Jim Callis' take on the Rule 5 draft

When I interviewed Baseball America's Jim Callis here yesterday, we also talked about tomorrow's Rule 5 draft.

In last year's Rule 5 draft, the Giants took O's minor league pitcher Steve Johnson, but he eventually was sent back to the Orioles during spring training.

Callis feels reliever Wynn Pelzer, the pitcher acquired by the O's in the Miguel Tejada trade with San Diego, is the most likely O's player to be taken by another club.

"You never know who is definitely going to go," Callis said. "Teams do seem to like their prospects better than other teams like them. Not always true in the Rule 5 draft, because they aren't protected," Callis said.
"I think teams fear losing guys and when it comes down to it, there are a dozen or 15 guys taken overall. I think the guy that is the biggest threat to go is Wynn Pelzer.

"With the Rule 5, it's not just talent, it's whether you can keep the guy. It's tough to keep a position player. Ryan Adams made our top 10 prospects' list, but he's rough defensively and hasn't played above Double-A. I can't see teams taking Ryan Adams, saying you are our second baseman and we'll give you 300 at-bats. I think that's more of a calculated gamble.

"Pelzer, it's different. He's a pitcher with a live arm, you could very easily put him in a big league bullpen and even if he's not equipped to succeed in the Majors at this point, you could give him 60 innings. He could be the 11th guy on your staff and he's not going to blow games. Because he is a relief pitcher in Double-A last year, he's not a starter that was in low A who needs innings and time. He's got a live enough arm and he's not going to be embarrass himself."

Could O's pitching prospect Pedro Beato be someone that could go?

"He could, he was highly regarded coming out of (junior college). I don't understand why more bad teams don't load up on two or three guys. If you hit on one, just send the other two back, but it doesn't work that way," Callis added.

Here is a long shot player that could go: righty pitcher Raul Rivero, who went 3-1, 3.27 this year at Frederick and 1-2, 2.66 at Bowie.

Rivero, a hard-throwing, 24-year-old, was 0-2, 10.57 in 7 2/3 innings with Lara in the Venezuelan winter league, but recently left the league with an injury. He has now been shut down until January due to medial right elbow soreness.

An O's official recently informed me about Rivero leaving winter ball and the club is probably not unhappy that I reported it. An injury issue could keep a club from taking a player. But keep in mind I was telling other teams something they probably already knew as they all scout that league.


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