There was not too much action on the fourth and final day of the Winter Meetings in Nashville when it comes to free agency or major trades, but there was a draft!
The Rule 5 draft, as it's known, was held this morning and it landed the Miami Marlins two shiny new players for just $50,000 each. In the major league portion of the draft, the Fish selected Dodgers outfield prospect Alfredo Silverio, who we'll be discussing for the purposes of this piece.
It is rare that selections from the Rule 5 Draft go on to become superstars, but that's not to say there isn't value to be found in this lesser-known part of the baseball season. Guys like R. A. Dickey, Jose Bautista, Dan Uggla, and perhaps most notably Johan Santana, have all been names selected during the Rule 5 draft in the past.
For a club like the Marlins that is clearly attacking this offseason by trying to infuse as much value into their recently-depleted organization as possible, the Rule 5 draft presents the opportunity to find a "diamond in the rough,' so to speak. With the outfield being one of the biggest question marks going into next season, the Fish could be hoping that their selection, Alfredo Silverio, is said diamond.
The 25-year-old Silverio was signed by Los Angeles as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2003 and has slowly made his way up the Dodgers' organizational prospect rankings. In 2011, he put up fantastic numbers in Double-A Chattanooga, hitting .306/.340/.542 with 16 home runs, 42 doubles, and a league-leading 18 triples. Silverio's play even garnered him a Futures Game selection, where he went 1-for-4 with a home run off of then-Cleveland Indians prospect Drew Pomeranz.
Silverio made his way to fifth on John Sickels' Dodgers organizational rankings before last season, as Michael Jong pointed out yesterday. Silverio was seen as a toolsy outfielder that had started to really put things together until a recent string of misfortune.
On January 23rd of this year, Silverio was injured in a significant car accident while in the Dominican Republic and suffered injuries to his head, shoulder, elbow, and neck, as well as concussion symptoms that lingered long after the accident. His injuries eventually forced him to undergo Tommy John surgery in May. The timing could not have been worse for Silverio, as he had just been placed on the Dodgers' 40-man roster two months prior and invited to spring training. It seemed as though the organization was genuinely excited to see if he could follow his stellar 2011 season. Despite never being seen as a can't-miss prospect, it really did appear as though Silverio was finally maximizing his potential and getting ready to at least make some sort of impact at the big league level in the near future.
There has yet to be a definite timetable for Silverio's return, if at all, and clearly the Marlins organization should do what is in the best interest of his long-term health. By rule, the Marlins must either keep Silverio on the active roster or disabled list for the entire season, or else they will be forced to offer him back to the Dodgers at a lower price.
We probably will not know for a while whether or not Alfredo Silverio will make any direct impact for the Fish this season, but if he is able to get healthy, he'd certainly be one of the most inspirational and impressive comeback stories we've seen in a long time.