For information on the Mets pick on the MLB phase please see Rule 5 Draft MLB Phase. Most team participated in the first two rounds of the AAA draft. By the third round there were just 8 teams picking. The Mets were one of two teams to select in the 4th and the 5th round. The Reds were the only team to pick in the 6th round of the draft. I do not know the full details of how the minor rule 5 phase works, but I do understand that there is no roster restrictions. The Mets selecting as deep into the 5th round makes a lot of sense as they needed to add depth to their AAA team since most of the valuable farm pieces have yet to make it pass AA baseball. They had their eyes on depth as they selected 4/5 players who are age 27 and older.
The following are the results of the 2020 Rule 5 Minors phase for the Mets:
Round 1 – 8th overall Mets selected Andrew Ferguson, CF from the Astros. Mets Lost Sebastian Espino, SS to the Blue Jays with the 15th overall pick.
This is perhaps the most intriguing depth piece added by the Mets. 28 year old CF Andrew Ferguson spent 6 years in the minors, where he slashed .293/.394/.440. He also has flashes of having some power and speed combo as he hit 11HR and 27SB (in 34 attempts) in 402 AB for the AAA Astro club, Round Rock Express. Good emergency piece if something happens to Nimmo (and/or Springer?!).
In his three season with the Mets, 20 year old Sebastian Espino did not get a chance to play outside of the Appalachian league but that did not stop the Blue Jays from giving him a chance at AAA. He has a minor league slash line of .289/.322/.384 and only played 166 games. It appears like his glove is his most dominate tool as of right now, but he’s still developing so maybe he will add more pop to his 6’2 176lb frame. Blue Jays have great talent and depth at SS and 2B, so I do not expect Espino make a leap to the MLB.
Round 2 – 31st overall: Mets selected Justin Dillon, RHP from the Blue Jays. Mets lost Wilfred Astudillo, C to the Reds with the 35th overall pick and Ezequiel Zabaleta, RHP to the Rays with the 43nd overall pick.
27 year old Dillon has a combined ERA of 3.94 1.21 WHIP with 66 BB and 189 K in 124 IP in his minor league career. Here’s what Baseball America has to say about his scouting report in 2017.
The Hornets’ ace led them to the WAC tournament title as the club’s ace. A Tommy John surgery alumnus (2013) who missed much of 2016 with a groin injury, Dillon is a big-bodied 6-foot-3, 225-pounder who is more pitcher than power. He pitches off an 86-90 mph fastball that he commands to all parts of the strike zone, and he know how to use his slider, curveball and changeup. Nothing grades as plus as a pitch, but his command helps the four-pitch mix play up.
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19 year old Astudillo is another player who has not played passed the Appalachian league and will make a jump to the Reds AAA team. In his three season in the minors, he slashed .274/.323/.373 in 127 G with 434 AB 6 HR 53 RBI. He is also the younger brother of Twins fan favorite catcher William Astudillo.
23 year old Colombian RHO Zabaleta has played 4 years in the Mets minors system not exceeding HiA level. He is a bullpen arm with the following minor league totals: 186 IP 3.97 ERA 7.45 SO/9 2.52 BB/9 1.23 WHIP.
Round 3 – 47th overall: Mets selected Drew Jackson, 2B from the Dodgers. Mets lost Mitchell Tolman, 2B to the Giants with the 48th overall pick.
27 year old Jackson had a cup of coffee in the MLB in 2019 for the Orioles as he only made 4 PA with no hits and 1 walk. In his 4 years in the minors, he has a .259/.351/.387. In AAA he has 273 AB, 6 HR, 28 RBI, and 9 SB (in 14 attempts) logged.
26 year old Tolman was a free agent before being signed by the Mets in 2020 to a minor league contract and spring training invitation. While nothing major pops out in his minor league career he does appear to be a consistent bat throughout his career with a .266/.364/.378 slash line but only 26 HR in 1756 AB.
Round 4 – 54th overall: Mets selected Jesus Reyes, RHP from the Reds.
27 year old Reyes, is another player who had a cup of coffee at the MLB level. In 2018 he logged 5.2 innings with a 3.18 ERA and gave up 4 H 4R (2 which are ER) 1 HR 2 BB and 2 SO. His 4 year minor league totals are 436 IP, 3.67 ERA, 196 BB, 348 K.
Round 5- 54th overall: Mets selected Jose Zorilla, LHP from the Reds.
The only player under 27 year old made by the Mets. The 22 year old has had a rough career in the minors. He has not made it pitched above the Appalachian league and logs a career 5.0 ERA in 108 IP with 45 BB and 102 K. Mets will give him a chance at a AAA jump. Maybe the Mets can bring something out of him to turn him into a decent bullpen arm? If not, no harm is done as he does not take up a 40man slot.
Photo from CBS Sports