With the first pick in the Rule 5 Draft the Astros selected, Josh Fields a right handed pitcher from the Boston Red Sox organization.
Josh Fields is a 27 year old right handed reliever that spent time between AA and AAA last year in the Red Sox organization. He pitched a total of 58.1 innings between the two levels with a 2.01 ERA. Drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the first round (20th) of the 2008 MLB Rule IV draft, Fields was later traded to the Red Sox, along with Erik Bedard, as part of a three way trade that included the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Here's what TCB writer kyuss94 had to say about Josh Fields in his preview of the Rule 5 draft:
Josh Fields, RHP, Red Sox (Age 27)
Another member of the Red Sox organization and a former first round selection, it is surprising to me that Fields is yet to reach the major leagues. He has a compact build at 6'0" 185 and throws right handed and definitely profiles as a bullpen arm for the long term. He had a phenomenal season across AA and AAA last season, posting a 2.01 ERA and 12.03 K/9 vs. 2.78 BB/9 in 58.1 IP, resulting in a stellar 2.34 FIP. He has a definite flyball tendency (just a 39.6 GB% last year), but did a good job keeping the ball in the park, so despite his height I don't see that as a major concern. His stuff is very solid and perhaps even late-inning quality, as he sports a fastball that touches 95 MPH, and a curveball that has been described by some as a borderline plus pitch. Fields is a guy who could play a big role in bullpen if he acclimates himself to the majors well, and I think he's a player the Astros should take a long look at.
Personally I like the pick. Pitchers are much easier to keep on a 25 man roster than a position player this limits the return but it does provide the Astros with some depth after the Wilton Lopez trade.
Rule 5 draftees must remain on the Major League roster for the entire season this excludes any disabled list trips. If Fields fails to be effective he will be sent back through waivers and offered back to his original team.
27 year old right-hander, posted a 2.01 ERA with a 78/18 K/BB in 58 innings between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket this year. Formerly a hot prospect and former first-round pick in the Mariners system, Fields has very good stuff with an above-average fastball and breaking ball, but has usually struggled with his control. He threw strikes more efficiently this year and can be a strong relief asset if he keeps that up. CHANCE TO STICK: Very high.