What happened. No St. Louis Cardinals players were chosen in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft this year. 2B Jacob Wilson was selected by the Washington Nationals in the Triple-A phase while the Cardinals chose OF Angel Moreno from the Tampa Bay Rays and OF Jean Selmo from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The story. The Rule 5 Draft is the final official event of the Winter Meetings every year. In general, players who were signed out of high school or international free agency in 2013 or earlier and out of college in 2014 or earlier are Rule 5 Draft eligible. This is to help give young players who potentially stagnate in a team’s system or find themselves blocked to be given another opportunity earlier in their careers.
The numbers. Jacob Wilson, 27, was a 10th round pick of the Cardinals in the 2012 draft. After breaking through to Triple-A last season, Wilson found himself spending the entire 2017 season in Double-A Springfield where he hit .248/.337/.417 with 17 home runs in 129 games. Wilson was left exposed last winter and went unclaimed. That was not the case this year as he was chosen by the Washington Nationals.
Angel Moreno, 21, was an international signing by the Tampa Bay Rays out of the Dominican Republic. He has played professional baseball for five seasons in the Rays organization, moving to High-A Charlotte in 2017 where he hit .229/.290/.288 with no home runs over 71 games. His scouting report indicates a plus defensive outfielder with an average arm and good bat speed at the plate.
Jean Selmo, 17, was an international signing by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of the Dominican Republic. He debuted in the Dominican Summer League last season, hitting .232/.332/.372 with 3 home runs for the Diamondbacks. I was not able to find much by way of scouting report on him, but found a World Showcase report on him from a couple years ago that described him as having a strong physical build for his age with good bat speed who projects for big power.
The impact. 0/10. There’s not really any impact for the team right now. The minor league portions of the Rule 5 Draft, where all three players were claimed, have different rules than the Major League portion which require the player to stay on the big league roster for the entire season.
The additions of two more outfielders (after acquiring one in the Aledmys Diaz trade) likely gives us a hint that more outfielders are on their way out of the organization. These guys are likely intended primarily to back fill the system as the big league club trades away some of their upper level talent. But, especially in Selmo’s case, these guys are still young enough with enough potential that they’ve still got an opportunity to develop into productive players.