It’s “Rule 5” day around Major League Baseball, as teams select the contracts of players that they plan to add to their 40-man roster so that the players are not exposed to the Rule 5 Draft. Today, the White Sox added infielders Bryan Ramos and Jose Rodriguez to their 40-man roster. In doing so, the team now has 38 players on the 40-man roster.
What is the Rule 5 Draft exactly? It is a draft unique to the world of baseball, designed to prevent franchises from stashing talent in the minors. Players with at least four years of pro experience, not on the club’s 40-man roster, and not signed beyond the current season are exposed to the draft. To protect players from going into the draft, they must be added to the 40-man roster before the Rule 5 Roster Freeze following Free Agency.
Those players who are Rule 5-eligible and are not protected on the 40-man roster are subject to the Rule 5 Draft, which operates as follows:
- You can’t draft a player from your own franchise
- You can draft a maximum of 10 players
- You can only draft enough players to fill your 40-man roster
- So, since the White Sox now have 38 players on their 40-man roster, they could only select two players
- Players selected must remain on the major league roster all season, or else they will be returned to their original team
Both Ramos and Rodriguez had excellent seasons in the minor leagues, and since they both appeared in AA, rebuilding teams would be incentivized to take a chance on moving them both directly to the major league roster for a year.
Ramos, 20, batted a combined .266/.338/.455 (123-462) with 19 doubles, one triple, 22 home runs, 86 RBI and 72 runs scored over 120 games last season between Class High A Winston-Salem and Class AA Birmingham. He ranked among White Sox organizational leaders in RBI (3rd), home runs (5th), hits (6th), total bases (6th, 210), runs scored (8th), slugging percentage (8th) and extra-base hits (T9th, 42). Ramos hit safely in 15 straight games from April 10-30, going 26-64 (.406) with six doubles, three homers and 15 RBI.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound third baseman owns a .259/.344/.432 (280-1,081) career slash line with 52 doubles, nine triples, 39 home runs, 169 RBI and 172 runs scored over three seasons in the White Sox system. Ramos, a native of La Habana, Cuba, is rated by MLB.com as the No. 5 prospect in the Sox organization. He originally was signed by Chicago as an international free agent on July 2, 2018.
Rodríguez, 21, hit .280/.340/.430 (123-440) with 21 doubles, six triples, 11 home runs, 68 RBI, 75 runs scored and 40 stolen bases in 104 games with Birmingham in 2022. He ranked among Southern League leaders in steals (2nd), triples (T2nd), hits (3rd), batting average (4th), RBI (T5th) runs scored (6th) and total bases (7th, 189). The 5-foot-11, 210-pound Rodríguez went 22-69 (.319/.413/.768) with four doubles, nine homers and 17 RBI over 17 games in August before suffering a season-ending left hand fracture.
The Valverde, Dominican Republic native is a career .291/.334/.449 (385-1,324) hitter with 68 doubles, 17 triples, 36 homers, 173 RBI, 213 runs scored and 93 stolen bases over four minor-league seasons with the White Sox organization. Rodríguez is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 7 prospect in the Sox system. He originally was signed as an international free agent on February 13, 2018.
With the White Sox planning to contend this season, it seems unlikely that they would draft anyone in the Rule 5 Draft. The draft occurs on December 7, 2022, so we will keep you updated should that change for the club.
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