Baltimore Orioles Lose Two Minor Leaguers In Rule 5 Draft
The Baltimore Orioles saw two minor league pitchers leave the organization on Thursday through the AAA phase of the Rule 5 Draft.
In Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft, the Baltimore Orioles added a total of four players to the organization. The hope is that the front office has found a gem or two among those four selections. On the flip-side, the Orioles had two of their players selected in the AAA phase of the draft.
Fortunately, the Orioles did not lose any of their unprotected top-30 prospects in the draft. Earlier this week, Birds Watcher’s Nick Stevens gave his thoughts on why this was a slim possibility.
The players lost by the organization were RHP Ruben Garcia to the Detroit Tigers and RHP Jhon Peluffo to the Cleveland Indians.
Garcia, who most recently pitched in Delmarva (A-Low), was evidently so well thought of that the Tigers selected him with the first pick in the AAA portion of the draft. Originally drafted in the 14th round of the 2016 Draft, Garcia spent most of his time pitching in Aberdeen (A-Short) before reaching Delmarva this past season.
Garcia’s three seasons with the Ironbirds resulted in a 1-2 record with one save over 25 appearances. He struck out 32, walked 26 and his ERA over 33.0 innings pitched was 6.27. It must be noted that Garcia’s time in Aberdeen was limited by an 11-month stay from 2018 through 2019 on the restricted list.
The Tigers are getting a pitcher who most recently produced a 1-3 record with 8 saves in 10 opportunities over 18 appearances for the Shorebirds in the South Atlantic League. Garcia struck out 42, walked 10 and held Sally League hitters to a .198 batting average.
Obviously, the Tigers see something in the 23-year-old Garcia or they would not have selected him first. The key will be for him to advance beyond the A level.
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Peluffo is a hard-throwing right-hander who was signed in 2014 as an International free-agent. He made it as far as Frederick (A-Adv.) for three appearances (10.1 innings) in 2019 but spent the bulk of 2019 pitching out of the Delmarva bullpen. Used mainly as a starter during his career in the Baltimore organization, Peluffo made the move to the bullpen this past season.
He made 30 appearances in 2019 for the Shorebirds and produced a 1-4 record with five saves (seven save opportunities), a 2.78 ERA, 55 strikeouts and 27 walks over 58.1 innings pitched. Peluffo limited Sally League batters to a .179 batting average and surrendered just two home runs among the 37 hits he allowed during the season.
Peluffo, who at 22 years of age, is listed at 6’3″ and 140 lbs., should improve as his frame fills out. He is a strike-thrower who tossed 60% of his pitches in Delmarva for strikes and may be one that the Orioles are sorry got away. It does look like Cleveland got possibly a diamond in the rough in him; time will tell.
Keep in mind that both of these players were selected in the AAA phase of the draft so their loss may or may not be noticed and could be offset by the Orioles’ addition of their two selections in the draft.
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