Oakland A’s hoping for more Rule V Draft success
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s have found pieces for their roster in the Rule V Draft in recent years. They are holding that they have struck gold once again.
The days of the Rule V Draft being a place where stars can be acquired are likely over. Teams have been far better about protecting their own players, or trading pieces that may not fit on the 40 man roster. But that does not mean that team cannot find interesting pieces going forward.
That has been the case for the Oakland A’s over the past few years. The A’s brought in utility infielder Vimael Machin via the Rule V Draft in 2019. Although Machin may not have hit well, with a .206/.296/.238 batting line in 71 plate appearances, he appeared at all four infield positions and made plenty of contact. There is reason to hope that he can become a piece of the A’s future.
Mark Canha was able to become just that. Originally drafted by the Rockies in the 2014 Rule V Draft, he was acquired in a trade for minor leaguer Austin House and cash considerations. He made an immediate impact as the A’s primary first baseman in 2015, then became a super utility man in subsequent years.
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Now Oakland is hoping for the same level of success with the pair of players they selected on Thursday. Ka’ai Tom is capable of playing all three outfield positions, giving him an advantage in an outfield that has several holes, both in the lineup and on the bench.
He has hit at every stop along the minor league ladder, producing a .270/.360/444 batting line with 103 doubles, 49 homers, and 58 steals in his 1989 plate appearances. Tom also shows solid plate discipline and an ability to make contact, with 223 walks and 387 strikeouts.
Dany Jimenez also has the potential to make an impact on the A’s in 2021. He actually made his major league debut in 2020, allowing a run on a hit and three walks in his 1.1 innings, striking out one.
Although he had command issues in the majors, that had not been the case at the minor league level. He had posted a 3.43 ERA and a 1.127 WHiP in his 197 innings, striking out 257 batters with 71 walks. Possessing a high octane fastball and a solid breaking pitch that appears to be more of a slurve, Jimenez has the potential to be a key piece in the A’s bullpen for years to come.
The days of finding stars in the Rule V Draft are essentially over. However, the Oakland A’s may have found two more solid pieces for their future.