Which prospects should the Dodgers protect from the Rule 5 draft this winter?

Ron Holman / Visalia Times-Delta / USA TODAY NETWORK
The deadline to add players to the 40-man roster is November 15 at 6 p.m. ET.

The Rule 5 draft is a yearly event in which teams can steal prospects from other organizations. Minor league players become eligible for the Rule 5 draft after four or five years in their organization, depending on age factors. Clubs must add all Rule 5 eligible players to their 40-man roster to protect them from being drafted by other teams.

The Obvious Choices

C Diego Cartaya

The Dodgers won’t let their top prospect Cartaya anywhere near the Rule 5 draft. He has one of the brightest futures in baseball and Los Angeles will make sure he remains in the organization going into 2023.

2B Michael Busch

Busch is big league ready, and the Dodgers will make sure his debut comes in Los Angeles by protecting him this winter. He homered a career-high 32 times in 2022 between Double-A and Triple-A.

OF Andy Pages

The power hitting unit Pages is another lock to be protected. After a solid first Double-A year and a very successful Arizona Fall League, Pages is one of the most valuable prospects in the organization.

The Middle Ground

OF Jose Ramos

Ramos is extremely talented. He hit 25 homers in his 21-year-old season, and has added three more long balls so far in the Arizona Fall League. He’s a solid defender with a cannon of an arm, and if the Dodgers feel any possibility that another organization could take Ramos in the Rule 5 draft, I would expect him to be protected.

RHP Carlos Duran

The 6’7” power righty Duran has a lot of potential on the mound. His slider is one of the best in the minors, and the Dodgers might want to protect him with the hope he can become an impact arm within the next few years.

OF Ryan Ward

Ryan Ward just hits. He’s gone deep 55 times over the past two seasons, and the only question for adding him to the 40-man roster is his limited defensive value. The Dodgers will have to weigh his bat against his glove and decide if he’s worth a spot.

OF Jonny DeLuca

The former 25th round pick DeLuca has overachieved so far in his pro career. He got even better after being promoted to Double-A in 2022, where he posted a .965 OPS in 25 games. DeLuca is also speedy, which could increase his chances of being protected from the Rule 5 draft.

RHP Nick Robertson

A reliever who reached Triple-A last year, Robertson has at least a slight chance of being protected. He struck out 11.69 batters per nine last season and could be a cheap bullpen innings eater if the Dodgers feel they need that role filled.

The Less Likely Adds

RHP Hyun-il Choi

Choi was the Dodgers’ 2021 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, but he pitched just four innings in the 2022 season due to injury. He has posted a 6.35 ERA in eight Arizona Fall League games to this point. Never having played above High-A, the Dodgers might have to gamble that no other organizations will select Choi in the Rule 5 draft.

RHP Jerming Rosario

Rosario is still just 20 and hasn’t above Single-A, making his chances of being taken pretty slim, not to mention that his ERA was nearly seven with Rancho Cucamonga last year. His command has become an issue since reaching full season ball, walking nearly 15% of batters he faced in 2022.

LHP Alec Gamboa

Being a southpaw increases Gamboa’s value, but his ERA was nearly six with Tulsa last year. If another organization wants to take a chance on the 25-year-old, the Dodgers probably won’t stand in the way.

IF Brandon Lewis

Brandon Lewis has slugged 54 homers over the past two seasons. However, he hit just .209 in 2022 and has limited defensive value that makes him an unlikely add to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster.

IF Kody Hoese

After being picked in the first round in 2019, Hoese hasn’t been able to figure it out at the plate. He has a .630 career OPS in the minor leagues and has never played above Double-A despite being 25 years old. Hoese would very likely make it through the Rule 5 draft if the Dodgers don’t protect him.

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