gustave, Astros
7. Chicago Cubs: SS Taylor Featherston, Rockies
8. Philadelphia Phillies: IF David Herrera, Rangers
9. Miami Marlins: LHP Andrew McKirahan, Cubs
10. New York Mets: LHP Sean Gilmartin, Twins
11. Atlanta Braves: RHP Daniel Winkler, Rockies
12. Seattle Mariners: LHP David Rollins, Astros
13. Baltimore Orioles: RHP Logan Verrett, Mets