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Harken Back to Ye Olde Rule V Draft

With a little time to kill here at work, I thought I'd point out what has become perhaps my very favorite statistic thus far: Huntsville reliever Steve Bray has walked zero in 30 innings this year. Zero is, well, quite low. He's also got 26 K's in those 30 innings and is sporting a nifty 1.80 ERA.

Where did he come from? Why, the Royals, who could definitely use the help at the moment. The Brewers picked up Bray in the minor league portion of last year's Rule V draft, the basic rules of which you can read here. The Brewers actually had a rather busy Rule V; though Bray was the only player they picked, they lost four of their own to other teams:

  • Augustin Septimo, a middle infielder, was chosen by the Marlins and is currently hitting .291/.353/.430 in A ball.
  • Reliever David Bradley was taken by the A's and is having a decent season in AA.
  • Former first round pick Ben Diggins, acquired by the Brewers in the Tyler Houston trade, was drafted by the Astros but was released before pitching at all this year. I assume he's injured.
  • Wisconsin native John Vanden Berg, a catcher, was picked by the Phillies and has since retired.
  • Bonus transaction! Justin Barnes has nothing to do with the Rule V draft, but was traded by the Brewers to the Royals in the offseason for Chris Demaria. I'm sure most of you would rather have even a pallet of Budweiser than Chris Demaria, but check out Barnes' numbers this year. 27 K's and only 3 walks in 21 innings in the hitter's paradise of High Desert, where his 4.29 ERA is positively gaudy. Look at the park factors; High Desert increases runs by 16% and decreases strikeouts by 9%.
Could we use any of those guys? Well, Septimo, despite showing good patience for a middle infielder, is old for A ball and will probably amount to nothing. Bradley is mediocre and almost 30. Diggins and Vanden Berg are out of the picture. Basically, it boils down to Steve Bray (plus Demaria) against Justin Barnes. They're both old for their leagues, but Bray is more advanced and will probably be promoted to AAA soon, especially if the Brewers continue to raid Nashville's staff, so my money's on him. Hopefully the Brewers won't regret the Demaria/Barnes trade in a couple years.

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