Yesterday was the deadline to add prospects to the 40-man roster to protect them from selection in the Rule 5 Draft. With the Braves not having many available spots or top prospects, this isn’t as big of a deal as it is for other teams. Still, a few notable names were left unprotected:
176 players on Top 30 Prospects lists needed to be added to their team's 40-man roster by last night's deadline or become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft.
76 were protected, 100 were not.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) November 16, 2022
After a serious injury and lackluster play, I thought that Braden Shewmake could have been left unprotected. However, the Braves added him in the final hour, so Shewmake will be with the Braves in 2023. The biggest name that was left unprotected was undoubtedly Victor Vodnik. From MLB Pipeline:
Victor Vodnik, RHP (No. 9)
Brandol Mezquita, OF (No. 20)
Indigo Diaz, RHP (No. 28)
Tanner Gordon, RHP (No. 30)
I think they have Vodnik a little overvalued, and I seriously doubt someone is going to select him. Vodnik was fantastic in 2022, but he only notched 27.2 innings out of the bullpen in Gwinnett. I did expect him to be protected, but perhaps the Braves don’t share that concern. Brandol Mezquita is an interesting young player, but he’s still very far from the major leagues. Indigo Diaz was incredible out of the ‘pen in 2021, but took a small step back in 2022. Gordon is a 25 year old relief pitcher in AA.
I don’t think the Braves will lose any of these guys in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft, but who knows — stranger things have happened.
Photographer: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire