More on today's Rule 5 draftees



First, a quick look at the players joining the Brewers:

Eduardo Morlan, RHP, drafted #16 in the ML phase, from Tampa Bay
BR Page

Morlan is a former Twins prospect sent to the Rays in the Matt Garza trade. He spent 2008 pitching for the Montgomery Biscuits in the Southern League, and posted a 3.64 ERA in 47 relief innings (30 appearances). He's spending the winter pitching in Puerto Rico, where he's posting a 2.77 ERA in 13 innings. He'll only be 23 on Opening Day, so the Cuban righthander still has some time to put everything together, but he doesn't seem like a likely candidate to make the Brewer bullpen out of spring training.

Mark Holliman, RHP, drafted #17 in the AAA phase, from Chicago (NL)
BR Page

Holliman is 25 years old and recently finished his third season in the Cubs organization, split between Tennessee (AA) and Iowa (AAA). He's been primarily a starting pitcher, but did pitch 13 times out of the bullpen in 2008. He posted a 4.50 ERA in Tennessee in 2008, but a 1.74 WHIP in 86 innings. He's never really been shelled at any level, but he's also never shown anything that would suggest he's more than an inning eater in AAA. He'll hang out at the end of the rotation in Nashville next season with guys like Sam Narron, Lindsay Gulin and Chris Narveson...low ceiling inning eaters.

Jonathan Ash, 2B-3B, drafted #28 in the AAA phase, from Houston
BR Page

357 of Ash's 377 minor league games have been spent at second base, but he spent a little time at third in Corpus Christi (AA) last season. At first glance, he's doesn't look like much more than roster filler...he's 26, spent three straight seasons in AA, and only collected 552 ABs over the last two seasons. He can hit a little and is willing to take a walk, though, posting OBPs over .350 in each of the last three seasons.

Shane Justis, Utility, drafted #34 in the AAA phase, from Los Angeles (NL)
BR Page

Justis is primarily a second and third baseman, but played shortstop, first and both corner outfield spots as well in both 2007 and 2008 in the Dodgers organization. He'll turn 26 before opening day, but like Ash, he's willing to take a walk: his OBP has been .352 or higher in each of his four minor league seasons. He's never played above AA and he's never been a full-time player, but his versatility should get him some playing time in Nashville next season.

Juan Sanchez, IF, drafted #35 in the AAA phase, from Minnesota
BR Page

Sanchez is only 21 years old, has two years of experience and has never played above the Gulf Coast League (Rookie), so I'm not sure what the story is here. He played primarily shortstop in 2007, but primarily third in 2008, and has played some second. He posted a .314/.382/.467 line in the Gulf Coast League in 42 games in 2008. Players drafted in the minor league portion of the draft do not have to be offered back to their original teams under any circumstances, so I guess the Brewers saw an opportunity to steal a young middle infield prospect from the Twins.

Now, the players on their way out:

Lou Palmisano, C, drafted #5 in the ML phase, Orioles
BR Page

Palmisano is 26 years old and, at best, would have been the fourth best catcher in the Brewer minor leagues next season behind Angel Salome, Jonathan Lucroy and Brett Lawrie. He had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in March and spent most of the season in rehab, finishing up with a brief stint in Brevard County and spot duty in the AFL. Obviously there will always be a market for catchers, but the O's have Matt Wieters, possibly baseball's best catching prospect, knocking on the door of the big leagues, so it's hard to imagine them finding room on their roster to keep Cap'n Lou all season.

UPDATE: Palmisano has now been traded to the Astros.

Patrick Ryan, RHP, drafted #2 in AAA phase, Mariners
BR Page

The two first names thing is confusing: MLB.com has him listed on the draft page as Ryan Patrick. At any rate, he's a 25 year old reliever in his fourth year in the Brewer organization, having spent 2008 in Huntsville, where he posted a 2.52 ERA in 64.1 innings. The highest ERA he's ever posted at any level is 3.15 at Helena in 2005. I've never seen the guy pitch but just looking at his stat line he looks like a guy with a higher upside than Palmisano.

Guilder Rodriguez, SS, drafted #24 in AAA phase, Rangers
BR Page

Rodriguez is most likely AAA roster filler for the Rangers. He's spent at least part of each of the last four seasons in Huntsville, but has never posted an OPS over .691 or a slugging percentage over .309 in part-time duty. He's 25 years old, and will likely spend next season keeping a spot on the bench warm in Oklahoma.

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