Now that the MLB offseason is officially here, orders of business are being attended to as we approach next month's Winter Meetings.
One of the things that will happen over those few days in December when front office all get together in one place is the Rule 5 Draft. That's where prospects who were signed at 18 years or younger and haven't been added to their team's 40-man roster will be eligible to be selected by other teams.
Not every prospect is eligible, just players who have reached the end of their five year window to be added to the 40-man roster. That means players who signed back in 2018 need to get protected by their club or risk being lost.
The Minnesota Twins had more than a few of those guys, and a handful who also happen to be top prospects in the farm system. Tuesday was the deadline to add players to the 40-man roster, and the Twins managed to get protections on a few of their top guys.
Who did Minnesota Twins protect from Rule 5 Draft this year?
It sounds like a total of four prospects were added to the 40-man roster and protected by the Twins this year.
- Austin Martin
- Emmanuel Rodriguez
- Jair Camargo
- Yunior Severino
Two of those guys were no-brainer protections, and Austin Martin's 40-man roster spot felt like an inevitability. Martin came over in the Jose Berrios trade back in 2021 and there's a pretty good chance he ends up on the Opening Day roster as the next piece of the Twins ongoing youth movement.
We might not see E-Rod until next season, but he's not far behind on the list of prospects fans should be very excited about. His emergence being on the horizon is one reason the Twins might be able to trade Max Kepler this offseason and not feel too much of a hit.
Severino is a potential stud slugger for the Twins, as he made a name for himself at St. Paul by absolutely mashing the ball on a regular basis.
One name that wasn't mentioned as being protected was former first round pick Aaron Sabato. He was the Twins top pick during the COVID draft, a class for which the jury is still very much out on. The lack of ability to scout prospects that year tainted how we've all looked back on it, but Sabato flourished in the minors last year and looked to finally start hitting a stride in his development.
There's no guarantee that the Twins will lose him, but if he isn't added to the 40-man roster he'll be available to get selected by any of the other 29 teams in the league.