Trevor Clifton was the Cubs’ 12th-round pick in 2013 out of high school. He’s had some pretty good years in the system, including a solid 2018 split between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, although Fangraphs did not include him in its recent Top 31 Cubs prospects list.
There were rumors that Clifton might be chosen, in particular by the Royals, since Clifton’s mom (who follows Josh on Twitter) suddenly followed our SB Nation colleagues over at Royals Review on Wednesday.
But Clifton was not selected, nor was any other Cub in the major-league phase of the draft, and the Cubs did not make a pick in that phase. So Clifton stays in the organization, and the Cubs won’t have a Rule 5 draftee in major-league camp next spring.
Only 14 players were chosen in the major-league phase. Here’s a complete list of all the players chosen. (If it’s not complete when you click on it, it will be shortly.)
In the minor-league phase of the draft, the Cubs selected Luis Lugo, a 24-year-old lefthanded pitcher who was in the Royals organization last year. They also selected 21-year-old Rafelin Lorenzo, a catcher from the Pirates system and Alexander Vargas, a 21-year-old righthanded pitcher, from the Yankees. These selections are likely to provide some depth in the system.
In the minor-league phase, the Cubs lost righthander David Garner, who was in major-league spring training in 2018, to the Blue Jays. Garner did not pitch during the regular season in 2018 due to a suspension for a drug of abuse. They also lost 24-year-old lefthander Yapson Gomez, who split 2018 between South Bend and Myrtle Beach, to the Indians.
So again, the big news in this year’s Rule 5 draft is that there’s no real big news. Few players were chosen and it’s unlikely any of them will have any major impact in the big leagues this year. I’ll leave it to Josh and Tim, who know minor leaguers better than I do, for further analysis of the players the Cubs selected and lost in the minor-league phase.
That concludes this year’s Winter Meetings. You may now resume your normal offseason activities.