Rule Five Draft Analysis: Minor League Side

The Mets drafted three players in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft and did not lose any.  These guys aren’t subject to any roster requirements and are now team property.

With the sixth pick of the AAA phase, the Mets picked RHP Ronny Morla from the Cubs.  Morla, who turned 22 in May, is listed at a lanky 6’3″ and 190 pounds and struck out 86 while walking just 20 in 78.2 innings with the Peoria Chiefs in the Midwest League in 2010.  He was part of the package the Cubs received for sending Jake Fox to the A’s last December.  Baseball America had him sitting 91-92 mph and thought “his changeup would seem to have a bit more potential than his slider, but if he commands at least one of them he could find success as a reliever.”
Look for him to start 2011 in the advanced-a St. Lucie bullpen.

With their second pick in the AAA phase, the Mets picked RHP Richard (Ricky) Brooks from the White Sox.  The Sox moved Brooks to the bullpen when he graduated from the South Atlantic League to the advanced-A Carolina League in 2007.  He’s coming off a 2010 in which he had a 4.54 ERA for AA Birmingham in the Southern League.  His strikeout to walk ratio was a sterling 3.8 (38 K/10 BB) in 41.2 innings, but he was awfully hittable in the zone with 54 hits allowed in 41.2 innings pitched.  Or he just had a crazy-high .378 BABIP.  In 2009, he had a .222 BABIP in 37 innings at AA.
Brooks grew up in the Buffalo area and attended North Tonawanda High School, so if he joins the Bisons, he will enjoy a nice homecoming of sorts.  He talked about the transition to pro ball in this 2008 piece in the Niagra Gazette.  The White Sox drafted Brooks twice: in the third round of the 2005 draft out of East Carolina and in the 11th round in 2003 out of NTHS.
The bet here is that he breaks camp in the Buffalo Bisons’ bullpen.

In the AA phase, the Mets drafted CF Quintin Berry.  The left-handed hitting Berry hit .210/.306/.284 in 99 games split between the Eastern League and the Texas League in 2010 as a 25 year old.  Berry’s a speedster, but hit above .275 just once, in the SAL in 2007.  He stole at least 48 bases every year from 2007 – 2009 before swiping 27 in 2010.  I think he fits as a piece of insurance for the AA outfield.