History of the Indians' Rule 5 Draft picks

December 13th, 2020

CLEVELAND -- Over the past 50 years, the Indians have been relatively active in the Rule 5 Draft.

The Rule 5 Draft gives teams a chance to pounce on unprotected talent from other organizations. Players signed at age 18 must be added to a team’s 40-man roster within five seasons or they become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. Players signed at age 19 must be added within four seasons.

Clubs pay $100,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Draft, and if that player doesn’t remain on the 26-man roster for the full season, he must be put on outright waivers and then, if not claimed, offered back to his former team for $50,000.

Let’s take a look at the Indians’ selections:

2020: Yankees RHP
Stephan was a third-round selection in the 2017 MLB Draft out of the University of Arkansas. He owns a career ERA of 3.70 in three years in the Minors with 275 strikeouts in 238 2/3 innings.

2016: Phillies LHP
Milner never pitched in a game for the Indians and was returned to Philadelphia the following spring. He reached the Majors in 2017 and has a 4.53 ERA through his first four seasons.

2012: Rangers 1B
Like Milner, McGuiness did not make the Indians’ Opening Day roster. He was returned to Texas and played in just 10 big league games in his career, going 6-for-34.

2009: D-backs RHP
Ambriz pitched in 34 games for the Indians in 2010, posting a 5.59 ERA with 37 strikeout and 17 walks in 48 1/3 innings. He owned a 5.35 FIP with a 1.759 WHIP in his time with the Indians before he was optioned back to the Minors for the next season. He later made it to the big leagues with the Astros in ’12 and ’13 and pitched in one game for the Padres in ’14.

2002: Phillies 1B/3B
The Indians selected Chapman in the Rule 5 Draft but immediately traded him to the Tigers for cash considerations. He was returned to the Phillies in the spring and had one hitless at-bat in his career.

1994: Astros RHP Jim Lewis
Lewis never made it to the big leagues. He spent four years in the Astros’ system and two in the Indians’ organization.

1991: Expos LHP Mike Thomas
Thomas never pitched for the Indians and was returned to Montreal. He ended up making one big league appearance, tossing 1 1/3 frames for the Brewers in 1995.

1990: Dodgers OF Mike Huff
Huff played in 51 games for the Indians, hitting .240 with a .699 OPS, six doubles, two homers and 10 RBIs before he was claimed off waivers by the White Sox in July.

1989: Giants RHP Doug Robertson
Robertson never made it to the big leagues. He spent five seasons in the Giants’ system, split a season between the systems of the Indians and Brewers and ended his Minor League career in the Angels’ organization.

1987: Red Sox C
Cleveland attempted to snag Pratt a few years before he broke into the big leagues. He did not make the Indians’ roster and was returned to Boston. In 1992, he made his debut with the Phillies and went on to have a 14-year Major League career with a slash line of .251/.344/.398.

1985: Reds 3B Eddie Williams
Williams played in just five games with the Indians in 1986 but remained with the organization for the next two seasons. In that three-year span, he played in 37 games and hit .174 with a .510 OPS, four doubles, one homer, six RBIs, nine walks and 25 strikeouts in 105 plate appearances.

1983: Braves RHP Tom Waddell
Waddell is just one of a handful of Scotland natives to make it to the Major Leagues. He pitched to a 3.06 ERA in 58 games for the Indians in ’84 and owned a 4.87 ERA in ’85 before he underwent shoulder surgery at the end of the season. He was never able to completely bounce back after the surgery, pitching in just six games for the Tribe in ’87 to end his Major League career.

1981: Giants 1B/OF Rich Murray
Murray, younger brother of Hall of Famer Eddie Murray, spent part of the 1982 season in the Indians’ system but never made it up to the big leagues with the Tribe. He played in 53 games with the Giants in ’80 and got four more appearances in ’83 before the end of his Major League career.

1972: Royals RHP Dick Colpaert
Colpaert spent the ’73 season split between the Indians’ and the Padres’ Triple-A teams. He made eight appearances for the Pirates in ’70.

1979: Orioles OF Andres Mora
Mora played in just nine games for the Indians in 1980, going 2-for-18 (.111). That served as his final Major League season after three previous years with the Orioles. He signed with Baltimore in 1975 at age 20. Mora played 226 games with the Orioles from ’76-78 but didn’t play in the Majors or Minors in his fourth year in professional baseball, making him eligible for the Rule 5 Draft since he was not on a 40-man roster. That’s when the Indians picked him up for the last year of his big league career.

1971: Giants RHP Jim Moyer
Moyer was in the Indians’ system for three years but never made it to the big leagues.