The Rule 5 Draft gives teams the opportunity to find hidden gems that other organizations might not believe in very strongly. The New York Mets haven't picked many notable players, but players like Ryan Pressly and Garrett Whitlock are among notable names selected in the last decade.
In order to protect prospects from being selected in the Rule 5 Draft, teams add prospects eligible for it onto their 40-man roster. The Mets did this with former top prospect Alex Ramirez. While Ramirez has obvious upside, it was definitely a bit surprising to see him added as players selected have to stay on the 26-man active roster all season long. This would make a player like Ramirez who struggled in A+ Brooklyn this season an unlikely player to be selected.
Ramirez was the only player added to New York's 40-man roster, but should that should not have been the case. Here are three players the Mets should have protected from being selected in the Rule 5 Draft by being added to their 40-man roster.
1) Jeremiah Jackson
The Mets acquired Jeremiah Jackson in the trade that sent Dominic Leone to the Angels. The Mets getting anything for Leone was surprising, and landing someone that actually looked like a decent prospect was shocking.
Jackson was in the midst of a decent year for AA Rocket City in the Angels organization before the trade, but elevated his game in the Mets system after he was acquired. The 23-year-old slashed .264/.344/.457 with seven home runs and 24 RBI for AA Binghamton. He's far from perfect as his 50 strikeouts in 37 games for Binghamton would indicate, but he showed flashes of being a really solid player.
What's most exciting about Jackson is his positional versatility. This season alone, Jackson played five different positions and that's not including the five games he appeared in as a DH. He's primarily a middle infielder, but also played third base and both corner outfield positions. He looks like a player with a real MLB future as a utility player off the bench.
It was pretty surprising to see the Mets risk losing the 23-year-old to the draft as there's a pretty good chance a team out there will take a flier on him with that versatility in mind.