Seattle Mariners 2019 Rule 5 Draft Big Board: Top 5

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto watches batting practice before a game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Rangers won the game 2-1 in eleven innings. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto watches batting practice before a game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Rangers won the game 2-1 in eleven innings. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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2. Wander Javier

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – OCTOBER 07: A general view prior to game three of the American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on October 07, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – OCTOBER 07: A general view prior to game three of the American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on October 07, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Perhaps the most talented player not protected today was Minnesota Twins shortstop prospect Wander Javier. The 20-year-old posses average or better tools across the board including above-average foot speed and a strong arm.

He should be able to handle shortstop, but could also handle third base down the line. Javier shows good ability to work counts and draw walks, especially for his age, and has the bat speed to hit .270 and club 15-20 home runs.

If everything goes right, Javier could spend half a decade hitting .280/.350/.450 with 15-20 HR power and average or better defense up the middle, which would be a very good player. Javier still has room to grow as well, currently sitting a 6’1″, 165 lbs.

However, 2019 was a struggle for Javier who was working his way back from labrum surgery that cost him all of 2018. In 80 games, Javier hit .177/.277/.323. He clearly needs more time in the minor leagues but the talent is interesting enough to at least have the conversation. Teams like the Tigers have taken players like Javier recently, but the success of those decisions is still up for debate.

Ultimately, the fact that Javier hasn’t played above A-ball (and didn’t even perform there) means he will likely squeak through the Rule 5 Draft. However, don’t be surprised if you hear his name called, as gambling on a potential everyday shortstop without giving anything of consequence up is very tempting indeed.

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