Rule 5 Picks

It’s hard to believe that this is the first time there’s been a page like this. Perhaps it’s because early on, Rule 5 guys were included with the regulars. But with the Nats becoming more active since the rebuild began in 2021, taking two in the MLB phase in 2022 and 2023 after going more than a decade without making any picks (Brian Broderick we hardly knew ye).

As noted previously, it’s hard not to infer that economics is driving the bus here. The MLB guy is a cheap look-see and could even light a fire under Luis García and/or Carter Kieboom, who, believe it or not, were supposed to be established regulars by now.

However, like last year, that MLB guy is good enough to be ranked. Nasim Nuñez is the 17th best prospect according to the Boys in Durham. He posted a line of .225/.341/.286 with 52 stolen bases in his second season at AA for the Marlins. At 5’9″ and 168 lbs, it’s doubful he’ll likely have more triples than HRs if he’s able to stick.

It’s hard not to view the four minor-league phase guys as de facto FA pickups:

  • RHP Samuel Vasquez (CLE) – Spent all of 2023 at Low-A Lynchburg, repeating the level with a line of 4.54/3.94/1.43 in 42IP across 35 appearances
  • RHP Wander Arias (KC) – pitched 65 innings in relief at High-A Quad Cities with a line of 6.23/4.52/1.52
  • RHP Daison Acosta (NYM) – appears to have been coming off an injury with one start in the FSL in early May, then 29 appearances for AA Binghamton for 36 innings and a line of 4.75/5.53/1.44
  • CF Moises Gallardo (OAK) – 2023 was his first in the U.S., having spent 2022 and 2021 in the DSL as a teenager (he turned 20 in April). Batted .280/.376/.452 in 31 games

Gallardo is probably the most intriguing of the lot, but may be stuck in the FCL given that his description – “above-average raw power and a strong throwing arm, but needs to develop a feel for hitting and cut down on the swing-and-miss.” – pretty much describes Elijah Green.