Taveras, Polanco highlight 40-man adds

Major League clubs protect their players ahead of Rule 5 Draft

Gregory Polanco (left) and Oscar Taveras are both among MLB.com's top four outfield prospects.

By MiLB.com Staff | November 20, 2013 1:17 PM ET

It's not as big a day on the baseball calendar as, say, Opening Day or the All-Star Game, but it was a fairly important offseason day for several Minor Leaguers and their parent clubs. Wednesday -- more specifically, midnight ET -- was the deadline for players to be added to the 40-man roster before the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place Dec. 12 at the Winter Meetings. 

Players who signed when they were 19 or older and have been in pro ball for four years or who signed at 18 or under and have played in pro ball for five years are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. Teams can protect their players who fit the description from that process by adding them to their 40-man rosters. (A more in-depth primer of the Rule 5 Draft can be found here.)

That's where Wednesday's bevy of moves comes in.

Perhaps the biggest name added to a 40-man roster was top Cardinals prospect Oscar Taveras. The 21-year-old outfielder, who ranks as the No. 2 overall prospect, was expected to join the Major League club at some point during the 2013 season but was limited due to an ankle injury that eventually required surgery. He is expected to be ready for Spring Training, where he will compete for a starting job in the St. Louis outfield. 

MLB.com's No. 13 overall and No. 2 Pirates prospect Gregory Polanco also earned a spot on the Pirates' 40-man roster after a breakout season across the top three levels of the Minors. The 22-year-old outfielder owned a .285/.356/.434 slash line with 12 homers, 30 doubles, 71 RBIs and 38 steals across those three levels while developing into an exciting five-tool player.

Other Top 100 prospects added to 40-man rosters were the the Yankees' Gary Sanchez (26), the Pirates' Alen Hanson (39), the Rangers' Luis Sardinas (70), and Red Sox prospects Anthony Ranaudo (79) and Garin Cecchini (82). 

Here's a breakdown of prospects who are ranked in the Top 10 in their respective organizations and were added to 40-man rosters Wednesday:

NOTABLE Players Added To 40-man rosters 
LHP Tim Berry BAL No. 6 Orioles prospect; 2009 50th-round pick; 11-7, 3.85 ERA in 27 starts
OF Bryce Brentz BOS No. 9 Red Sox prospect; 2010 first-rounder (36th overall); 19 HR, 64 RBIs, .799 OPS
3B Garin Cecchini BOS No. 7 Red Sox prospect; 2010 fourth-rounder; .322/.443/.471 slash line
RHP Anthony Ranaudo BOS No. 6 Red Sox prospect; 2010 first-rounder (39th overall); 2.96 ERA in 25 appearances
2B/SS Arismendy Alcantara CHC No. 8 Cubs prospect; 2008 international signing; .271/.352/.451 slash line, 31 SB
2B/SS Carlos Sanchez CWS No. 9 White Sox prospect; 2009 international signing; .241/.293/.296 slash line
OF Trayce Thompson CWS No. 4 White Sox prospect; 2009 second-rounder; .229/.321/.383, 15 HR, 73 RBIs
SS Rosell Herrera COL No. 4 Rockies prospect; 2009 international signing; .343/.419/.515 slash line, 16 HR, 21 SB
1B Kyle Parker COL No. 9 Rockies prospect; 2010 first-rounder (26th overall); .288/.345/.492 slash line, 23 HR
OF Daniel Fields DET No. 3 Tigers prospect; 2009 sixth-rounder; .284/.356/.435, 10 HR, 58 RBIs, 24 SB
SS Eugenio Suarez DET No. 4 Tigers prospect; 2008 international signing; .264/.347/.396 slash line
OF Domingo Santana HOU No. 9 Astros prospect; 2009 international signing (Phillies); 25 HR, 64 RBIs, .842 OPS
3B Cheslor Cuthbert KC No. 9 Royals prospect; 2009 international signing; .247/.316/.387 slash line
OF Randal Grichuk LAA No. 4 Angels prospect; 2009 first-rounder (24th overall); .256 batting average, 22 HR, 27 2B
RHP Angel Sanchez MIA No. 10 Marlins prospect; 2010 international signing; 124 strikeouts, 51 BB in 131 1/3 innings
C J.T. Realmuto MIA No. 7 Marlins prospect; 2010 third-rounder; .239/.310/.353 slash line, 5 HR
RHP Jose Urena MIA No. 6 Marlins prospect; 2008 international signing; 10-7, 3.73 ERA over 27 appearances (26 starts)
1B Hunter Morris MIL No. 7 Brewers prospect; 2010 fourth-rounder; 24 HR, 73 RBIs, .766 OPS
OF Max Kepler MIN No. 8 Twins prospect; 2009 international signing; played in only 61 games (elbow)
2B Jorge Polanco MIN No. 9 Twins prospect; 2009 international signing; .308/.362/.452, 5 HR, 78 RBIs
OF Slade Heathcott NYY No. 7 Yankees prospect; 2009 first-rounder (29th overall); .261/.327/.411, 8 HR, 15 SB
C Gary Sanchez NYY No. 1 Yankees prospect; 2009 international signing; .253/.324/.412, 15 HR, 71 RBIs
RHP Raul Alcantara OAK No. 7 Athletics prospect; 2009 international signing (Red Sox); 12-6, 3.11 ERA over 27 starts
C Tommy Joseph PHI No. 5 Phillies prospect; 2009 second-rounder (Giants); played in only 36 games (concussion)
OF Alen Hanson PIT No. 3 Pirates prospect; 2009 international signing; .274/.329/.427, 30 SB
OF Gregory Polanco PIT No. 2 Pirates prospect; 2009 international signing; .285/.356/.434, 12 HR, 38 SB
OF Gary Brown SF No. 9 Giants prospect; 2010 first-rounder (24th overall); 13 HR, 29 2B, 17 SB
OF Stefen Romero SEA No. 7 Mariners prospect; 2010 12th-rounder; .277/.333/.443 slash line, 11 HR, 76 RBIs
OF Oscar Taveras STL No. 1 Cardinals prospect; 2009 international signing; played in 47 games (ankle)
SS Luis Sardinas TEX No. 2 Rangers prospect; 2009 international signing; .288/.340/.347, 32 SB
OF Michael Taylor WAS No. 4 Nationals prospect; 2009 sixth-rounder; .263/.340/.426, 10 HR, 51 SB

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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