The Orioles added four of their minor league prospects to the 40-man roster on Wednesday afternoon, making sure that those Rule 5 draft-eligible prospects cannot be picked away by another team when the draft commences at the winter meetings next month.
The four prospects whose contracts the team selected are Keegan Akin, Dean Kremer, Ryan McKenna, and Ryan Mountcastle. One notable name who was left off of the 40-man roster was Cody Sedlock, the O’s top pick in the 2016 draft, whose prospect stock revived somewhat in the first year of the Mike Elias player development era.
Players eligible for the Rule 5 draft this winter, with limited exceptions, are those who were 18 or younger who were drafted or signed in 2015 or earlier, or those who were 19 or older when drafted or signed in 2016 or earlier.
Generally, that means 2015 high school draftees like Mountcastle were eligible for the first time, and 2016 college draftees like Akin were as well. Outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz, acquired in the Manny Machado trade along with Kremer and three others, was one of the exceptions, as he’s not yet Rule 5 eligible even though he signed with Los Angeles almost exactly four years…