Cleveland Indians: At Risk of Losing Players to Rule 5 Draft?

Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 16, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; A view of a Cleveland Indians baseball hat and glove during the game between the Texas Rangers and the Indians at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Indians defeated the Rangers 10-8. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
May 16, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; A view of a Cleveland Indians baseball hat and glove during the game between the Texas Rangers and the Indians at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Indians defeated the Rangers 10-8. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Odds to be taken: Less than 25 percent

Maybe the best prospect not protected was Anthony Santander. The outfielder enjoyed a breakout 2016 season that saw him healthy all year and hitting 20 home runs while adding 10 stolen bases. He also hit .290 with a .368 on-base percentage while walking nearly 10 percent of the time and striking out just 20 percent.

Statistically, he put up numbers teams would drool over. However, he did all this at just Advanced-A Lynchburg. He also is not the best defensive outfielder and while he showed some versatility in playing first base, isn’t going to be a guy teams can easily stash on their bench all year.

Odds to be taken: Less than 10 percent

One of the better pitchers the Cleveland Indians left unprotected was left-hander Luis Lugo. A borderline top-30 prospect, Lugo has yet to put up big time numbers but has been pretty consistent throwing 136 innings this year, topping 125 for the third straight year. He spent the season at Advanced-A Lynchburg for the second year a row, posting a respectable 4.04 ERA.

He stands 6-foot-5 and has the build to be a successful starter; however, the strikeouts have dropped for two straight seasons, down to just 7.5 K/9 from 10.4 K/9 in 2014. While teams can never have enough lefties in the bullpen, it would be a big surprise to see him in an organization other than Cleveland this year.

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