The Rule 5 draft was today. This also coincided with the last day of Winter Meetings. Several Brewer prospects were eligible to be selected, however none of them ended up being drafted by opposing teams. On the flip side, Matt Arnold made a selection. His selection was right-handed pitcher Gus Varland. Varland was formerly in the Dodgers organization.
Brewers made a Rule 5 Draft pick: RHP Gus Varland from the Dodgers organization. https://t.co/QB0te22se0
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) December 7, 2022
Varland will now have to remain on the 26-man roster in order for the Brewers to retain him. The last time a Brewers Rule 5 selection stuck around an entire season was in 2014. That player was Wei-Chung Wang.
Who is Brewers Rule 5 selection Gus Varland?
Varland was drafted in the 14th round of the 2018 MLB draft by the Oakland Athletics. He was traded to the Dodgers prior to the start of the 2021 season. With the Dodgers, he has transitioned from a starting pitcher to a relief pitcher.
The transition to the bullpen has been very recent. He made the switch in late May of 2022. Once he started working out of the pen, his velocity increased. His fastball started touching 98 MPH and his slider 90 MPH. This resulted in an increased amount of strikeouts.
Over his last 14 appearances, Varland struck out 31 batters in 18.1 innings pitched. He posted a 3.44 ERA over that time. His ERA was 5.71 ERA in 2021 and a 6.11 ERA in 2022. The hope is that he can build upon the success that he had at the end of the year.
Varland’s fastball and slider are said to be big league quality. He has spent the past two seasons at the Double-A level. Hopefully the scouting report on him is accurate and he can carve out a role on the Brewers in 2023.
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