Waters, 3 others protected from Rule 5 Draft

November 19th, 2021

ATLANTA -- Outfielder was one of four players the Braves have added to their 40-man roster ahead of Friday’s deadline to protect prospects from this year’s Rule 5 Draft.

Right-handed pitchers Brooks Wilson, and were added to Atlanta’s 40-man roster on Thursday night. This procedural move ensures these players will not be available when other clubs have a chance to select eligible non-roster members during the Rule 5 Draft, which is scheduled for Dec. 8.

Players first signed at age 18 must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons or they become eligible to be selected by other organizations through the Rule 5 Draft. Players signed at 19 years or older have to be protected within four seasons. Clubs pay $100,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. If that player doesn't stay on the 25-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $50,000.

Players eligible for this year's Rule 5 Draft if they are not on a team's 40-man roster include:

• Players acquired on the international market in 2017 or earlier
• High school Draft picks who were 18 or younger as of June 8, 2017
• College players selected in the MLB Draft in 2018 or earlier

Right-handed pitcher Daysbel Hernández and outfielders Trey Harris and Justin Dean were among the Rule 5 Draft-eligible players left unprotected by the Braves. Each ranks among the team’s Top 30 prospects, per MLB Pipeline.

Hernández impressed during a few Spring Training outings, but command has been an issue for the 25-year-old from Sandino, Cuba. Harris is a highly regarded teammate, whose bat will likely allow him to enjoy a decent career as a big league backup.

40-man roster additions

Waters: The 22-year-old outfielder ranks as the Braves' No. 3 prospect and baseball’s No. 79 prospect, per MLB Pipeline. But his stock has dropped over the past two seasons. He will need to show signs of improvement after producing a .710 OPS and 30.9 percent strikeout rate for Triple-A Gwinnett this year.

Tarnok: Tarnok has garnered attention since the Braves took a chance by selecting him in the third round of the 2017 MLB Draft. The right-hander began pitching during the latter part of his high school career. But he posted a 2.60 ERA over nine starts for Double-A Mississippi last year and currently ranks as the Braves' No. 12 prospect.

Woods: Woods caught the attention of the big league coaching staff when used as an extra during some 2021 Grapefruit League games. Right forearm tightness limited him to five Minor League appearances, including four at the High-A level this year. But the Braves remain high on the potential of his arm.

Wilson: The 25-year-old made significant strides as he posted a 2.45 ERA in 33 relief appearances for Double-A Mississippi and then produced a 1.50 ERA in six appearances for Triple-A Gwinnett. He had a 41.4 percent strikeout rate over those two levels.