Protection site

Boston Red Sox top prospects: Rule 5 protection deadline preview

The next deadline that Boston Red Sox fans need to worry about comes at the end of this week, as teams have until Friday to protect eligible players from the Rule 5 Draft. who do not know how the draft works, eligible players are those who: have been in professional ball for at least four years and signed their first contract at 19 or over, Where have been in the pro ball for at least five years and signed their first contract at 18 or under.

The draft, which takes place on the last day of the Winter Meetings (usually, at least; I’m not sure what the plan is if a lockout cancels the event this year), requires the successful players to stay on the roster. active of their new team. for the entire season to come or their old team has a chance to take them back into their minor league organization. Players must be added to the 40-player roster by Friday’s deadline to not be eligible for selection.

Red Sox fans should definitely be familiar with the draft, at least at a grassroots level, as this is how the organization acquired Garrett Whitlock, who was of course one of the top pitchers on the roster. last year. In fact, Chaim Bloom had some success in this draft during his two winters with the organization, not only with Whitlock but also taking Jonathan Araúz the year before and keeping him on the roster all year ( with the help of a shortened season). He also found some good players in the minor league part of the draft, although for the purposes of this article we will only be thinking about the major league part.

Instead, we want to focus on who the Red Sox will add to their own 40-man roster. Let’s start by taking a look at the potential candidates, of which there are many, and give the reasons why each will and will not be protected.

Throw Downs, 2B / SS

Why it will be protected: Even after a disappointing season, Downs is still a potential all-rounder playing in the middle, and he should be ready for the majors at some point next season.

Why it will not be protected: He’s coming out of a bad season, and the fact that he’s been traded twice already indicates that there could be bigger flaws than initially recognized.

Verdict: Lock to protect.

Josh Winckowski, HR SP

Why it will be protected: He’s right on the doorstep of the majors and has the kind of talent to be a reliever or a back starter as early as possible.

Why it will not be protected: There isn’t really any out of the ordinary skill here, and it can be the kind of profile that works in minors but hits a wall once a thrower hits the top level.

Verdict: Lock to protect.

Brayan Bello

Brayan Bello, RH SP

Why it will be protected: Bello is as talented as anyone in the Red Sox system and has finally shown some real consistency in 2021. He is also in the upper levels of the minors.

Why it will not be protected: There’s still a lot of raw talent here, and he struggled with consistency again in the second half after hitting Double-A.

Verdict: Lock to protect.

Thad Ward, HR SP

Why it will be protected: When in good health he seemed to have perhaps the best mix of potential and safety among Red Sox throwing hopes and had reached the upper levels of miners.

Why it will not be protected: He had Tommy John surgery last summer and teams might not be willing to use a 40-man spot with that uncertainty.

Verdict: Likely to be protected.

Kutter Crawford, RH SP

Why it will be protected: He has taken a big step forward this year and has remained in the rotation throughout the season, while showing that he can miss bats. He also made his major league debut.

Why it will not be protected: His cap is still an open question, with many still viewing him as a future reliever, and perhaps not as a back-end.

Verdict: Borderline case, probably closer to protection.

Gilberto Jiménez, OF

Why it will be protected: In terms of pure talent and potential, he’s still one of the top prospects in the system, and he could be kept on an active roster as a fifth outfielder given his speed and defense.

Why it will not be protected: He didn’t play over the A-Ball, and even there he was more than great.

Verdict: Borderline case, but likely to be protected.

Durbin Feltman, RH RP

Why it will be protected: He ultimately appeared to be doing well on up draft day last season, especially once he got to Triple-A, and should be able to contribute in a big league reliever box in 2022.

Why it will not be protected: He still doesn’t look completely dominant among miners, and leadership issues still crop up from time to time.

Verdict: Likely more likely than not to be protected.

Kaleb Ort, RH RP

Why it will be protected: After being selected in the minor league draft portion of the draft last winter, he has been Worcester’s top reliever for most of the season.

Why it will not be protected: There just isn’t the same kind of benefit as some of the other names on this list, and they can only protect a limited number of names.

Verdict: It is possible, but unlikely.

Zack Kelly, RH RP

Why it will be protected: He dominated in 2021 over Double-A and Triple-A, striking out more than 13 of nine strikes on both levels, and has the kind of profile teams will want to aim for in this draft.

Why it will not be protected: There isn’t a ton of name value and the cap isn’t big, and you can only protect a limited number of players.

Verdict: The potential surprise protection for this year.

Kole Cottam, C / 1B

Why it will be protected: He’s done nothing but knock in the minors, and gets some attention for the Arizona Fall League scouting departments.

Why it will not be protected: The Red Sox already have four of the 40 players, and adding a fifth could be a bridge too far.

Verdict: Unlikely to be protected, but could be drafted.

Frank German, RH RP

Why it will be protected: The raw material is that of a major league reliever, and once he’s converted to that role, the potential has become clearer.

Why it will not be protected: We only saw flashes in 2021, but the season as a whole has been more disheartening than encouraging.

Verdict: Unlikely to be protected

Ryan Fitzgerald, INF

Why it will be protected: He has complete skills in the infield and can be a good defensive bench player with a bit of home plate skill.

Why it will not be protected: There’s hardly any advantage, and he’s a type of player that’s easier to keep on an active roster in theory than in practice.

Verdict: Unlikely to be protected.

Pedro Castellanos, 1B / LF

Why it will be protected: He’s shown enough of that power to show he’ll at least be solid in this department, and he’s expanded his versatility by spending the year in the outfield.

Why it will not be protected: Power is always thinner than great, and its versatility is only in the low positions of the defensive spectrum.

Verdict: Unlikely to be protected.

Francy Cordero, FROM

Why it will be protected: Dabbling over Cordero’s potential will never go out of style, and he of course has a background in the big leagues.

Why it will not be protected: The teams could have claimed it on waivers already earlier this winter, and they could have opted for this scenario. It would be weird to pass then but then write it in rule 5.

Verdict: Unlikely to be protected.

Ceddanne Rafaela, UTL

Why it will be protected: He’s the kind of player that good teams now look for as a good athlete who can play multiple premium positions in the infield and outfield.

Why it will not be protected: He’s still raw and in weak minors, and offensive skills at this point are likely a stretch for the majors.

Verdict: Unlikely to be protected.


So who will be protected? Right now, the Red Sox have 33 players on their 40-man roster, which means they can add up to seven players to the roster. That said, they’re obviously also planning to bring in some new faces that will need list spaces as well. Considering that, and also some of the players currently on the roster who might be dropped, adding somewhere between six to eight players is still reasonable, even if it is a high number. In the end, I think the following players will be protected.

  • Throw Downs
  • Josh winckowski
  • Thad ward
  • Kutter crawford
  • Gilberto Jimenez
  • Durbin Feltman
  • Zack kelly

What you say?