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
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
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.