Reds Prospects and Rule 5 Draft Protection

Stuart Fairchild, Daytona Tortugas, Florida State League, May 14, 2019 - photo credit Bryan Green on Flickr

While Major League Baseball explores possible ways to have some semblance of a season this year, the odds of Minor League Baseball resuming are slim to none. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still things that can impact your fantasy baseball roster going forward, whether the season resumes this year or next. One aspect I thought I would take a closer look at is which Reds prospects are likely to be added to the 40-man roster, and which are likely to be exposed to the Rule 5 draft, IF minor league baseball was able to resume this year. Obviously this is purely hypothetical; if Minor League Baseball doesn’t resume until next year, that throws the whole 40-man roster additions into total limbo.

With that said, let’s take a look at who the Reds will likely add to the 40-man to protect from the Rule 5 draft. The minor league level listed is projected, for where they should be when baseball resumes.

Likely to add:

  • Jose Garcia, SS, AA (2019: .280/.343/.436, 15 SB, 8 HR) – not much needs to be said here, Garcia is an “obviously, duh!” It’s really just criminal that we are deprived of seeing him continue building on the solid foundation he’s already put together.
  • Stuart Fairchild, OF, AA (2019: .275/.380/.444, 3 SB, 4 HR) – Fairchild has never been particularly flashy…not a lot of power, little to no stolen bases, but he has been able to hit reliably and get on base over his minor league career so far. I see him being a fourth outfielder at the very least.
  • Vladimir Gutierrez, RHP, AAA (2019: 5.72 FIP, 19.2 K%, 7.9 BB%, 9.3 SwStr %) – I see the Reds taking a flyer on him; though he really struggled last year, there’s enough there that I think he can contribute, at least in the bullpen if not a number 5 starter at some point.

Notable likely exclusions:

Packy Naughton, LHP, AAA (2019: 3.54 FIP, 18% K, 5.8% BB, 9.9% SwStr) – at one time, I was pretty high on Packy and thought he had potential to be a mid-rotation starter, but as I’ve had more looks at him pitching, the less I like what I see. He has quite a funky delivery that I don’t feel is conducive to long outings, and I further believe has led to a rather unsightly walk rate so far across his minor league career. I think a more realistic projection for him is as a reliever. For some more info on Naughton, check out the column I wrote about him last May.

Other prospects likely to be exposed to the Rule 5 draft…


Rudie Verougstraete is the Cincinnati Reds correspondent at Prospects1500. He lives in Richmond, Virginia with his wife Shelly who is the Washington Nationals correspondent. He has been an avid baseball fan since 2015, participates in multiple fantasy baseball leagues, and attends Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants AA affiliate) and Washington Nationals games whenever he can! His favorite baseball function is First Pitch Arizona, a fantasy baseball conference hosted by Baseball HQ every year just outside Phoenix.

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