The Royals and the Rule 5 Draft


It was been a relatively quiet Winter Meetings this year, especially for the Kansas City Royals. There were a few rumors regarding them, like trading top prospect Wil Myers, but GM Dayton Moore has yet to pull the trigger.

That lack of making a move continued into Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft, which officially ends the Winter Meetings. They had the eighth selection in the MLB phase and passed. It sort of was expected considering they have a full 40-man roster. It was expected that lefty Jon Keck, who pitched in the Arizona Fall League, would be plucked, but he wasn’t.

The Royals then passed in both the Triple-A and Double-A phase. So no new players being brought into the system. However, the Royals did lose five players in the Triple-A phase. Three of those players were taken in a row.

Third baseman Diego Goris was selected by the San Diego Padres. This past season, he finished the season with rookie level Idaho Falls, where he hit .286 with ten homeruns and 32 RBIs. Next came Ethan Hollingsworth, who was plucked by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Royals acquired him last September from Oakland for Kila Ka’aihue. Hollingsworth split the 2012 season between Triple-A Omaha and Double-A NW Arkansas. Here are his combined numbers: 5-11 with a 4.82 ERA in 34 games (eight starts). He allowed 125 hits in 102.2 innings and walked 30 compared to 66 strikeouts. The Philadelphia Phillies selected lefty Brendan Lafferty next. Coming out of the Naturals bullpen, he had a 4.11 ERA in 43 games (60.1 innings). He struck out 71 but walked 40.

The final two players taken were taken late and are both pitching in winter ball. Lefty Ryan Dennick went to the Cincinnati Reds. He spent the majority of the 2012 season with NW Arkansas (he started the year with High-A Wilmington). There, he was 6-5 in 30 games (three starts) with a 4.62 ERA. He walked 30 and struck out 72. Dennick has been starting for Mayaguez in the Puerto Rican League. There, he is 2-0 with a 2.82 ERA. In 22.1 innings, he has allowed 24 hits, walked five, and struck out 14. The final player plucked from the Royals organization was right-hander Federico Castaneda, who was selected by the Padres. He pitched in Mexico this past season and struggled a bit (5.71 ERA in 51 games), though he struck out 52 compared to 15 walks. He is currently pitching in winter ball in Mexico and has a 3.68 ERA in 31 games.

Really, the Royals did not lose an impactful player.

For more on the Draft, check out Baseball America’s coverage or’s coverage.