As reported by C. Trent Rosecrans, the Reds aren’t likely to be involved with the Rule 5 draft this morning.

 

The fact that they aren’t looking to add a player though doesn’t mean that the team won’t be involved. There are several players that went unprotected by the Reds who could be selected in the draft tomorrow. I covered a long list of players who could be taken back in November when the Reds officially protected four players.

There are three guys who jump out to me the most from that list though as more likely to be taken than the rest.

Junior Arias is probably one of the toolsiest players that is available in the entire draft. He has three plus tools to work with and another potentially above-average one. His plate discipline leaves plenty to be desired and it holds him back from using some of his offensive tools, but a creative team could find a way to use him in the Major Leagues as a defensive replacement, pinch runner and pinch hitter. He fits the profile as a raw, but high upside kind of player that can be taken.

Wandy Peralta is another guy who flashes the right kind of stuff to be taken. A left hander with above-average velocity and a potentially above-average breaking ball could garner some attention. Teams are always looking for power arms and can usually stash guys in the bullpen easier than on the bench. Peralta being a left hander gives him an advantage out of the bullpen as well, so despite his not pitching above A-ball, he too fits a profile of guys who have been selected in the past.

Chris Manno is another left handed reliever from the system. His velocity isn’t quite as good as that of Peralta, but he is more advanced, having had success in Double-A and has a wider variety of pitches to work with. A more polished left hander out of the bullpen who is more likely to stick. Like Peralta, he could be stashed in a bullpen and used situationally by a team. Unlike Peralta, he could probably be used a bit more often and against both righties and lefties.

Those are the three players who stand out to me the most, but guys like Josh Smith or Travis Mattair could fill a specific teams needs as well. Smith could provide some rotation depth in a swingman type of role or perhaps just make a full transition to the bullpen where he showed plenty of success the year he was drafted and saw his stuff play up some. Mattair is a premium defender, though being limited to the corner infield spots does limit his options. Still, when guys with noodle bats can have jobs in the Majors as backup infielders, a guy like Mattair should at least be given a look for a team trying to fill such a need as he provides defense and occasional power that could be used off of the bench or perhaps in a platoon role (he crushed left handers in 2013).