Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders pitcher Mitch Spence. (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)
We analyze every MLB Rule 5 pick, with an emphasis on why they were picked and what their chances of sticking on a roster are as we perceive it. You can find pick-by-pick results from both the major and minor league phases of the draft here.
1. Oakland A’s — Mitch Spence, RHP, Yankees
A 10th-round pick out of South Carolina, Spence made 29 starts for Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre producing a 4.47 ERA, with 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.9 walks per nine. He mixes a low-90s four-seam fastball with a low-to-mid-80s slider that misses bats in and out of the zone. It’s a high-quality slider that made him one of the most highly coveted players in the lead-up to the Rule 5 draft.
Chances To Stick: Good.
2. Kansas City Royals — Matt Sauer, RHP, Yankees
Sauer ranked as high as 10th in the Yankees’ system at one point. While he’s not nearly as prominent a prospect at this point, there are still reasons to be intrigued. Sauer’s fastball/slider combination is effective as a starter and could play up further if he’s moved to the bullpen. He was an effective starter at Double-A Somerset last year, giving him a profile of a swingman who could help the Royals in the bullpen for multiple innings with an ability to spot start.
Chances To Stick: Good.
3. Colorado Rockies — Anthony Molina, RHP, Rays
Signed out of Venezuela in 2018, Molina was mainly a reliever until late in the 2022 season. As a starter, he’s shown he is a consistent, strike-throwing who logged Triple-A time in 2023. Molina’s mid-90s fastball is actually quite hittable, but his mid-80s slider has potential, especially if he could throw it more often in a relief role. Molina doesn’t strike out a lot of batters, and Triple-A hitters hit .312/.366/.432 against him, which is a cautionary tale for a pitcher headed to Coors Field.
Chances To Stick: Moderate.
4. Chicago White Sox — Shane Drohan, LHP, Red Sox
Few pitchers performed as well as Drohan over the opening months of the season. He allowed just five earned runs while striking out 36 batters compared to nine walks over his first 34 innings with Double-A Portland. The lefty flashed more power on his four-seam fastball and an improved breaking ball in a reintroduced cutter. The wheels came off when he was promoted to Triple-A Worcester. Drohan produced a 6.47 ERA and 5.78 xFIP over 89…