The Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft should have been today.
Each year, teams are forced to add players to their 40-man rosters ahead of the annual Rule 5 Draft. That draft should have taken place today, but the major league portion has been postponed indefinitely because of the lockout.
Just hours after meeting the media for the first time as the general manager of the Mets, Billy Eppler needed to make a few decisions about his prospects before the deadline.
Eppler and the Mets decided to protect four players this year: infielders Ronny Mauricio and Mark Vientos and right-handers José Butto and Adam Oller were added to the 40-man roster.
Mauricio is currently ranked the No. 3 prospect in the Mets organization. However, he plays the same position — shortstop — as Francisco Lindor, which has raised questions about his future (positionally and with the organization).
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Vientos, 21, hit 25 home runs with a .933 OPS across a couple minor league levels this past season. Naturally a third baseman, the Mets also played Vientos at first and in left field to provide both the organization and the players some additional options when considering how he might help the big league club as soon as 2022.
Butto split the 2021 season between High-A Brooklyn and Double-A Binghamton. Ranked the No. 13 prospect in the organization by MLB Pipeline, Butto went 4-6 with a 3.83 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 98 2/3 innings combined.
Oller is an interesting name to be included. The 27-year-old is in his sixth season of professional baseball and split his 2021 season between Double-A and Triple-A.
The following players from the Mets’ top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline were not protected:
- Carlos Cortes, 2B (No. 10)
- Josh Walker, LHP (No. 16)
- Hayden Senger, C (No. 21)
- Carlos Rincon, OF (No. 24)
- Shervyen Newton, SS (No. 26)
- Michel Otanez, RHP (No. 29)
- Ryley Gilliam, RHP (No. 30)