Concluding last week’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida, was the annual Rule 5 Draft. Although you probably have a general idea of what the Rule 5 Draft is and how it works, a quick refresher is always helpful:
The draft is divided in to a Minor League portion and a Major League portion. The Cardinals did not lose or draft any player in the Major League portion, but the club was a bit more active in the Minor League section.
St. Louis lost Double-A infielder Jacob Wilson to the Washington Nationals. Today, we’ll focus on the two outfielders the team added in the draft: Angel Moreno and Jean Selmo.
Moreno is a 21-year-old, right-handed-hitting outfielder from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Moreno had been a member of the Tampa Bay Rays organization since 2013, advancing from Rookie ball to High-A by the 2017 season.
Between 2016 and 2017, Moreno lowered his strikeout rate, increased his walk rate, and saw his on-base percentage rise over 20 points. On the whole, however, it wasn’t an overly flattering campaign at the plate for Moreno, slashing .229/.290/.288 with 12 extra-base hits in 71 games for the Charlotte Stone Crabs.
In contrast, Moreno’s defense is pretty stellar. In 566 2⁄3 innings of outfield work (about 60 percent of those innings were logged in right field) in 2017, Moreno committed just one error, was credited with 147 putouts, and was involved in three double plays.
Selmo is 6’2”, 190 pounds, and all of 17 years old. Selmo was only available in this draft because his initial contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks was voided - and the team left him unprotected.
Playing for Arizona’s Rookie-level affiliate in 2017, the right-handed hitting Selmo had a 106 wRC+ in 190 plate appearances. Selmo had 10 doubles, two triples, and three home runs, batting in 17 and scoring 24 runs.
Selmo appeared in 34 games in the outfield, with all but nine in left field. In 283 total innings of defensive work, Selmo had 34 putouts and three assists.
Unlike the Major League Rule 5 draftees, whom teams must keep on the active roster to maintain rights to, Moreno, Selmo, and all Minor League Rule 5 picks do not have to remain on a specific roster.
As for Moreno, we may see him begin 2018 with the Class-A Peoria Chiefs or High-A Palm Beach Cardinals. Selmo, at only 17, could land with the DSL or GCL Cardinals, or possibly the team’s Dominican academy.