Five Prospects For Rule 5 Draft

With the Rule 5 Draft right around the corner, takes a look at five prospects who could part ways with the Minnesota Twins system next week. There are some big name prospects in this list, and some who were once top prospects.

With the Rule 5 draft on the horizon, the Twins will likely part with some of their higher named prospects. A few of these prospects, mostly high schoolers drafted in 2004, or college players drafted in 2005, have really made names for themselves over the past couple of seasons in the Twins organization. Some have even been considered top prospects during their time with the Twins. Here is a look at some of the bigger name prospects left unprotected by the Twins:

Kyle Waldrop, RHP (2008: DNP- Injured)
Waldrop, who was the Twins first round selection back in 2004, is eligible for the Rule 5 draft this year. Once considered one of the top arms in the Twins organization, Waldrop has fallen on hard times since winning seven games for Fort Myers in 2007. He had surgery on his right shoulder this past season, but there was no damage to his labrum or his rotator cuff. He should be good as new next year, whether he is with the Twins or not.

Jay Rainville, RHP (2008: 10W, 5.45ERA)
Once considered arguably the best arm in the system, Rainville had his career derailed by an injury a couple years back. He is still fighting to regain his form, but did show the ability to go late into games in 2008. Rainville was once whispered in the same breath as guys like Anthony Swarzak, and it will be good to see him get back where he belongs. He could be likely to be picked up by another team.

Ryan Mullins, LHP (2008: 9W, 4.31ERA)
Mullins, a product of Vanderbilt University, is one of the top lefties in the Twins organization. He appeared in 30 games for the New Britain Rock Cats in 2008, starting 24, and pitched well. He would likely be a starter with Rochester if he does not get picked up by another team. He is a seasoned lefty who could be in the Major League one day.

Erik Lis, 1B/OF (2008: .277, 11HR, 51RBI)
Lis has long been regarded as being one of the more polished hitters in the Twins organization, and he had a very good season in Double-A in 2008. He has a very nice stroke from the left side, and uses the whole field. He did struggle with the strikeouts in 2008, but he is a guy who can play first base, or the corner outfield spots, and he is a middle of the lineup type hitter. Any organization that gets Lis will be getting a very good prospect.

David Winfree, OF (2008: 19HR, 87RBI)
Just three years removed from being the Twins Minor League Player of the Year, Winfree had his run producing bat going for the Rock Cats this past season. Playing in a very tough league, Winfree showed his offensive prowess, belting 19 home runs, and nearly drove in 100 runs. He also made a smooth transition to the outfield, after being considered by many as the Twins third baseman of the future.

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