Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper recently previewed the Rule 5 Draft for 2016, and among the players he expects to be considered for selection is former Legends outfielder Drew Muren, who is now a pitcher in the Arizona Diamondbacks system.
(How the Rule 5 Draft works, from mlb.com: Players who were signed when they were 19 or older and have played in professional baseball for four years are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, as are players who were signed at 18 and have played for five years. All players on a Major League Baseball team’s 40-man roster, regardless of other eligibility factors, are “protected” and ineligible for the Rule 5 Draft.)
Muren, who played college baseball for Cal State-Northridge, was a 22nd round choice by Houston in the 2011 draft. He played in 48 games for the Legends in 2012 and batted .279 with three home runs and 17 runs batted in. He had an 11-game hitting streak from April 28-May 11 in which he had 17 hits in 43 at bats (.395), and he also provided several highlight plays in center field.
Muren made it to double-A Corpus Christi in the Houston organization before he was released March 29, 2014. He played two years of independent league baseball as an outfielder with Sioux Falls, Gary and Fargo-Moorhead of the American Association before signing with the Diamondbacks to try pitching in March 2016.
In his first year on the mound, Muren, in 38 relief appearances at three levels, including two appearances at triple-A, had a record of 0-5, but the right-hander struck out 61 batters and walked 20 in 41 innings.
“Muren’s stuff has helped make up for lost time. He sits in the mid-to-high 90s and touched 100 mph this year,” Cooper wrote. “He struck out 61 in 41 innings between three stops although he also showed below-average control. Muren’s delivery is a little unconventional as might be expected for a converted hitter. His release point is nearly sidearm giving hitters a very odd look for a pitcher with a near-top-of-the-scale fastball.”
The Rule 5 draft will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time December 8, the closing day of baseball’s winter meetings, which will be held this year in National Harbor, Maryland.