The Texas Rangers have selected righthanded pitcher Brett de Geus from the Los Angeles Dodgers with second pick of the 2020 Rule 5 Draft. de Geus is added to the 40 man roster of the Rangers, which is now at 39.
de Geus, who turns 23 last month, was a 33rd round draft pick of the Dodgers out of Cabrillo Junior College in California in 2017. de Geus didn’t make his professional debut until 2018, when he put up a 7.26 ERA in 62 IP in 15 games (mostly as a starter) in the Pioneer League. de Geus shifted to the bullpen in 2019, and put up a 1.75 ERA in 61.2 IP between the low-A Midwest League and high-A California League, with 72 Ks against 13 walks, and no home runs allowed. He also had 8 scoreless appearances in the Arizona Fall League in 2019, striking out 11 of the 31 batters he faced while walking 2 and allowing 2 hits.
de Geus, per Baseball America, saw his velocity drop from the mid-90s in 2019 to the low-90s in 2020, and was a the Alternate Training Site in 2020 but did not make the major league roster at any point, and was not added to the 40 man roster this past offseason.
Under the rules of the Rule 5 Draft, de Geus cannot be optioned to the minors before the end of the 2021 season without being run through waivers first. If he clears waivers, he then must be offered back to the Dodgers for half of the $100,000 Rule 5 fee the Rangers paid to draft him. de Geus will thus presumably be in the mix for an Opening Day spot in the bullpen.
The Rangers did not lose anyone in the major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft.
If you are wondering why the Rangers are willing to devote a 40 man roster spot to de Geus, and not to, say, Joe Barlow or Alex Speas, who are also righthanded relief prospects, and who were also exposed to the Rule 5 Draft by virtue of not being added to the 40 man roster, the short answer is that the Rangers could not add de Geus to their system without him being on the 40 man roster, while Speas and others were, the Rangers though, most likely to stay in the system without being added.
In the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, the Rangers drafted righthanded pitcher Matt Wivinis from the New York Yankees, catcher Yohel Pozo from the San Diego Padres, and pitcher Justin Marsden from the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rangers have lost first baseman Tyreque Reed to the Boston Red Sox, infielder Brendon Davis to the Anaheim Angels, righthanded pitcher Dylan Bice to the Miami Marlins, and righthanded pitcher Wes Robertson to the Cincinnati Reds. Players selected in the minor league portion of the draft have no roster requirements, and so players lost in the minor league portion of the draft are lost for good (barring a future trade).
Minor league Rule 5 guys generally are organizational depth players, and aren’t folks you will expect to end up seeing on prospect lists in the future, though there are the occasional exceptions.
Wivinis, 27, is a righthanded pitcher who pitched for Kansas State and Eastern Illinois, and who was signed out of the Independent League as an undrafted free agent by the New York Yankees after he went undrafted in 2016. Wivinis is listed at just 6’, 170 lbs., and has worked as a reliever. He put up good numbers in the lower minors, but has struggled in his two stints at AA, putting up a 4.61 ERA in 27.1 IP between 2018 and 2019, though with 31 Ks against 10 walks against 114 batters faced. He also threw 12 scoreless innings in the AFL in 2018.
Pozo, 23, was originally signed by the Rangers, and spent 2018 and 2019 in A ball. Pozo signed with the San Diego Padres last month as a minor league free agent, but now is back with Texas.
Marsden, 23, was a 22nd round draft pick of the Rays out of high school in 2015 who signed for $147,500 as the #222 ranked player in the draft on the Baseball America list. He didn’t pitch in 2016 due to Tommy John surgery in May of that year, and barely pitched in 2015 and 2017. He has worked mostly as a reliever, and split 2018 between the Pioneer League and the Midwest League. He struggled in 2019, and obviously didn’t pitch in 2020.
Among the players the Rangers lost, Bice is the most notable name. The 23 year old turned some heads in 2019 in Hickory before being sidelined with arm issues.
Reed, 23, was an 8th round pick out of Itawamba Community College (where I assume they get knocked down, but then get up again) in 2017. He is a first baseman with big raw power, but was overmatched in high-A in 2019, and ended up getting sent down to low-A midway through the season.
Davis, 23, was an infielder when he came over as the third piece in the trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers in 2017. He mostly played the outfield in 2019 for AA Frisco, where he had a 569 OPS.
Robertson, 23, appears to have signed as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He has 54 innings of pro experience, mainly as a reliever in short season ball.