Martin, McWilliams lead 2018 Rule 5 Draft

Orioles, Royals, Giants make two picks each at Winter Meetings

Richie Martin has produced a career .706 OPS over four seasons in the Minors. (Ben Sandstrom/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | December 13, 2018 2:07 PM

LAS VEGAS -- The Orioles and Royals made the first two picks in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft, and they didn't stop there.

The O's selected A's shortstop Richie Martin with the first overall pick and later traded with the Phillies for Dodgers infielder Drew Jackson while the Royals took Rays right-hander Sam McWilliams at No. 2 and added Cardinals right-hander Chris Ellis in a swap with the Rangers at this year's Rule 5 Draft, held Thursday from the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. The Giants were the only other club to make two selections in the Major League portion, taking Blue Jays left-hander Travis Bergen at No. 8 and Astros outfielder Drew Ferguson at No. 14 with the only pick of the second round.

Players selected in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft now go on the Major League roster of their new club and will need to stick there for the duration of the 2019 season or else be offered back to their original organization.

Martin and Jackson should compete at the open position of shortstop when they arrive in Baltimore's camp this spring. Martin, ranked as the No. 12 prospect in the Oakland system before Thursday, broke out with the bat in 2018, hitting .300/.368/.439 at Double-A Midland, while showing good defensive ability at short and above-average speed. Jackson is also a burner who can show a plus-plus arm at short with a little more pop than his new teammate. The now-former Dodgers No. 19 prospect hit 15 homers and stole 22 bases for Double-A Tulsa this past season.

McWilliams and Ellis will hope to replicate Kansas City's Rule 5 success with Brad Keller from a year ago. McWilliams posted a 4.38 ERA with 133 strikeouts in 137 2/3 innings as a starter between Class A Advanced and Double-A in the Rays and D-backs systems. He was moved from Arizona to Tampa Bay, along with reliever Colin Poche, to complete a three-team swap back in February. Ellis, who has been traded twice in his career, posted a 3.93 ERA with 124 strikeouts and only 37 walks in 132 2/3 innings at Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis.

Here are the rest of the selections made in the Major League and Triple-A portions of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft.

Rule 5 Draft selections
MAJOR LEAGUE ROUND 1
PICK TEAM PLAYER POS OLD ORG 2018 NOTES
1 BAL Richie Martin SS OAK OAK No. 12 prospect; .300/.368/.439, 6 HR, 25 SB at Double-A
2 KC Sam McWilliams RHP TB 4.38 ERA, 133 K, 49 BB in 137 2/3 IP at Class A Advanced, Double-A; Traded from ARI in May
3 CWS Jordan Romano RHP TOR Traded to TEX; TOR No. 28 prospect; 4.11 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 128 K in 142 1/3 IP at Double-A, Triple-A; Eastern League post-season All-Star
4 MIA Riley Ferrell RHP HOU HOU No. 17 prospect; 4.53 ERA, 67 K, 34 BB in 51 2/3 IP at Double-A, Triple-A
5 DET Reed Garrett RHP TEX 2.04 ERA, 61 K, 20 BB in 61 2/3 IP at Double-A, Triple-A
6 CIN Connor Joe IF/OF LAD .299/.408/.527, 17 HR at Double-A, Triple-A
7 TEX Chris Ellis RHP STL Traded to KC; 3.93 ERA, 124 K, 37 BB, 1.17 WHIP in 132 2/3 IP at Double-A, Triple-A
8 SF Travis Bergen LHP TOR 0.95 ERA, 74 K, 15 BB, 1.01 WHIP in 56 2/3 IP at Class A Advanced, Double-A
9 TOR Elvis Luciano RHP KC KC No. 23 prospect; 3.90 ERA, 70 K, 23 BB in 67 IP at Rookie-level
10 NYM Kyle Dowdy RHP CLE 5.15 ERA, 120 K, 50 BB in 124 IP at Double-A, Triple-A; Traded from DET in July
11 PHI Drew Jackson SS LAD Traded to BAL; LAD No. 19 prospect; .251/.356/.447, 15 HR, 22 SB at Double-A
12 ARI Nick Green RHP NYY 3.32 ERA, 102 K, 64 BB in 132 2/3 IP at Class A Advanced, Double-A
13 SEA Brandon Brennan RHP COL 3.25 ERA, 79 K, 24 BB, 1.08 WHIP in 74 2/3 IP at Double-A, Triple-A; signed with COL in November
MAJOR LEAGUE ROUND 3
14 SF Drew Ferguson OF HOU  .304/.432/.443, 5 HR at Class A Short Season, Triple-A
TRIPLE-A ROUND 1
1 BAL Taylor Grover RHP CIN Pitched independent ball in 2018; signed with CIN this offseason; pitched five seasons in BOS system
2 KC Chris Rabago C NYY Traded to COL; .196/.273/.326, 4 HR, 9 SB at Double-A in COL, NYY systems
3 CWS Jordan George 1B PIT .263/.355/.342, 5 HR at Double-A
4 DET Tyler Hill OF BOS Traded to NYY; .254/.348/.312, 1 HR, 27 SB at Class A Advanced
5 SD Cristofer Melendez RHP CWS  Traded to PIT; 1.54 ERA, 93 K, 28 BB, 0.95 WHIP in 70 1/3 IP in DSL; has yet to pitch stateside
6 TEX Jeffeson Medina RHP BAL  3.73 ERA, 66 K in 72 1/3 IP at Class A Advanced; signed with BAL this offeason
7 SF Peter Maris 3B TB  .277/.364/.506, 11 HR at Class A Advanced, Double-A
8 TOR David Garner RHP CHC  3.25 ERA, 51 K, 25 BB in 44 1/3 IP at Double-A, Triple-A
9 NYM Braxton Lee OF MIA  .233/.316/.294, 1 HR, 7 SB at Class A Advanced, Double-A, Triple-A; played eight games in MLB
10 MIN Dusten Knight RHP SF  1.71 ERA, 48 K, 0.95 WHIP in 47 1/3 IP at Rookie-level, Double-A, Triple-A
11 PHI Gilmael Troya RHP NYY  1.63 ERA, 55 K, 18 BB in 38 2/3 IP at Rookie-level
12 LAA Matt Esparza RHP CLE  6.23 ERA in 8 2/3 IP at Rookie-level, Class A Advanced
13 ARI Jeffrey Baez OF SF  .262/.346/.414, 7 HR, 16 SB at Double-A
14 WAS Chuck Taylor OF SEA  .297/.377/.376, 3 HR at Double-A; SEA Organization All-Star
15 PIT Randolph Gassaway OF BAL  .268/.345/.385, 6 HR at Class A Short Season, Class A Advanced
16 STL John Fasola RHP TEX  4.05 ERA, 27 K, 11 BB in 26 2/3 IP at Double-A; didn't pitch in 2017
17 ATL Jason Creasy RHP ARI  6.75 ERA, 10 K in 6 2/3 IP at Class A Advanced; didn't pitch in 2017
18 TB Ryan Thompson RHP HOU  4.05 ERA, 61 K, 13 BB in 66 2/3 IP at Double-A, Triple-A
19 CLE Yapson Gomez LHP CHC  3.28 ERA, 52 K, 21 BB in 68 2/3 IP at Class A, Class A Advanced
20 CHC Luis Lugo LHP KC  4.18 ERA, 21 K, 11 BB in 23 2/3 IP at Double-A
21 MIL Julio Garcia INF LAA  .232/.265/.320, 5 HR at Class A
22 OAK Corban Joseph 2B BAL .312/.381/.497, 17 HR at Double-A; played 14 games in MLB
23 NYY Adonis De La Cruz RHP SEA 4.71 ERA, 75 K, 19 BB in 57 1/3 IP at Class A
24 HOU Alejandro Flores C WAS .216/.309/.390, 6 HR at Class A
25 BOS Anyelo Gomez RHP NYY 2.45 ERA, 8 K in 7 1/3 IP at Triple-A
TRIPLE-A ROUND 2
26 SF Sam Moll LHP TOR 5.30 ERA, 19 K, 5 BB in 18 2/3 IP at Triple-A; pitched 11 games with OAK in 2017
27 NYM Chris Mazza RHP SEA 2.55 ERA, 39 K, 14 BB in 49 1/3 IP at Double-A, Triple-A in MIA, SEA systems
28 PIT Winston Nicacio RHP STL 4.72 ERA, 60 K, 37 BB in 68 2/3 IP at Class A, Class A Short Season
29 STL Alberto Triunfel SS LAA .235/.293/.367, 6 HR at Class A Advanced, Triple-A
30 ATL Jose Rafael De Paula RHP CIN 3.41 ERA, 73 K, 30 BB in 58 IP at Double-A, Triple-A
31 TB Ian Gardeck RHP SF 2.63 ERA, 12 K in 13 2/3 IP at Rookie-level, Class A Advanced, Double-A
32 CLE Wilson Garcia 1B BAL .293/.323/.510, 23 HR at Class A Advanced in PHI, BAL systems
33 CHC Rafelin Lorenzo C PIT .307/.319/.474, 4 HR at Rookie-level, Class A 
34 MIL Alexander Alvarez C TB .237/.268/.381, 3 HR at Class A
35 OAK Mark Payton OF NYY .259/.368/.401, 6 HR at Triple-A
36 BOS Andrew Schwaab RHP DET 5.37 ERA, 53 K, 31 BB in 52 IP at Class A Advanced, Double-A in NYY, DET systems
TRIPLE-A ROUND 3
37 NYM Mitch Ghelfi C LAA .237/.289/.342, 3 HR, 5 SB at Class A Advanced, Double-A in MIL, LAA systems
38 ATL Riley Unroe SS LAA .228/.328/.302, 4 HR, 11 SB at Double-A, Triple-A
39 TB Cristofer Ogando RHP ARI 1.34 ERA, 45 K, 9 BB, 0.80 WHIP in 33 2/3 IP at Rookie-level, Class A Short Season
40 CHC Alexander Vargas RHP NYY 4.01 ERA, 50 K, 16 BB in 83 IP at Class A, Class A Advanced, Double-A
41 OAK Anthony Miller 1B CLE .264/.363/.432, 8 HR at Class A Advanced
TRIPLE-A ROUND 4
42 TB Hector Figueroa RHP CLE 2.78 ERA, 22 K, 10 BB in 22 2/3 IP at Rookie-level

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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