Rule 5 Draft eligible prospects on 40-man rosters

It was decision time for Major League front offices today.

All 30 teams had until 6 p.m. ET to make decisions about their 40-man rosters. Some prospects earned a coveted spot, some did not and will thus be eligible to be picked up by another team in the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place at the Winter Meetings in Orlando on Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Players first signed at age 18 must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons or they become eligible to be drafted by other organizations through the Rule 5 process. Players signed at 19 years or older have to be protected within four seasons. Clubs pay $100,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. If that player doesn't stay on the 25-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $50,000.

For this year, that means an international or high school Draft pick signed in 2017 -- assuming he was 18 or younger as of June 8 of that year -- had to be protected. A college player taken in the 2018 Draft is in the same position.

There are 14 players on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list who needed to be protected or become exposed to the Rule 5 Draft.

+ Julio Rodriguez, OF, Mariners (No. 2)
+ Hunter Greene, RHP, Reds (No. 26)
+ Royce Lewis, SS, Twins (No. 35)
+ Ronny Mauricio, SS, Mets (No. 53)
+ MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Padres (No. 56)
+ Tyler Freeman, INF, Guardians (No. 59)
+ George Valera, OF, Guardians(No. 63)

+ Nick Pratto, 1B, Royals (No. 65)
+ MJ Melendez, C, Royals (No. 67)

+ D.L. Hall, LHP, Orioles (No. 72)
+ Drew Waters, OF, Braves (No. 79)
+ Heliot Ramos, OF, Giants (No. 80)
+ Liover Peguero, SS, Pirates (No. 85)
+ Ryan Rolison, LHP, Rockies (No. 95)

+ Indicates that a player has been added to his team's 40-man roster

Over the past six seasons, all 59 Top 100 prospects who were eligible got roster spots:

There were far more Minor League players eligible, of course, with over 2,100 players on the Rule 5 eligible list this year; 168 were on organizational Top 30 lists. Last year, there were 174 ranked on Top 30s and 149 in 2019. The percentage of Top 30 prospects protected over the past six years:

2020: 86 of 174 (49.4 percent)
2019: 87 of 149 (58.3 percent)
2018: 71 of 149 (47.6 percent)
2017: 85 of 153 (55.6 percent)
2016: 84 of 144 (58.0 percent)
2015: 75 of 156 (48.0 percent)

Below is a list of all 30 teams' Top 30 prospects who needed to be protected to avoid being exposed to the Rule 5 Draft.

Cleveland Guardians
+ Tyler Freeman, IF (No. 1, MLB No. 59)
+ George Valera, OF (No. 2, MLB No. 63)
+ Brayan Rocchio, IF (No. 7)
+ Jose Tena, IF (No. 12)
+ Bryan Lavastida, C (No. 13)
+ Richard Palacios, 2B (No. 14)

Aaron Bracho, IF (No. 15)
+ Cody Morris, RHP
+ Jhonkensy Noel, IF (No. 25)
+ Tobias Myers, RHP (No. 27)

Kansas City Royals
+ Nick Pratto, 1B (No. 2, MLB No. 65)
+ MJ Melendez, C (No. 4, MLB No. 67)
+ Jonathan Bowlan, RHP (No. 10)

Austin Cox, LHP (No. 12)
Zach Haake, RHP (No. 29)

Non-Top 30 prospects added:
Collin Snider, RHP
Nathan Webb, RHP
Maikel Garcia, INF
More »

New York Mets
+ Ronny Mauricio, SS (No. 3, MLB No. 53)
+ Mark Vientos, 3B (No. 6)
Carlos Cortes, 2B (No. 10)
+ Jose Butto, RHP (No. 13)
Josh Walker, LHP (No. 16)
Hayden Senger, C (No. 21)
Carlos Rincon, OF (No. 24)
Shervyen Newton, SS (No. 26)
Michel Otanez, RHP (No. 29)
Ryley Gilliam, RHP (No. 30)

Pittsburgh Pirates
+ Liover Peguero, SS (No. 5, MLB No. 85)
Tahnaj Thomas, RHP (No. 13)
+ Travis Swaggerty, OF (No. 16)
Mason Martin, OF (No. 17)
Cal Mitchell, OF (No. 18)
Omar Cruz, LHP (No. 26)
+ Canaan Smith-Njigba, OF (No. 27)
Cody Bolton, RHP (No. 28)
+ Jack Suwinski, OF (No. 29)
Eddy Yean, RHP (No. 30)

Toronto Blue Jays
Miguel Hiraldo, IF (No. 6)
+ Leo Jimenez, IF (No. 11)
Samad Taylor, IF (No. 17)
Adrian Hernandez, RHP (No. 23)
Eric Pardinho, RHP (No. 24)
Joey Murray, RHP (No. 25)
+ Zach Logue, LHP (No. 27)
+ Bowden Francis, RHP (No. 28)

Curtis Taylor, RHP (No. 29)

Non-Top 30 prospect added:
Hagen Danner, RHP

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