Nats Lose One, Pick Up Two in Rule 5 Draft

All in the AAA phase; no player taken or selected in the MLB phase for the fourth straight year

A year after picking up the immortal Philip Walby, and two years after snagging the inimitable Zach Cox, the Washington Nationals went hog-wild in the AAA phase and selected two (2) players to round out the organization’s rosters in AA and AAA.

Jacob Wilson went in the first round, a 27-y.o. UT who was taken in the 10th round of the 2012 Draft by the Cardinals. Last summer, the 27-y.o. slashed the Texas League at a .248/.337/.417 clip in 127 games for St. Louis’s AA affiliate.

In the second round of the AAA phase, RHP Kaleb Fleck was selected from the Diamondbacks. The 28-y.o. (turns 29 in January) was signed as an NDFA after the 2011 season (and the requisite TJ surgery) and has logged 289⅔ IP as a reliever over the past six seasons, the last three at AAA. He’s averaged 10K and 4.2BB per 9IP but has also given up nearly a hit per inning (278).

As the headline notes, LHP R.C. Orlan was selected by Cleveland in the first round of the AAA phase. The Nats’ 2012 30th-Rd. pick out of UNC split time in 2017 between Potomac and Harrisburg, compiling a 3-4 record with five saves in 51IP (44 appearances).

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of NationalsProspects.com. Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

28 thoughts on “Nats Lose One, Pick Up Two in Rule 5 Draft”

  1. Shrug. In sort of an exchange for utility, Brandon Snyder signed with the Rays.

    Meanwhile, as I noted yesterday, I thought there was a decent chance that some team would take a Rule 5 flyer on Spencer Kieboom. Really, it would have been a nice opportunity for Kieboom, who is fairly blocked here.

    Orlan provided a nice return for a 30th rounder but had probably peaked. Best wishes to him.

    1. If Snyder can’t crack the Rays roster then the proverbial suitcase joe 4Aer applies
      Jake Barnett and Hayden Howard should fill in the gap left by Orlon
      And that guy named Romero.

      1. I like Howard and was a little surprised they didn’t push him on to Potomac mid-2017. He turns 24 before the 2018 season starts and will only be at Potomac, though. Howard was the Andrew Miller for Texas Tech’s run to the CWS in 2016.

        1. Indeed KW
          If the Nats signed Seth Romero with his recreational habits off the field , then why not sign Fighting Illini alum LHP Keven Duchene??

    2. I thought there was a decent chance that some team would take a Rule 5 flyer on Spencer Kieboom.

      Kieboom was outrighted last March. A player can only be outrighted once without his consent. The team selecting him would lose the full $50K (vs. getting back $25K) if he doesn’t stick and cannot trade him unless another organization is willing to put him on its 25-man roster; between the two clubs he has to be active at least 90 days.

      Thus, the only person who benefits is Kieboom — he either draws an MLB salary for three months or more in 2018 or becomes a free agent a few months sooner than he would have otherwise.

      1. All true. I would point out, however, that $50K is chump change in the modern majors. I’m surprised that they haven’t pushed the Rule 5 price up to $250K or so. At the current price level, I’m not sure why more second-tier teams aren’t doing like in the Orioles and picking several players just to have them in camp and see what they can do. (First and last time I will probably sanction anything the O’s are doing.)

        Kieboom is no lock to stick, but he did hit .275 at AAA and probably wouldn’t embarrass himself in the majors. If Lobaton can have a sustained MLB career, the bar ain’t high catchers. (Loby just signed a minor-league deal with the Mets.)

      2. Luke your updated winter org. Board casts many open holes on Cuse and Burg to fill by April 4.2018.
        Wilson Norfork and Gamache
        City isle possibilities unless they
        Open eyes for Cuse
        Tough to type with your handsome
        Canine licking your arm in love

  2. By my count, only four guys left from the 2012 draft still in the system: S. Kieboom, S. Perez, D. Self & R. Pena. They really did put all of their eggs in the Giolito basket that year.

    1. I thought for a good while that Giolito would be their only major-leaguer from that draft. Renda got his cup of coffee after the trade (and came up, uh, short), and S. Kieboom got his Moonlight Graham appearance. Really, though Giolito is the only true major-leaguer who came out of that draft. Not only that, Renda and Kieboom are the only ones who have even been half decent above A+.

      I’ve been as critical as anyone of the Nats’ failure in this draft, but now in browsing through the rounds, and who has made it, you can see that it was a pretty crappy draft overall. The “first round” had a ridiculous 60 picks. Immediately, there were questions over whether the Nats would have done better taking Wacha over Giolito, although longer term, the bigger miss seems to be in not taking Stroman, who they had to be following since they had drafted him out of high school. Corey Seager went two picks after Giolito, but he was another high schooler who took some time to make the show.

      In round two, I always thought Renda was a wasted pick as I really didn’t see how he would project to have much ceiling. That said, about the only guy who went after him in that round who you’d want is Alex Wood. In the 3d, Andrew Toles is about the only guy after Mooneyham who has sorta made it. You then drop all the way to the 5th round and pick #161 to find Chris Taylor, who went 13 picks ahead of Kieboom. Ty Blach went four picks after him. Jake Lamb went in the sixth at pick #213. On the whole, though, this draft really sucked overall.

        1. Kemp is on the books for two more years, but the Dodgers are actually saving money toward getting under the luxury tax in what was mostly a dump-for-dump exchange.

          I’m still not convinced that the new management with the Dodgers wants a mega-contract like Harper is going to want. They have the resources to make it happen, but they aren’t making many of those types of deals right now. Plus their first priority next offseason will be keeping Kershaw, which will be probably a $300M contract.

        2. I have thought for awhile that if Harper leaves he will be wearing Dodger blue. I would still lean towards him staying though.

          1. I, for one, would like to see the “fans” not making such a big deal over whether Harper shows up at a glorified autograph show WinterFest (though I suspect these may be the same folks who cheer like Lt. Dangle).

        3. I believe it is after 2019 for Kemp. it is worth it for the dodgers to get the overall payroll down this season.

  3. I’ll agree with shrug, but that’s as much fun as we get this time of year.

    Besides, how can you not like a Moonlight Graham reference.

      1. For $500 million, I’ll bet Harper would have shaved off all his body hair if they asked him to. 🙂

        1. Does anybody know if FA signee
          Daniel Goforth failed his physical
          Because Kaleb Fleck and J Wilson
          Names have been added to Cuse winter roster but not the former Brew Crew hurler???

          1. Right now, in the dead of winter, everything is a pure guess — especially with an organization that treats injuries like state secrets.

          2. Have Goforth and some of the other guys not been added to minor league rosters because they have spring training invites? I seem to recall the minor league free agents with invites to spring training don’t usually show up on minor league rosters until they get assigned from major league camp.

          3. That’s probably true — I don’t pay attention to the minor-league rosters in the offseason because they are meaningless. Harrisburg has 20 players on it now, Syracuse has 10. None of the FAs signed earlier this month are listed.

    1. Any word on whether we can get Peacock back as well so every player from Gio trade will have come back to the Nats?

      Milone hasn’t been good in the majors since 2015 and was pretty darn bad in 2017, so I’m not holding my breath for a miracle here. It will be interesting to see if he’s willing to pitch at Syracuse or if he has an opt-out in the spring if he’s not making the big club.

    2. I guess no Christian Friedrich
      Nats shopping @ dollar general for Cuse
      Britton injury just another example that Angelos should pay Nats owed MASN $$$ and clean his bad karma

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