The Brewers weren’t expected to make a Rule 5 pick this morning despite having open space on the 40-man roster, but they did end up picking an interesting bullpen arm — 6’8″ right hander Pat Egan, out of Baltimore’s farm system. It essentially ends up as a Rule 5 swap, as the Orioles took the Brewers’ Adrian Rosario five picks earlier. You may remember Rosario as the guy who pitched the 9th inning of Jake Odorizzi’s combined no-hitter for the Timber Rattlers this year.
From a numbers standpoint, it looks like Egan has had quite a bit of success. In 314 combined innings across every level, he has posted a 3.24 ERA, striking out 228. In 2010, he started the year in AA, putting up a 2.12 ERA in 46.2 innings before being promoted to AAA. In Norfolk, he struggled for the first time since Rookie ball, surrendering 21 earned runs in 37 innings.
In terms of stuff, he won’t blow anyone away. His fastball sits at 90-91 MPH after adding a few ticks from his days in the low minors. He throws a “hard sinker,” slider, and changeup, according to an article from MASN. With his height, stuff, and groundball tendencies, he’ll obviously remind a lot of people of Kameron Loe. It’s hard not to like a Rule 5 pick, due to the minimal risk. It’s really an ideal way to pick up a reliever or two if you have the space.
Egan turned 26 in October, and will obviously try to make the bullpen out of spring training. Per Rule 5 rules, if he makes the roster, he’ll have to stay on the roster the entire season. If he doesn’t stay on the big league roster, he must be returned to his old club, or the Brewers can keep him after paying a small fee to Baltimore.
UPDATE 8:45 A.M.: Tom Haudricourt has comments from Brewers scout Marv Thompson, on the comparisons to Loe: “They’re similar except Egan doesn’t throw from as low of an arm slot as Loe.”
UPDATE 8:53 A.M.: Jim Callis of Baseball America calls Egan a “sinker/slider reliever,” but says he doesn’t have a “true go-to pitch.”