“The Dodgers will not select a player in the Rule 5 Draft.”
Those were my exact words a few days ago. With the Winter Meetings approaching, all eyes were on the proceedings during those meetings – including mine. I knew the Dodgers were looking for a couple of relievers, perhaps one left-hander and one righty. However, I expected they would be acquired as free agents or via trade. I also felt that if any minor league players were to be given an opportunity to become part of the 2014 Dodger roster, it would be Yimi Garcia and Red Patterson. In fact, Garcia was added to the Dodgers 40-man roster to protect him from being taken in the approaching Rule 5 Draft. Little did I know or even think that a reliever would be acquired by the Dodgers in the Rule 5 Draft.
The MLB Rule 5 Draft was completed yesterday with nine minor league players being selected, seven of them pitchers. I awoke from my mid-afternoon nap to discover that the Dodgers had indeed made a Rule 5 Draft selection, but had done so in a roundabout way. They ended up with the sixth draft pick through the New York Mets, who drafted Seth Rosin and promptly traded him to the Dodgers for cash considerations. It doesn’t appear that the Dodgers are in need of desperation moves anymore so this does have the appearance of a calculated move rather than a take-a-chance move. In any event, there is very little risk and perhaps some reward in this transaction.
Seth Rosin is listed as a 6’6” right-hander weighing in at 250 pounds. He was born in Fargo, North Dakota and stuck relatively close to home playing college baseball at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. He was drafted in the 27th round of the 2007 MLB amateur draft by the Minnesota Twins but chose to continue his education. He became the first Golden Gopher pitcher since Glen Perkins (Minnesota Twins 2006-13) to claim All-Big Ten honors in consecutive seasons since Perkins did so in 2003-04. In 2010, after his stellar career with the Golden Gophers, Rosin was drafted in the 4th round by the San Francisco Giants. The Dodger selections in 2010 before Seth Rosin were Zach Lee, Ralston Cash and Leon Landry. Also of interest, Joc Pederson was selected by the Dodgers in the 11th round of that same draft.
Rosin pitched in the Giants farm system in 2011 (Low-A at Augusta) and 2012 (Advanced-A at San Jose) before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies at the trade deadline in 2012 as part of the Hunter Pence trade. He finished the 2012 season with Clearwater of the Florida State League and pitched all of 2013 with Reading of the AA Eastern League. His minor league career has not been eye popping but steady enough to keep teams interested in him. In 2013 he went 9-6 with a 4.33 ERA and 1.224 WHIP. During his minor league career he has averaged 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings and given up 2.7 walks per nine innings.
The scouting reports vary for Seth Rosin but all emphasize his fastball and command. All (at least those that I have read) also suggest his secondary pitches are probably not developed enough to be more than a # 5 starter. The Phillies had him pitch mostly in a starting role last year after he had achieved success as a reliever, actually leading the California League in saves in 2012 until his trade to the Phillies. However, those reports also suggest he has the make up and command to be successful as a reliever.
Before learning that Rosin had been traded to the Dodgers immediately after being drafted by the Mets, Matt Winkleman of PhuturePhillies.com wrote this assessment of the big right-hander:
“The Mets selected AA RHP Seth Rosin from the Phillies. Rosin is a big strong pitcher with a 3 pitch mix that is more average than overpowering. However, he has a good feel in the zone and generates a ton of ground balls. The Mets will likely switch Rosin back to the bullpen where the fastball could play more plus and the pitch mix will allow him to keep hitters off balance. He profiles more as a middle reliever but it could play up a lot more. The ground ball tendencies and big frame are reminiscent of former Phillies Rule 5 pick David Herndon. There is a good chance Rosin sticks all year with the Mets.”
Although there was no way for Winkleman to know at the time, Rosin didn’t stick with the Mets for even a day.
Baseball Beginnings may be a little bit too enthusiastic of their assessment of Rosin, although it was submitted in June 2010 – the year in which he was drafted:
“As for Rosin, the question is what will lift him to the major leagues the fastest. He has told Beginnings that he likes closing, mainly because he knows that in short stints he’s got two extra miles on his fastball. So you could be talking about a 95-97 four-seam guy, a 93-94 two-seam guy with a put-away change-up at 77-79, above average command of the two-seam, and better command of the four-seam than most guys. That arsenal would remind me of Trevor Hoffman.”
In an interview early in his career, Rosin described his pitching arsenal:
“I throw a four-seam and two-seam fastball, a slider, and a change-up. My fastball is my best pitch and I think in the last 12 months my secondary stuff has come along pretty well with the help of the Giants staff.”
Baseball-reference.com’s player profile on February 15, 2012 concurred with Rosin regarding his fastball:
“… in the Arizona Fall League, however, the big 6-5/235 right-hander touched 98 mph at a time of the year when most players in their first full season are feeling gassed rather than throwing gas. Rosin’s big challenge entering pro ball was finding more movement on his very straight 92-94 mph fastball, but movement becomes less important in the upper 90s.”
Seth Rosin projects as a hard throwing reliever who can pitch multiple innings. He apparently is a hard worker described in one report as “… a throwback kind of guy, a Midwestern ox, a workhorse,.” I’m not sure Dodger fans want Rosin to be another “Ox” but the article was merely complimenting him on his work ethic and aggressive approach to the game. His progression with the Dodgers as a member of the 25-man roster now depends on him, his fastball, throwing ground balls, maintaining his excellent command and the continued development of a good secondary pitch. He would appear to be another Rick Honeycutt project as a 25-year-old anxious to launch his MLB career.