The 2020 Winter Meetings have officially concluded and making that official was the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.
Despite COVID-19, the annual December event that allows MLB teams a chance to fill out their 40-man roster went on anyway. For the Miami Marlins, they inched closer to filling out their 40-man roster which sat at 38 entering the day. The Marlins added right-hander Paul Campbell to the major league roster. They also added minor leaguers in left-hander Jake Fishman, right-hander Dylan Bice, and infielder Marcus Chiu. Miami did go relatively unharmed through the process, losing out on just one in right-handed pitcher Brett Graves.
The Cream of the Rule 5 Crop
For Miami, the big gain from the day included righty Campbell. The Miami Marlins picked him up in the MLB phase with the 13th pick in the draft. Formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays, Campbell gives the Marlins a little bullpen helped put them at 39 spots filled within the 40-man list.
Campbell was rated as Tampa Bay’s 24th top prospect according to MLB.com. He appears to have what the Marlins are looking for in a pitcher with immediate impact. The 25-year old has experience both out of the pen and as a starter. With a fastball velocity sitting anywhere from 92-95 mph, the 21st round selection hasn’t sported an ERA over 3.67 in any of his three seasons. All three of his seasons since drafted in 2017 have been at the minor league level. This means that should he make it to opening day on Miami’s roster, it would be the first of his career. For his career, Campbell has sported a 3.12 ERA with 188 strikeouts while opponents hitting just .231 against him.
A Bigger Draw
Perhaps the biggest draw to Campbell is his spin rate and the potential that brings. According to the 2020 FanGraphs Rays top prospect list, Campbell’s 2700+ RPM spin rate on his fastball would have been the highest of any ranked prospect had his fastball velocity been better. That, in turn, has allowed him to keep the ball in the yard for the most part (just 14 home runs allowed). His fastball has a hard bite to righties and his curveball has a tight break.
As a Rule 5 Draft pick, Campbell has to be retained on the Marlins 26-man roster in 2021. That or be offered back to Tampa Bay. The cost to acquire a Rule 5 Draft pick in the MLB phase is $100,000. On the other hand, returning a pick costs just $50,000.
Minor League Pickups
In total, Miami made three selections in the Triple-A phase with Fishman, Bice, and Chiu. Fishman, a 30th round pick by Toronto Blue Jays in 2016, has 113 minor league games under his belt. Combined Fishman has 183 strikeouts through 166 and two-thirds innings pitched. Bice comes in from the Texas Rangers while Chiu was previously with the Los Angeles Dodgers minor league organization.
Rule 5 History
While there seem to be more perfect games thrown than Rule 5 draft stars, Miami has had some gems over the years. Notable Rule 5 draft selectees for the Marlins have included Dan Uggla, Justin Bour, and even Johan Santana. That’s right after the Houston Astros left Santana off of their protected roster in 1999, the Marlins picked the future star with the second pick. The Marlins quickly turned around and traded Santana to the Minnesota Twins for another minor leaguer in Jared Camp and $50,000. Camp failed to break through to the major league level while Santana went on to earn a pair of Cy-Young Awards. Interestingly enough, the Miami Marlins traded for Zach Pop after he was drafted in the Rule 5 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Despite missing out on a Cy-Young talent, the Marlins have had recent success with the Rule 5 draft. That has included Elieser Hernandez who now rests within the Miami rotation.
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