CHICAGO -- The Rule 5 Draft is an avenue for enhancing the depth of a roster or perhaps finding a hidden gem. For a team like the Cubs with such a long franchise timeline, there has been a little of everything over the decades.
The Cubs have unearthed All-Stars and Gold Glove winners in the Rule 5 process, and one Hall of Famer in Hack Wilson. The club helped Hiram Bithorn blaze a trail for Puerto Rican ballplayers, and had a hand in picking players who went on to win an MVP or Cy Young Award (or both) with other clubs.
Here is a breakdown of all of the Cubs' Rule 5 Draft picks of the past 50 years, plus a few other notable names from early in the team's history:
2019: RHP Trevor Megill (Padres)
The Cubs grabbed the 6-foot-8 righty from the Padres, but Megill did not reach the Majors in 2020. Chicago worked out a deal with San Diego to keep the righty, who trained at the alternate site during the season.
2014: INF Taylor Featherston (Rockies)
The Cubs selected Featherston, but then promptly traded him to the Angels in exchange for cash. He hit .162 in 101 games for Los Angeles in '15.
2012: RHP Héctor Rondón (Indians)
Rondón represents one of the better Rule 5 picks of the past decade. From 2013-17, he was a staple in the Cubs' bullpen, posting a 3.22 ERA with 77 saves and 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings across 296 games. Rondón saved 30 games in '15.
2011: RHP Lendy Castillo (Phillies)
Castillo appeared in just 13 games in 2012 for the Cubs, posting a 7.88 ERA in his only career taste of the big leagues. The righty surrendered Cardinals veteran Matt Carpenter's first MLB home run.
2010: RHP Mason Tobin (Angels)
The Cubs picked Tobin and immediately traded him to the Rangers. The pitcher posted a 6.75 ERA in four MLB games for Texas in 2011.
2009: RHP Mike Parisi (Cardinals)
Parisi broke into the Majors briefly with St. Louis in '08, but never saw the big leagues again. After the Cubs took him in the Rule 5 Draft, he was outrighted to Triple-A and did not reach Chicago.
2006: OF Josh Hamilton (Rays)
The Cubs famously picked Hamilton for the Reds with the third pick in the Rule 5 Draft. Cincinnati sent $100,000 to Chicago in a deal that was arranged beforehand. Injuries and addiction hindered Hamilton's career after he was the No. 1 MLB Draft pick by Tampa Bay in 1999. He posted a .922 OPS in '07 for the Reds, who later traded him to Texas, where he won an MVP in 2010.
2002: LHP Derek Thompson (Indians)
The Cubs drafted Thompson and flipped him to the Dodgers via trade. Thompson eventually reached the Majors in 2005, appearing in four games for L.A.
2000: RHP Scott Chiasson (A's)
Chiasson appeared in 10 games for the Cubs across the 2001-02 campaigns, turning in an 11.12 ERA in 11 1/3 innings.
1997: LHP Alan Mahaffey (Twins)
Mahaffey came into camp in 1998 with a chance to win a spot in the Cubs' bullpen, but the lefty did not make the cut and was sent back to Minnesota. Mahaffey never reached the big leagues.
1996: LHP Ramón Tatís (Mets)
Tatís worked in 56 games for the Cubs in 1997, logging a 5.34 ERA in 55 2/3 innings. The next offseason, the left-hander was plucked by Tampa Bay in the franchise's expansion draft. He pitched 22 more MLB games in '98.
1995: RHP Rodney Myers (Royals)
The Cubs' selection of Myers began what wound up being a nine-year MLB career for the reliever. He had a 4.68 ERA in 45 games for Chicago in 1996 and appeared in 108 games for the club in parts of four seasons. In 2000, the Cubs traded Myers to San Diego for outfielder Gary Matthews.
1994: RHP Tanyon Sturtze (A's)
Sturtze appeared in 272 big league games over 12 seasons with seven different teams, but only eight of those outings came with the Cubs. He broke into the Majors with Chicago in 1995 with a two-game cup of coffee and was out of the organization by '96.
1988: UTIL Eric Yelding (Blue Jays)
The Cubs picked Yelding in 1988, but the utility man did not play for the North Siders until a 69-game stint in '93. In April of '89, Houston claimed him off waivers and he spent four years with the Astros. He later signed with the Cubs as a free agent.
1983: RHP Johnny Abrego (Phillies)
Abrego spent the 1984 campaign between Double-A and Triple-A in the Cubs' system before breaking into the Majors in '85. That year, the righty posted a 6.38 ERA in six games in his only career stay in The Show.
1981: RHP Rafael Pimentel (Cardinals), C Miguel Ibarra (Phillies)
Neither Pimentel nor Ibarra appeared in any professional games with the Cubs after being picked in the 1981 Rule 5 Draft. They remained with their respective former clubs and neither reached MLB.
1980: C Jody Davis (Cardinals)
There is no denying that Gabby Hartnett is the greatest catcher in Cubs history, but Davis has a case as No. 2 on that list. He made two All-Star teams (1984 and '86) and won one Gold Glove ('86) and suited up for the Cubs from ‘81-88. In the '84 National League Championship Series against the Padres, all Davis did was hit .389 in 19 plate appearances. His 121 homers from the catching position are second to only Hartnett in Cubs history.
1976: LHP Willie Hernandez (Phillies)
Guillermo "Willie" Hernandez is most famous for winning the American League Cy Young and MVP Awards for the Tigers in 1984. The lefty had 1.92 ERA in 80 games that summer for the eventual World Series champions. He began his MLB career with the Cubs, posting a 3.03 ERA in 67 games (110 innings) in '77. In parts of seven years with Chicago, Hernández had a 3.81 ERA in 323 games.
1974: C Tim Hosley (A's)
Hosley hit .255 with an .815 OPS in 62 games for the Cubs in 1975, but was claimed off waivers by Oakland after registering just one at-bat with Chicago in '76. Hosley enjoyed a nine-year MLB career with the Tigers, Cubs and A's.
1973: RHP Herb Hutson (Orioles)
Hutson's only Major League time came with the Cubs in 1974, when the righty turned in a 3.45 ERA in 20 games (28 2/3 innings). Within that small sample, the righty struck out Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt. Hutson was in Triple-A for the Cubs in '75 and out of affiliated ball by '76.
1971: LHP Clint Compton (Angels)
Compton pitched in just one Major League game: Oct. 3, 1972. On the second to last day of the season, the lefty worked two innings in an 11-1 loss to the Phillies. He allowed two runs in the outing. Compton lasted one more year in the Cubs' system.
1970: RHP Ron Tompkins (Brewers)
After a taste of the big leagues in 1965 with the Kansas City A's, Tompkins fashioned a 4.08 ERA in 35 games (22 games finished) in 39 2/3 innings during the '71 tour with the Cubs. He spent one more year in Chicago's farm system.
PRE-1970 NOTABLE PICKS
1962: Glenn Beckert (Red Sox)
Beckert spent the 1965-73 seasons with the Cubs, becoming a fan favorite and a key member of the beloved '69 squad. Beckert made four All-Star teams, won a Gold Glove at second base (1968) and recorded the final out (on a sharp Hank Aaron grounder) of Ken Holtzman's no-hitter on Aug. 19, 1969. Beckert hit .342 in '71, finishing third in the National League batting race.
1941: Hiram Bithorn (Hollywood Stars)
Bithorn was pitching for Hollywood in the Pacific Coast League when the Cubs came calling, making him the first Puerto Rico-born player to reach the Majors. His legacy is recognized in San Juan, P.R., in the form of Hiram Bithorn Stadium. Bithorn pitched in parts of three seasons for the Cubs from 1942-46, with the exception of two years spent in the Navy. He won 18 games and had a 2.60 ERA in 249 2/3 innings in '43.
1925: Hack Wilson (Toledo Mudhens)
A struggling Wilson was traded to Toledo of the American Association in 1925 after the outfielder hit .239 that year for the Giants. The Cubs swooped in and drafted a future Hall of Famer. Wilson hit .321 with a .944 OPS in '26 for the Cubs, igniting a furious offensive run for the slugger. He hit .331/.419/.612 from '26-30 for Chicago and hit .471 in the '29 World Series. Most notable was Wilson's '30 showing, which included 56 homers and a single-season record of 191 RBIs.