A trio of Royals farmhands were selected during the Rule 5 Draft, which took place earlier Thursday morning at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee. LHP Daniel Stumpf was picked by the Philadelphia Phillies in the Major League portion, while 2015 Storm Chasers C Micah Gibbs and fellow Royals farmhand Santiago Nessy were taken by the Dodgers and Yankees, respectively, in the Triple-A portion.
All players who were not protected on 40-Man rosters were eligible to be selected in the Major League section of the Rule 5 Draft. The team that choses a player must pay $50,000 to that player's previous team, and that player must remain on the active 25-man roster for the following season. If that player is not able to remain on the active 25-man roster, he is then returned to his former team. Players who did not move up a level during the 2015 campaign were also eligible to be picked in the Triple-A and Double-A portions of the draft.
One player who was not taken in the Major League portion was 2015 Storm Chasers infielder Balbino Fuenmayor, who was listed in several Rule 5 Draft preview articles as a name who could possibly be selected. The Venezuela native participated in 16 games for Omaha this past season after being promoted from Double-A Northwest Arkansas, batting .377 (26-69) with 12 runs, six doubles, one triple, two homers and 15 RBI. Fuenmayor's season came to an unfortunate early end when he tore his ACL while playing with the Storm Chasers, and could possibly begin the 2016 season in Omaha.
Left-handed reliever Daniel Stumpf was the first selection in the second round of the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. Over 42 appearances, including one start, with Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 2015, the southpaw tallied a 5-4 record and 3.57 ERA (28 ER/70.2 IP) along with three saves, and was a candidate to join the Storm Chasers' bullpen in 2016. The Texas native was originally drafted by the Royals in the ninth round (283rd overall) of the 2012 draft out of San Jacinto Junior College in Texas. Stumpf may also be known to some Royals fans for throwing seven-inning no-hitter for the Lexington Legends back in 2013.
C Micah Gibbs was the next Royals minor leaguer to be picked, taken by the Dodgers in the second round of the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft. Gibbs split time between Northwest Arkansas and Omaha, playing in 13 contests with the Storm Chasers, recording a .147 average (5-34) along with three runs, one double, a longball and four RBI. Signed by the Royals out of independent ball in 2013, Gibbs was originally selected by the Chicago Cubs in the third round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Louisiana State University.
The third and final player taken in the Rule 5 Draft was C Santiago Nessy, who was picked by the Yankees in the third round of the Triple-A portion. The 23-year-old backstop spent the majority of the year with High-A Wilmington, compiling a .232 clip (36-155), adding 12 runs, ten doubles, three roundtrippers and 19 RBI. The Royals acquired Nessy in an October 29, 2014 trade from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for right-hander pitcher Liam Hendriks. The Blue Jays originally signed the Venezuela native as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2009.