The Rule 5 draft wrapped up today and it was a good day for the White Sox. They didn’t lose either Spencer Adams or Jordan Stephens which were the Sox two biggest chips left off the 40 man roster. The only player from their organization that was lost was Cristofer Melendez, he went to the Padres in the minor league portion of the draft. They added two players, one on the major league level, and was subsequently traded, and in the minor league phase. The Minor League phase of the Rule 5 Draft, comes with a cost of $24,000 for a Triple-A pick (anyone not protected on a big league or Triple-A roster are eligible). Players selected in this portion of the Rule 5 Draft aren’t subject to any roster restrictions with their new organizations.
Melendez was lost to the Padres, he is right handed pitcher that has never pitched in the states. He is a right handed pitcher who just turned 21, last week. He improved last season in the Dominican Summer League his hits per nine were cut in half, as were his walks per nine. His strikeouts per nine rose from 7.9 to 11.9. Melendez is best suited for a bullpen role.
The White Sox added Jordan George in the minor league rule 5 draft. Jordan is a first baseman from the Pirates system, who capped out at double A last season, after splitting the 2017 season between high and double A. He slashed .263/.355/.342 last season in 110 games. His power numbers are nothing eye popping hitting 5 home runs, having only a .079 isolated slugging, and a .327 weighted on base average. He will have a hard time progressing to the upper part of the system, as it is already populated by incumbents Gavin Sheets, Casey Gillespie, and Matt Rose.
The White Sox had the third pick in the major league rule 5 draft, they selected a pitcher from the Blue Jays, Jordan Romero. He missed all of 2015 with Tommy John surgery, but bounced back nice in 2016. He reached the double A level in 2018 making 25 starts. IN those 25 starts he complied a 4.13 ERA, had a 2.7 walks per nine rate and had 8.2 strikeouts per nine. Eric Longenhagen says he’s a strike-throwing righty with a fastball in the 91-93 range and he has an average slider and changeup, both of which reside in the 80-84 range. The White Sox won’t have to worry about making sure Jordan is on the 25 man roster all year as they traded him to the Rangers before the end of the draft for cash considerations. He likely profiles as a fifth starter or rotation depth, but the Rangers current pitching situation is thin and Romano may just end up sticking around to eat innings with the hope that he sticks as a backend starter or swingman when they’re competitive once again.
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