The annual Bull League winter meetings conclude today with the Rule 5 draft. The OSA top-rated player in the pool of potential picks is Chicago’s Jon Guillot, a 22-year-old 3B currently playing at AA-level Anchorage Sky Chiefs.
It is almost certain that Guillot and several other players will be picked up by teams looking for economical talent to meld into their own organizations.
Especially this year, when many teams are priced out of the open free agent market.
Guillot hit .279 last year in A ball, playing for the Peoria Mosquitos, with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs over a full schedule of 72 games. Peoria had a successful playoff run capped by a championship. Guillot won the A level MVP award. He was promoted after the season to the AA roster, but has yet to play with his new team. The native of Brooklyn, NY was drafted in the first round in 2013.
Several teams are conceivably looking to upgrade at the infield’s hot corner, including Dallas Deputies, Toronto Nomads and the Montreal Metros.
The 2017 Lake League champion Metros have no 3B after losing veteran Hoshi Mizuguchi to free agency. Nomads’ 3B Nick Wade is inexperienced, and has probably advanced up the levels too quickly, and hasn’t found his hitting groove this year. Jamie Sanchez is holding down the corner for Dallas, but he is a career .229 hitter who will turn 33 next year, and is more suited to a utility role.
The next best players, according to OSA rankings, are all pitchers, including 36-year-old Bernardo Gonzalez, also from the Chicago organization, at AAA-level Hartford. Though his brief time at the top level this year didn’t yield amazing results, he was a solid 2-0 with a 0.46 ERA over 19.2 innings at AAA level, which could translate over to success given the right environment, though the flyball pitcher would benefit from a large baseball diamond.
This year 858 players from the minor leagues are eligible for the Rule 5 draft.