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Brewers Select Caleb Smith in Rule 5 Draft and trade him to Cubs, lose Miguel Diaz

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Stearns’ gamble with one of the club’s top pitching prospects didn't pay off.

MLB: General Managers Meetings Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This morning’s Rule 5 Draft marks the end of the 2016 Winter Meetings. Our local nine was slated to pick at #9 but moved up two spots thanks to a couple of clubs in front of them having full 40 man rosters. Milwaukee used their selection on 25 year old left-handed pitcher Caleb Smith from the New York Yankees.

Smith was a 14th round pick by the Yankees in 2013 and spent all of 2016 pitching for AA Trenton. In 27 appearances (7 starts) covering 63.2 innings, Smith posted a 3.96 ERA with a 70:20 K/BB ratio, a 1.351 WHIP and 0.6 HR/9. The Brewers have since traded him to the Cubs for a PTBNL or cash.

In the minor league phase of the draft, Milwaukee selected two players: 1B Art Charles from the Reds and RHP Matt Ramsey from the Marlins. Charles, 26, actually spent 2016 in the independent Can Am league and posted a .352/.461/.699 with 29 home runs in 96 games before signing a minor league deal with Cincinnati. Ramsey, 27, pitched in 22.1 innings between rookie ball, high-A, and AA in 2016 and posted a 1.99 ERA and 29:9 K/BB ratio.

Unfortunately the Brewers also lost a notable prospect in the draft, as RHP Miguel Diaz was selected first overall by the Twins and subsequently dealt to the Padres, who love Rule 5 picks. The 22 year old had been ranked as the club’s #21 prospect according to MLB Pipeline and posted 3.71 ERA and 91:29 K/BB ratio in 94.2 innings at low-A Wisconsin this past season. It’ll be a big jump from the Midwest League to the majors, but the rebuilding Padres rostered a similar Rule 5 pick last year in Luis Perdomo and should be able to figure out a way to hang on to Diaz.

In the minor league phase, the Brewers lost outfielder Elvis Rubio to the Tigers. The 22 year old former international signee posted a .560 OPS in 108 games for high-A Brevard County in 2016.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference