The Rule 5 Draft took place this afternoon. It’s the unofficial end of the winter meetings every year. The Cincinnati Reds didn’t select any players in the Major League phase, but they did lose a player. With the 5th overall selection, the Baltimore Orioles took right-handed pitcher Mac Sceroler.

There’s an interesting connection between Mac Sceroler and the Baltimore Orioles. Sceroler is the nephew of former #1 overall draft pick and Orioles pitcher Ben McDonald. As for Sceroler, he was the Reds 5th round selection in the 2017 Major League Baseball draft out of Southeastern Louisiana University where he signed for $297,500.

In the 2019 season, the last one in which Mac Sceroler pitched, he made 20 starts and 6 relief appearances for the Daytona Tortugas – at the time, the Cincinnati Reds Advanced-A affiliate. The then 24-year-old posted a 3.69 ERA in 117.0 innings while allowing 101 hits, 13 homers, walking just 29 batters, and he struck out 127 batters. He will turn 26 in early April of 2021.

With Daytona, Sceroler showed a good breaking ball to go with a solid change up and a fastball that works in the low 90’s. He’s been able to reach back every so often for 95 MPH with his fastball. If the plan for Baltimore is to get a look at the righty as a reliever, perhaps there’s more in the fastball tank that he can couple with his breaking ball.

Cincinnati gained $100,000 from the Orioles for their selection. The rules for the Rule 5 are fairly simple: Mac Sceroler is going to have to be on the Baltimore Orioles roster for the entirety of the 2021 season or he will need to be offered back to the Reds for $50,000.

The Reds were active on both sides of the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft. The rules are a bit different there, where players don’t need to “stick” to a certain level to remain in the organization – a player’s contract rights are simply bought and they are then in the new organization.

Cincinnati Reds selections in the minor league phase:

  • Errol Robinson – Shortstop (Dodgers)
  • Wilfred Astudillo – Catcher (Mets)
  • Chuckie Robinson – Catcher (Astros)
  • Yoel Yanqui – First Baseman (D-Backs)
  • Wes Robertson – RHP (Rangers)
  • Steven Leyton – SS (D-Backs)

Cincinnati Reds losses in the minor league phase:

  • Claudio Finol – Infielder (Pirates)
  • Jesus Reyes – RHP (Mets)
  • Jose Zorrilla – LHP (Mets)

For more information on the players the Reds gained in the minor league phase, we’ve got you covered over at with writeups on all six of the players added to the farm system today.

3 Responses

  1. Redsvol

    mixed feeling on losing Reyes. I was beginning to feel like he was getting close to contributing this year. Alas, we will never know. No idea who the other 2 are.

    Always appreciate your work Doug……..but this has to be the most boring MLB off-season since before ESPN was founded.

  2. Tom Mitsoff

    I’m curious about everyone’s thoughts on why the Reds would take six players. Trying to rebuild a farm system low on talent? Or did they just find six players who their scouts felt were worth $24,000 each to bring into the organization?

    • Doug Gray

      The fact that the Reds took more guys than anyone else probably does say a little bit of something. But here’s my theory: Every team released a lot of guys this summer for a variety of reasons. Every team is probably at a point in the offseason with fewer players retained than they usually have. Of course, with fewer teams to fill out next year, that makes some sense. But no one taken is a guy that would have filled out the now non-existent rookie level teams.

      To me, it seems like the Reds sort of used the minor league phase of the Rule 5 in a way to fill out the rosters in a similar way they could have done so in free agency, but didn’t have to necessarily “bid against” other teams for players services. There are, of course, reasons why these players were targeted, too. Someone saw something they liked in them – even if it’s just a “minor league” skill. You still need those kind of guys on the rosters.