The MLB Rule 5 Draft came and went on Thursday, and despite it being done virtually, A’s assistant general manager Dan Feinstein said it went rather seamlessly.
The A’s selected four players from the draft, two in the major league portion and two in the minor league portion. They brought in a solid outfield defender with a lot of power at the plate and three pitchers.
Here’s everything you need to know about the players the A’s organization acquired during the Rule 5 draft.
Ka’ai Tom, OF (major league)
Tom was selected from the Cleveland Indians' organization and upon glancing at his stats, Tom could be the best hitter in the draft this year.
Across Double-A and Triple-A teams in the Indians organization in 2019, he slashed .290/.380/.532 with 23 home runs and 139 hits.
“Ka’ai Tom is a strong, compact, left-handed hitter with some defensive versatility, he’s played both corners and center field and we’ll be comfortable really putting him anywhere in the outfield,” Feinstein said Thursday. “He’s a patient hitter who makes a lot of hard contact and hits line drives. He’s got enough pull power to hit a home run, but we’ll expect him to hit the ball hard to all fields.”
If my Twitter mentions from Indians fans were any indication of who Tom is, he’s going to do just fine should he remain in the A’s organization. His addition only brings even more left-handed depth to their outfield, which was an area general manager David Forst discussed Wednesday was an area of need.
This will create more options for manager Bob Melvin next season, and Tom adds can play more than one position as well.
He very well could become a huge asset to the team.
Dany Jiménez, RHP (major league)
Jiménez was selected from the Triple-A Buffalo roster from the Toronto Blue Jays organization in the second round. He also was selected by the Giants last year in the Rule 5 Draft before they returned him to Toronto.
Jiménez has an advantage having played with the Giants in spring training and pitching in two regular-season games this past season.
“In Dany’s case, it was just about adding a really good arm with a plus-fastball to the group who’s going to come in and compete for jobs in the spring,” Feinstein said. “We liked what we saw at Double-A in 2019, we were able to see him in the instructional league this year. He’s got a power fastball up to 98, he’s got a slider with some depth and finish and we think there’s a couple things we can tweak mechanically to help him really take advantage of the stuff he has.”
In two games last season with the Giants, Jiménez had a 6.75 ERA with one strikeout in eight batters he faced.
Zach Jackson, RHP (minor league)
Right-handed pitcher Zach Jackson also was chosen from the Toronto organization in the first round of the Triple-A phase.
The 25-year-old was drafted by the Blue Jays in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft and spent his entire career within the organization.
In 46 games in relief with Triple-A Buffalo, he compiled a 3.97 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 68 innings in 2019.
He was not part of the Blue Jays’ 60-man player pool in 2020, but could create some bullpen depth for the A’s if needed down the road.
Brett Graves RHP (minor league)
Brett Graves was selected in the second round of the Triple-A phase from the Miami Marlins, and he’s familiar with the A’s organization having been drafted by the team in the third round of the 2014 draft. It’s a sense of homecoming for him.
“We’re happy to welcome him back into the fold, he’s gained some valuable experience the last few years with Miami and really the stuff and profile are similar to when they selected him a few years ago. We’re going to be able to trust him in whatever role we put him in.”
The A’s also left the Rule 5 Draft without having any players selected by other teams in the major league portion. Right-handed pitcher Seth Martinez was chosen by the Houston Astros in the Triple-A phase.