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Rays Lose Three Players, Add Three More In Rule 5 Draft

(photo: Steve Carney/St. Pete Nine)

The Tampa Bay Rays saw three of their minor-league player get selected by other teams in Wednesday’s Rule 5 Draft, including one taken in the Major League portion of the draft.  Catcher Cole Wilcox and pitcher Ian Seymour went through the process unselected, but pitcher Anthony Molina was taken by the Colorado Rockies with the third overall pick.

Molina, a 21-year-old right-handed from Venezuela, went 5-7 with a 4.50 earned run average in 28 appearances (27 starts) between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham.  He struck out 102 batters in 122 total innings, finishing with a WHIP of 1.500.

In the minor-league portion of the draft, Tampa Bay lost two other players from their Double-A roster, as outfielder Alexander Ovalles was taken by the Cincinnati Reds and pitcher John Doxakis was selected by the Cleveland Guardians.

Ovalles, who came to Tampa Bay in the trade that sent first baseman Nathaniel Lowe to the Texas Rangers, reached Durham at the end of the 2022 season, but was limited to just 32 games for Double-A Montgomery last season, finishing with a slash line of just .207/.358/.279 with a home run and 14 RBI.

Doxakis worked exclusively out of the bullpen for the first time in his professional career in 2023, going 8-3 with a 5.89 ERA in 36 appearances, 35 of which came at Double-A Montgomery.  The 25-year-old was a second round pick of the Rays in the 2019 draft out of Texas A&M.

Tampa Bay also added three pitchers in the minor-league phase of the draft: Right-handers Michael Gomez from the Yankees, Roelmy Garcia from the Pirates, and Blake Brown from the Phillies.

Gomez spent all of 2023 with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate in Scranton, going 2-6 with a 5.45 ERA and a save in 47 relief appearances.  The 27-year-old originally signed with the Phillies as an undrafted free agent out of Cal Poly Pomona in 2018, but was released in May of 2020 with the cancellation of the minor-league season.  He signed with the Yankees in February 2021.

Garcia is a 20-year-old right-hander from San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic, who has spent the last two years with the Pirates’ Florida Complex League team after signing for $350,000 as a 16-year-old.  In 2023, he went 4-0 with a 5.03 ERA in 18 appearances covering 19 1/3 innings.

Brown, 25, has missed the last two seasons coming back from lower-body injuries.  He signed with the Phillies as an undrafted free agent in 2021 out of UNC-Asheville.  In his one pro season, he went 2-1 with a 3.01 ERA and eight saves in 34 appearances between High-A Jersey Shore and Double-A Reading.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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