The rule 5 draft started at 9am EST this morning and ended promptly at 9:36am EST. The Rangers picked up 4 new members of their organization and did not lose anyone in the draft to other clubs.
Mike Hauschild was the Ranger’s selection in the major league portion of the draft from the Houston Astros. Hauschild will be 27 years of age next season and per John Blake will compete for the #5 spot in the rotation. I expected a lot of pitchers to be selected in the draft but to fill in roles in the bullpen for most clubs. This is somewhat a bold move as typically starters, or rather pitchers selected are not considered for the rotation. There were other choices Rangers could have gone with that would have been ‘safer’ but this has a higher reward if it works out. And if in fact it does work in Ranger’s favor, this could be a huge boon to the rotation and regardless could at least eat up a lot of innings as a BORP.
Hauschild has spend 5 seasons as a minor leaguer in the Houston Astro’s farm system, notably his past 39 games (all starts) at AAA Fresno where he has posted a 3.33 ERA, ~ 3.70 FIP, 1.28 WHIP, 8.86 H/9, 0.51 HR/9, 2.65 B/9, & a 7.92 SO/9. All of those numbers are really good, but I put two in bold font that really stuck out to me and that tells me he knows how to command his pitches and does not make too many mistake pitches. Both are really good for a soon to be major league pitcher.
Hauschild has a 4 pitch arsenal: 2-seam fastball/sinker, slider, split-finger & change-up. He isn’t a very flashy pitcher, and sits at about 89-92 mph on his fastball but pounds that lower part of the zone which led to his 2.29 GB/FB rate which is really good. His slider compliments his fastball to keep righties off queue, as well as his change-up to lefties, but his best pitch is his split-finger fastball. He throws his split-finger to induce even more weak contact and ground outs and uses it as a strike out pitch. Houston’s director of scouting, Kevin Goldstein, said Hauschild made “them look silly at times” referred to his split-finger fastball at AAA Fresno this season. It should be interested to see how he pans out, come spring training. Hauschild will be competing against A.J Griffin, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Nick Martinez, Tyler Wagner & Yohander Mendez for that #5 spot.
The Rangers also selected 3 more pitchers in the minor league portion of the rule 5 draft: Zachary Bird, Matt Smoral & Fernando Miranda. Matt Smoral is a former #1 round draft pick for the Blue Jays in 2012.
In other news, Rangers re-sign Jared Hoying to a minor league pact, as expected. Rangers also sign former Mets prospect & more recently Yankees farmhand outfielder Cesar Puello, was ranked #78 prospect in all of baseball prior to the 2012 season.