The MLB Rule V Draft is an interesting day each year for teams as they try to find a diamond in the rough and it usually is a failed experiment. However, there are success stories such as Dan Uggla with the Miami Marlins. The Marlins could look to replicate history with a pick this year that they may decide to hand a starting job to. Carlos Perez, who is currently a catcher with the Houston Astros organization, could be that guy with Miami looking to make a change at its catching position.
Perez is far from a prolific hitter but he does have a good eye and he is solid behind the plate. In 264 at-bats in AAA, Perez walked 25 times and only struck out 39. He slashed .269/.328/.345 but that would still be better than the Marlins’ 2013 catching tandem of Rob Brantly and Jeff Mathis if Perez was able to do that in the big leagues as well. With Houston currently holding his rights, the Marlins will basically be picking first overall if they want Perez as Miami holds the second pick in the draft.
Even if the Marlins do not believe that Perez is ready to start in the big leagues, the team may still draft him and place in a backup role on the team in order to keep him on the active roster. This would allow him to learn from big league coaches including manager Mike Redmond and possibly set him up for a full time role in 2015. It’s also possible that Perez ends up being a backup catcher in the big leagues once he makes it and sticks around. Redmond could give him a lot of valuable experience with handling that role.
Last year, the Marlins drafted Alfredo Silverio in the Rule V Draft and he wound up missing the entire season with an injury. Miami was hoping Silverio would be ready to contribute and possibly show some of the promise that made him a highly touted prospect at one time. That did not end up happening but Silverio does currently remain in the Marlins’ organization and could be a factor going into 2014. The Marlins under the rules of the Rule V draft had to offer Silverio back to the Los Angeles Dodgers after but the Dodgers declined to take him back. That made him unrestricted property of Miami allowing it to keep him off the 40-man roster.
For those unaware of the rules involved in this draft, players selected in the Rule V Draft must remain on the gaining team’s active roster for the entire season. If they are on the disabled list like Silverio, the team is given a second chance the following season if they choose. Miami opted to outright Silverio off its 40-man roster instead of carrying him into 2014 on the active roster once again.
Besides Uggla, other notable Rule V draftees have included Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente as well as All-Stars such as Johan Santana, Joakim Soria, R.A. Dickey and Josh Hamilton. There are many others but there are of course many failure stories as well. The Marlins will be hopeful that whomever they pick will wind up becoming a major asset for the team. Being able to acquire a player with a minimum salary and without the need to give up talent makes the Rule V Draft a haven for a team on a budget like Miami.