Winter Meetings: Orioles Select Two In Rule 5 Draft

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The Baltimore Orioles have unofficially finished their working at the MLB Winter Meetings by drafting two players in the Rule 5 Draft.

Baltimore started the draft off by selecting outfielder/second baseman Aneury Tavarez from the Boston Red Sox organization with the 12th pick:

Tavarez, 24, had an extremely good 2016, with a slash line of .330/.374/.495, driving in 47 runs and stealing 20 bases. He played 106 games in AA Portland and 5 games in AAA Pawtucket.

Here’s some footage of Tavarez playing for Portland:

Tavarez will probably be seen as the fourth outfielder for the Orioles, with Joey Rickard possibly being sent down to AAA Norfolk. Rickard was the Orioles selection in the 2015 Rule 5 Draft and because he has enough service time in the Major League, he can be sent down to the minors. The Orioles will most likely bring in a full-time veteran starter who can play right field.

If this isn’t the case, Rickard will be the starter in right field. Rickard batted .268/.319/.377, driving in 19 runs, hitting 5 homers, over 282 plate appearances. He missed the second half of the 2016 season with a thumb ligament injury. Depending on what happens in free agency, Rickard being a full-time starter could be a blessing in disguise. The 25-year old outfielder was pretty solid and it probably wouldn’t be the worst thing for him to start.

As for the Orioles second selection, they picked up outfielder Anthony Santander from the Cleveland Indians organization:

Santander, 22, has never played above high-A ball, putting his chances of making the Orioles in jeopardy. Despite this, he had a really good 2016 season .290/.368/.494, driving in 95 runs and hitting 20 homers at high-A Lynchburg. According to Camden Depot, however, Santander might not be with the team for very long:

The Orioles already have a full-time first baseman in Chris Davis, but Santander could be moved pretty soon once again:

The injury may be too much to overcome though:

So it wouldn’t come as any surprise to not see Santander on the Major League club this season. His inexperience, along with injury may completely hurt his chances to be a player that the O’s could use.

About Kyle Andrews 90 Articles
Born in Norfolk, VA and raised Baltimore, MD. Currently a college student at the University of Baltimore and formerly the sports editor of McDaniel College. Also a former intern of PressBox Online in Baltimore.

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