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Rule 5: Michael Rucker - RHP - Cubs

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20 minutes ago, Luke-OH said:

I think he probably gets a shot. Potential role depends on who they can bring in on cheap MLB or MiLB deals. 

Thanks Luke. Great work as always. 

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1 minute ago, weams said:

Thanks Luke. Great work as always. 

I know just looking at usage, it appears that Bailey is more likely to start than Rucker, but watching both of them pitch, Rucker has more starter traits. Neither of them have really worked on a reliever's schedule though, so that'll be an adjustment if either are used as true 1-2 inning relievers. 

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22 minutes ago, Luke-OH said:

I know just looking at usage, it appears that Bailey is more likely to start than Rucker, but watching both of them pitch, Rucker has more starter traits. Neither of them have really worked on a reliever's schedule though, so that'll be an adjustment if either are used as true 1-2 inning relievers. 

Rucker pitched in 36 games last year and only started one game.   He was converted to a reliever.    30 teams passed on taking him on the first round in the Rule 5 draft.    Its a big jump from AA to the majors and I think the odds are against him being a starter in 2020.   Maybe in the future if shows he can do well as a long reliever.   

Elias took a 2nd guy in the Rule 5 draft last year and Jackson was returned in April.   Rucker is really going to have wow them in ST to make the team IMO.

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6 minutes ago, wildcard said:

Rucker pitched in 36 games last year and only started one game.   He was converted to a reliever.    30 teams passed on taking him on the first round in the Rule 5 draft.    Its a big jump from AA to the majors and I think the odds are against him being a starter in 2020.   Maybe in the future if shows he can do well as a long reliever.   

Elias took a 2nd guy in the Rule 5 draft last year and Jackson was returned in April.   Rucker is really going to have wow them in ST to make the team IMO.

I understand all that, I'm just watching him pitch and evaluating him. I think he profiles as a starter better than Bailey. They both would be better as once through the order types. I think Bailey is the better prospect and I think Rucker needs to improve some things if he's going to stick (which I laid out earlier). 

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9 minutes ago, wildcard said:

Rucker pitched in 36 games last year and only started one game.   He was converted to a reliever.    30 teams passed on taking him on the first round in the Rule 5 draft.    Its a big jump from AA to the majors and I think the odds are against him being a starter in 2020.   Maybe in the future if shows he can do well as a long reliever.   

Elias took a 2nd guy in the Rule 5 draft last year and Jackson was returned in April.   Rucker is really going to have wow them in ST to make the team IMO.

We have one extra slot on the roster this year ... So they can use  that slot to hang onto a rule 5 player. If Bailey makes the rotation this guy could be used to back up the opener

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16 minutes ago, wildcard said:

 30 teams passed on taking him on the first round in the Rule 5 draft.

23 teams passed on him since seven teams had a full roster and not able  to participate.  Since the Orioles picked second in the second round you could say that he was the twenty-fifth player selected except that some other teams never made selection even though eligible.  Some teams are considered "Play-Off contenders and only had one roster spot to make a pick.  Since they would be participating in the Free Agency Market, why pick a guy to only have to release a player on the forty when you sign a Free Agent.  He was actually the Eleventh Pick in the rule Five Draft.

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10 minutes ago, thezeroes said:

23 teams passed on him since seven teams had a full roster and not able  to participate.  Since the Orioles picked second in the second round you could say that he was the twenty-fifth player selected except that some other teams never made selection even though eligible.  Some teams are considered "Play-Off contenders and only had one roster spot to make a pick.  Since they would be participating in the Free Agency Market, why pick a guy to only have to release a player on the forty when you sign a Free Agent.  He was actually the Eleventh Pick in the rule Five Draft.

Yeah, and let's not pretend that teams have the Rule 5 draft figured out, usually the best available players (in hindsight) don't get selected. 

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On 12/12/2019 at 3:09 PM, Luke-OH said:

No, they can’t option him this season.

Sorry to bother you again, Luke, but you are the go-to guy:

It is difficult to effectively compare a rule five draftee to someone who is already in the majors, but can you compare Rucker to the Eshelman-Brooks-Shepherd-etc cavalcade Of starters we went through last season? Even though this guy is very inexperienced is it possible to suggest that he is better than those other bits of flotsam and jetsam?

im assuming we’re hoping he’ll start, of course, but maybe that’s still up in the air.

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Just now, Philip said:

Sorry to bother you again, Luke, but you are the go-to guy:

It is difficult to effectively compare a rule five draftee to someone who is already in the majors, but can you compare Rucker to the Eshelman-Brooks-Shepherd-etc cavalcade Of starters we went through last season? Even though this guy is very inexperienced is it possible to suggest that he is better than those other bits of flotsam and jetsam?

im assuming we’re hoping he’ll start, of course, but maybe that’s still up in the air.

Well it's pretty easy to compare stuff and he's got a better fastball than any of those guys. He has a better curveball than any of those guys. How much better the fastball is going to be the major question. It plays better than any of those guy's fastballs even at the same velocity because of deception and spin axis. But it also is probably harder. He held 94-95 through 50 pitches in a late season outing. Shepard and Brooks averaged 92, Eshelman averaged 86. The changeup probably isn't as good as Shepard or Brooks. But in totality, the stuff is better. How much better depends on how well the fastball velocity would hold as a starter. 

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2 hours ago, Luke-OH said:

Yeah, and let's not pretend that teams have the Rule 5 draft figured out, usually the best available players (in hindsight) don't get selected. 

I don't think this can emphasized enough.  The Os have done quite well with the Rule 5 draft - but we have mostly had picks available because of a lack of depth to our farm system.  With Elias, I hope that ends soon.

I also think it is quite clear the combination of better present stuff and higher level participation of the guys we drafted ahead of guys like Fenter and Sedlock.

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6 minutes ago, hoosiers said:

I don't think this can emphasized enough.  The Os have done quite well with the Rule 5 draft - but we have mostly had picks available because of a lack of depth to our farm system.  With Elias, I hope that ends soon.

I also think it is quite clear the combination of better present stuff and higher level participation of the guys we drafted ahead of guys like Fenter and Sedlock.

Agree with all of this but I really like the idea of adding in the minor league phase especially when we can pick up 1-2 guys that Koby Perez is very familiar with. 

That's an area where we are deficient and this seems like an easy and cost effective way to build.

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6 hours ago, Luke-OH said:

Yeah, and let's not pretend that teams have the Rule 5 draft figured out, usually the best available players (in hindsight) don't get selected. 

How can you tell this?  It’s impossible to know how much these players are hurt by being thrust onto a major league roster. 

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Just now, baltfan said:

How can you tell this?  It’s impossible to know how much these players are hurt by being thrust onto a major league roster. 

You are right that it's tough to tell how much that hurts the development of players, but there are guys that get picked after full AAA seasons and guys that don't get picked that make clubs out of spring training or shortly after. 

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Many thanks to Luke-OH for his scouting information. 

I apologize if this has been posted already. 

Baseball America had this to say about Rucker (I swear it is more positive than what I saw from that site immediately after the draft). 

Rucker's stuff drew varying opinions in 2019. Some scouts saw a pitcher with very vanilla stuff, but scouts who saw him in other outings saw arm speed and a quality fastball. He’s a 6-foot-1 righthander who spent most of the year in Double-A. Rucker’s 92-96 mph fastball earns some above-average grades. He has a pair of breaking balls and changeup are all fringe-average to average, so he has to succeed with location and staying a step ahead of hitters.

MLB had this part way through 2018 

Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 45  Rucker led the Western Athletic Conference with 11 wins as a redshirt junior at Brigham Young in 2016, when he was one of 16 college pitchers drafted by Chicago in the first 20 rounds. He has exceeded expectations since signing for $180,000 as an 11th-rounder, posting a 2.12 ERA in his first two seasons. The Cubs eased him into pro ball as a reliever and he continued to thrive after they turned him loose as a starter in high Class A last June.  Rucker might have the best fastball command in the system, enhancing the effectiveness of a 91-94 mph fastball that reaches 96. He has improved his curveball since turning pro, giving him a solid second pitch. His changeup is more of a work in progress but there are games when it works as well as his curve.  After initially looking like he might advance quickly as a bullpen piece, Rucker now is a potential back-of-the-rotation starter. He's not overly physical but keeps his pitch counts down, allowing him to work deep into games. Out of nowhere, he has become one of Chicago's most advanced starting-pitching prospects.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dale said:

Many thanks to Luke-OH for his scouting information. 

I apologize if this has been posted already. 

Baseball America had this to say about Rucker (I swear it is more positive than what I saw from that site immediately after the draft). 

Rucker's stuff drew varying opinions in 2019. Some scouts saw a pitcher with very vanilla stuff, but scouts who saw him in other outings saw arm speed and a quality fastball. He’s a 6-foot-1 righthander who spent most of the year in Double-A. Rucker’s 92-96 mph fastball earns some above-average grades. He has a pair of breaking balls and changeup are all fringe-average to average, so he has to succeed with location and staying a step ahead of hitters.

MLB had this part way through 2018 

Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 45  Rucker led the Western Athletic Conference with 11 wins as a redshirt junior at Brigham Young in 2016, when he was one of 16 college pitchers drafted by Chicago in the first 20 rounds. He has exceeded expectations since signing for $180,000 as an 11th-rounder, posting a 2.12 ERA in his first two seasons. The Cubs eased him into pro ball as a reliever and he continued to thrive after they turned him loose as a starter in high Class A last June.  Rucker might have the best fastball command in the system, enhancing the effectiveness of a 91-94 mph fastball that reaches 96. He has improved his curveball since turning pro, giving him a solid second pitch. His changeup is more of a work in progress but there are games when it works as well as his curve.  After initially looking like he might advance quickly as a bullpen piece, Rucker now is a potential back-of-the-rotation starter. He's not overly physical but keeps his pitch counts down, allowing him to work deep into games. Out of nowhere, he has become one of Chicago's most advanced starting-pitching prospects.  

 

 

The first scouts they talked to just said he sucked pretty much and then they got some people who liked him a good bit more. 

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