KC considering Minor Leaguers for Rule 5 Draft protection

Deadline for adding players to 40-man roster is Friday

KC considering Minor Leaguers for Rule 5 Draft protection

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals must decide by Friday if they want to protect any Rule 5 Draft-eligible Minor Leaguers by placing them on their 40-man roster.

Some of Kansas City's Minor Leaguers under consideration for protection include left-hander Daniel Stumpf, who was taken by the Phillies in last December's Rule 5 Draft and then returned last summer; right-handers Jake Junis (the Royals' No. 9 prospect per MLBPipeline.com) and Andrew Edwards (No. 21); and first baseman Samir Duenez.

Hot Stove Tracker

Kansas City's 40-man roster sits at 37.

Players taken in the Rule 5 Draft must remain on a team's 25-man roster the entire season or be returned to their former club. Players eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft are those not on the 40-man roster signed at 19 or older who have played for four years, or those signed at 18 with five years of playing time.

Mayo on upcoming Rule 5 Draft

The Royals have 40 players eligible for the Rule 5 Draft.

Here's more information about some of the players at the top of the list for consideration to be protected:

Stumpf: The Royals lost Stumpf last December to the Phillies, but his chances there were diminished when he was suspended for 80 games in April for taking a performance-enhancing drug. When he was cleared to play, he pitched five innings and gave up six runs, and Philadelphia returned him to Kansas City. Stumpf is a left-hander with good stuff.

Stumpf records first MLB out

Junis: In 21 starts at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, Junis, 24, posted a 3.25 ERA and then was promoted to Triple-A Omaha. In six starts there, he posted a 7.20 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. But the Royals believe Junis is a smart pitcher who adapts to each league quickly, and he could be stashed in a big league team's bullpen.

Edwards: A big guy (6-foot-6, 265 pounds) with a big arm (sits at 95-96 mph and touches 100 mph), Edwards, 25, is a full-time closer, and Kansas City believes he has a high ceiling. A 19th-round Draft pick in 2013, he has advanced quickly through the system because of that power arm. Edwards dominated this year at Double-A, posting a 0.50 ERA in 10 games. He was quickly promoted to Triple-A, where he had his ups and downs -- a 5.40 ERA in 32 games.

Duenez: Signed out of Venezuela as a 16-year-old, Duenez, now 20, has shot through the system. He started last season at low Class A Lexington, advanced to Class A Advanced Wilmington and finished at Double-A. Duenez, a left-handed hitter, put together a combined 100-RBI season at those stops, with 13 homers while hitting .284.

Some other names under consideration for protection are catcher Cam Gallagher, shortstop/third baseman Mauricio Ramos, right-hander Glenn Sparkman and left-hander Jonathan Dziedzic.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.