Rule 5 Draft roundup

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

With just nine players selected, this year's Rule 5 draft produced the fewest picks in the last 15 years.

This winter's Rule 5 Draft was an exercise in utility.

The first pick overall belonged to the Astros, and they used it to select lefty Patrick Schuster, who was then dealt to San Diego to complete Houston acquisition of Anthony Bass. Schuster was originally drafted by Padres general manager Josh Byrnes in the 2009 Rule 4 Amateur Draft, when Byrnes was with Arizona.

With the second pick, the White Sox chose catcher Adrian Nieto, who could compete for the backup role for the club in 2013. Nieto is a six-year minor league veteran, originally drafted by Washington in the 5th round of the 2008 draft.

The Blue Jays also traded their pick. After selecting Brian Moran, a left hander from the Mariners organization, they traded him to the Angels for $244,000 in international cap space. Moran is the brother of the Marlins' first round Rule 4 pick, Colin Moran.

The Mets followed suit, trading their selection, Seth Rosin (from the Phillies' organization) to the Dodgers for cash.

There might not be any future stars like Josh Hamilton or Joakim Soria in this crop of Rule Fivers, but teams have been able to use the draft as a vehicle for lesser moves.

Here's a full recap of the players selected in the Major League Phase:

Astros: Patrick Schuster, LHP, ARI -- Traded to the Padres to complete deal for Anthony Bass

3.55 career ERA in 309.1 IP, High-A Visalia || The Padres could attempt to stash Schuster deep in the bullpen in an effort to hang on to him past the 2014 season. He must stay with the MLB club throughout to stay with in San Diego.

White Sox: Adrian Nieto, C, WAS

.254/.346/.386 career batting line, High-A Potomac || A backup role is likely, but the Sox might keep 3 catchers on the roster for parts of the season to avoid relying on Nieto too heavily.

Phillies: Kevin Munson, RHP, ARI

4.41 career ERA in 181.1 IP, Triple-A Reno || Munson has been a reliever for his entire minor-league career, climbing as high as Triple-A with the D-backs. He could serve the same role in Philly, but they'll likely limit his innings and try to occasionally stash him on the DL if they can.

Rockies: Thomas Kahnle, RHP, NYY

3.07 career ERA in 214 IP, Double-A Trenton || Kahnle was a local product in the Yanks' system, and had a promising 2013 season, putting up a 2.85 ERA and saving 15 games in Trenton. The Rockies might plan to use him sparingly, but if they get into a roster crunch, they might have to return him to New York.

Blue Jays: Brian Moran, LHP, SEA -- Traded to the Angels for $244,000 - international cap space

3.06 career ERA in 288 IP, Triple-A Tacoma || The Angels might have designs on trying to develop Moran into a LOOGY. Squirreling him away in the pro clubhouse could be a way for him to learn from big leaguers and get some controlled experience facing the best left-handed hitters in the world. Not a bad way to get your feet wet.

Mets: Seth Rosin, RHP, PHI -- Traded to the Dodgers for cash

4.00 career ERA in 295 IP, Double-A Reading || Apparently, the Dodgers have interest in players that aren't making eight figures a season from time to time. Rosin isn't likely to get to that point in his career, but he could be useful to the Dodgers in the future if they're able to stow him away on the roster through the season.

Brewers: Wei-Chung Wang, LHP, PIT

3.23 career ERA in 47.1 IP, Gulf Coast League || Wang is a 21 year old lefty from Taiwan. He doesn't have much to look at in the way of professional data. From the small sample size the Brewers had to study, they saw something they liked enough to wager a roster spot on him -- at least temporarily.

Diamondbacks: Marcos Mateo, RHP, CHC

5.04 career ERA in 44.2 IP, MLB || Mateo was hit pretty hard in his abbreviated MLB appearances in 2012 and 2013, but his high-80s slider and upper-90s fastball were enough for the D-backs to take a chance on him.

Orioles: Michael Almanzar, 3B, BOS

.250/.302/.373 batting line, Double-A Portland || Almanzar was signed as a teenager by the Red Sox in 2008 for $1.5 million, but the experiment didn't play out the Sox would've liked. He projects as a corner infielder with some pop, and he's come along in terms of getting on base, improving his walk rate in each of the last two seasons.

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