Louis Coleman and Tim Collins, two relief pitchers for the Kansas City Royals, looked like two of the best options available for the upcoming Rule 5 draft. The decision for Kansas City to leave both players unprotected was a surprise, considering their results at the AAA level, and the chance that both players could make the majors in 2011. There’s a good reason they were unprotected: they didn’t need to be protected.
Collins was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of high school in 2007, which makes his Rule 5 year next year. Coleman was drafted in 2005, 2008, and 2009, but didn’t sign until the 2009 draft, which means he won’t be eligible until the 2012 Rule 5 draft.
Around Rule 5 time, it’s rare for players to be mentioned as 40-man candidates when they aren’t Rule 5 eligible. However, a lot of talk in Kansas City had Collins and Coleman as candidates to be added to the 40-man roster, since they will probably be added at some point next season. That’s a rare stance, since you can wait and add those players when you want to promote them, all while protecting someone else in the short term.
When doing research for all of the teams and their Rule 5 candidates, I usually look for players who are in talks of being protected. Some teams have sites that list their Rule 5 eligible candidates. Other teams just have mentions of noteworthy players. When doing research for Kansas City, a lot of the sites mentioned Collins and Coleman as candidates to be added to the 40-man roster, lumping them in with the Rule 5 players. Because Kansas City has such a loaded farm system, I didn’t really think twice about those two talented players going unprotected.
Since Coleman and Collins aren’t eligible for the draft, my top options would be Adam Miller, Adam Ottavino, Wynn Pelzer, and Brad Emaus (and yes, all of those players are eligible for the draft).