Orioles

Orioles select two pitchers in 2020 MLB Rule 5 Draft

Orioles

The Rule 5 Draft has typically been the busiest day of the Winter Meetings in recent years for Baltimore, and that didn't change in 2020.

Not every team even makes a single selection in the annual MLB Rule 5 Draft, but the Orioles aren't most teams. On Thursday, they selected a player for the 15th consecutive season - in fact, they took two.

With the number five pick in this year's draft, the O's went with Mac Sceroler, a pitcher from the Cincinnati Reds organization.

The representative on MLB's conference call making the selection for Baltimore included an interesting note to go along with the pick. Sceroler is the nephew of former Orioles pitcher, and current broadcaster, Ben McDonald. 

McDonald, of course, was the number one overall pick by the O's in the 1989 MLB Draft.

Sceroler is an interesting choice for the Orioles. Rule 5 Draft picks are essentially lottery tickets, so just about every player selected on Thursday is flawed in some way. In Sceroler's case, he's never pitched pitched above High-A ball for the Reds, so his leap to the Majors will be a big one.

Rule 5 picks are required - barring injury - to stay with the big league club for a full season, otherwise they must be offered back to their original clubs.

Sceroler had a 3.69 ERA and struck out 127 batters while walking 29 in 117.0 innings in 2019, but he was pitching as a 24-year old at a lower level. The O's are hoping he'll be able to come close to those numbers while facing a huge step up in competition.

 

Mike Elias told reporters beforehand that he wasn't sure if the team would make a second selection this year, but the Orioles did end up taking another pitcher.

The first thing that stands out about Wells is his size. The pitcher stands 6-foot-8 and is a hulking 265 pounds. Wells had Tommy John surgery in 2019, but in limited action he has seen his ERA go down at every level of the minors, a sign of his ability to adapt to stronger competition.

Wells, formerly of the Minnesota Twins organization, is 26 years old, but as mentioned above, the Orioles don't have to worry about him taking a spot on the big league roster if he's still rehabbing from his surgery. 

The Orioles selected two pitchers, but they also lost two - Zach Pop and Gray Fenter were both selected away from Baltimore by other organizations.