With today being the final day for teams to add players to their 40-man rosters, we now have a pool of players from which teams will be able to choose for the Rule V draft. There are a ton of players available, but here are a few of the players that were somewhat surprising to see left unprotected. They may not be selected, but it was still surprising to see them available.
James is still much more potential than production at this point, despite being 23-years-old this past season, but his talent and tools might be enough to get him selected. In order to be drafted in the Rule V draft, a team would have to believe that James can survive the entire season in the majors. James is ready to handle the majors defensively, which may be enough for a team to take a chance on him, but there's no way he's ready to hit at that level. He'd basically be an automatic out at this point, so he'll only be selected if there's a team prepared to use him as a defensive replacement/pinch-runner all year.
Kaminska is perhaps the surprising omission from 40-man rosters across the league, not because of his ability, but because of the way the Pirates have gone about things the past few months. Not only did they trade for him (and essentially give up a compensation pick to get him), but then they used one of their seven Arizona Fall League spots on him. On top of that, Kaminska pitched about as well in the AFL as could have been expected out of him. It's hard to think of what the Pirates were hoping he would accomplish in the AFL and why they bothered trading for him and sending him to the desert if they were just going to leave him unprotected.
The former 3rd round pick was old for his level this year but put together his best professional season. He's never had good control, but working as a reliever for the first time in his career, he posted a 2.60 ERA between High and Double-A. He's got a desirable arm that some team is going to want, and as a reliever, he could survive the jump to the majors this season. Expect him to get selected.
Aguliar is a talented prospect who is still growing into his power but showed an improved approach at the plate this season. There are a number of teams that would probably love to get their hands on Aguilar, but it would require a major jump in levels. Aguilar has only 87 plate appearances above A-ball in his career. He's also a right-handed hitting first base-only prospect, making it difficult for a team to designate a bench spot to him. Teams will be tempted, but even if he's selected, it's likely that he'll be sent back at some point.