The Milwaukee Brewers were quiet this year during the Rule-5 draft. This annual event, which takes place on the final day of Winter Meetings, allows teams the opportunity to draft select players from different organizations. There is both a major league and minor league phase to the Rule-5 draft.
Milwaukee did not lose any players to the major league portion of the Rule-5 draft. They also did not select anyone either. A year ago they drafted pitcher Gus Varland from the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he was returned early on in the season after the team elected to not keep him on the 40-man roster.
In the minor league phase the Brewers did lose a talented outfielder who was previously selected in the second round of the 2018 MLB draft. At one point he was a top 15 prospect in Milwaukee’s farm system, but his stock had faded over the years.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Joe Gray Jr was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the minor league portion of the 2024 Rule-5 draft.
Kansas City selected Joe Gray Jr as the first player off the board in the minor league Rule-5 draft. Unlike the major league draft he does not have to be added to the Royals 40-man roster and can finish out his contract in their farm system.
With the Brewers Joe Gray Jr did not have a clear path to the big leagues. He had shown flashes of potential throughout his professional career including a 20 home run and 90 RBI season in 2021, but several seasons of batting averages below .200 and high strikeout rates contributed to him not advancing past Double-A.
At 23 years old Joe Gray Jr still has a few years left to make a push for the big leagues. He was selected out of High School. Players do tend to spend more time in the minor leagues when choosing that route, but the clock is certainly ticking.
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