Another look at the 2013 Rule 5 draft

First things first: excellent work by Snake Diggity for putting together this excellent piece on Rule-5 eligible players in the Astros farm system from before the season. I'm going to use his list, along with some personal judgment, to try and piece together our trade strategy this deadline, and what our 25-man roster might look like next season.

The current (as of July 10, 2013) 40-man roster (as per

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Ambriz Castro
Bedard Corporan
Blackley Altuve
Cisnero Cedeno
Clemens Dominguez
Cosart Elmore
Cruz Gonzalez
Ely Laird
Fields Pena
Gonzalez Villar
Harrell Wallace
Keuchel Barnes
Lo Carter
Lyles Crowe
Norris Grossman
Oberholtzer Krauss
Owens Martinez
Peacock Maxwell
Veras Paredes

*A special note to be made about Alex White. He's on the 60-day DL, and I imagine he'll stay that for until after the Rule 5 draft, therefore he's protected and not part of this conversation--yet.

And now, a list of potential players to be added to this list (thank you again, Snake Diggity for the comprehensive list):

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Asher Wojciechowski Carlos Perez
Tanner Bushue Rene Garcia
Bobby Doran Max Stassi
Matt Heiedenreich Jobduan Morales
David Martinez Ryan McCurdy
Jake Buchanan Jon Singleton
Andrew Robinson Bobby Borchering
Carlos Quevedo Erik Castro
Josh Zeid Telvin Nash
Jason Stoffel Rafael Valenzuela
Ruben Alaniz Jose Martinez
Jorge DeLeon Enrique Hernandez
Cameron Lamb Brandon Wikoff
Wes Musick Andy Simunic
Alex Sogard Jio Mier
Sergio Escalona Jon Meyer
Eric Berger Domingo Santana
Colton Cain Michael Burgess
Kevin Chapman Austin Wates
Patrick Urckfitz
Luis Cruz
Tom Shirley

Now is where the fun begins. This is the point where projection, speculation, and a bit of strategy come in to play. In order to maximize the active roster, the 40-man roster, and lessen the impact of potential loss, these are the moves that I see happening. What I have done is put a line through any names that, in my eyes, will not be on the 40-man roster starting next season.

I eliminated 13 players from the current 40-man roster. I think at some point Norris, Veras, Bedard, and Pena will be traded for assets before the trading deadline. I think Wright is a possible trade candidate, but I find it more likely he's traded during the offseason. The hot topic cut is Brandon Barnes. I realize there are some who passionately defend what he brings to this team, but the bottom line is: Barnes' ceiling is a defensive replacement outfielder. The fact that he starts on a regular basis for the Astros is more a symbol of how bad they are versus how good he is. Because of this, I think he's expendable for the sake of protecting a player who has a chance at being more than just a defensive replacement.

With 13 players exiting the 40-man, that leaves a total of 14 roster slots. Here is my shot at figuring out who goes where, and what their role will be in 2014:

    1. Asher Wojciechowski- Rotation candidate
    2. Jake Buchanan- Long Relief Candidate
    3. Jason Stoffel- replaces Veras after trade
    4. Kevin Chapman- replaces Wright on 40-man, stays in AAA
    5. Jonathan Singleton- Duh.
    6. Domingo Santana- Starts in AAA, possible late-season call up
    7. Jio Mier- starts season in AAA
    8. Two of the three of: Carlos Perez/Max Stassi/Rene Garcia.... my money is on Stassi being the odd-man out for the time being, but I predict a future trade of catcher prospect for lottery ticket low level pitching
    9. Austin Wates- becomes the leading candidate for late-game defensive replacement OF
    10. Jon Meyer- starts season in AAA
    11. Ruben Alaniz- starts season in AAA, could possibly be our next Jose Cisnero.

    That's a total of 12 additions to the 40-man roster. What that leaves room for (if everything goes accordingly) is a spot for George Springer, and any other surprising move that could possibly be made due to a trade/signing/etc. Just a thought going towards the trade deadline. Anyone you'd like to see protected/not protected after a half-season under players' belts?

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