LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Patrick Schuster created a lot of buzz as a senior at Mitchell High in New Port Richey, Fla., in 2009. He threw four straight no-hitters, and ESPN News broadcast his next start to a national audience.
Schuster was in the news again Thursday at the Winter Meetings, as the Astros made him the No. 1 overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft, and traded him to the Padres as the player to be named in the deal that sent Anthony Bass to Houston the day before. San Diego general manager Josh Byrnes held the same position in Arizona when the D-backs drafted Schuster in the 13th round and signed him for $450,000.
Schuster, who spent the last two seasons in high Class A, will have to stick on the Padres' 25-man roster throughout the 2014 season. If not, Rule 5 Draft guidelines mandate that San Diego put him through waivers and offer him back to Arizona for half of his $50,000 Draft price before sending him to the Minor Leagues.
The 23-year-old Schuster throws across his body from a low arm slot, which makes him very tough on left-handers. He held them to a .198/.244/.309 slash line in 2013, and also limited righties to a .553 OPS. He deceives hitters more than he overpowers them, working with an upper-80s sinker and a sweeping slider.
Below are scouting reports on the other eight players selected in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft:
Adrian Nieto, C, White Sox (from Nationals): A fifth-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Nieto batted .285/.373/.449 in high Class A this year. He offers some power and arm strength, though he still needs a lot of polish, both offensively and defensively.
Kevin Munson, RHP, Phillies (from Diamondbacks): Munson has had inconsistent results in the Minors, but he has reached Triple-A and can display a plus fastball and slider when he's on. The fourth-round Draft pick in 2010 must improve his command.
Tommy Kahnle, RHP, Rockies (from Yankees): Kahnle posted a 2.85 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 60 Double-A innings this year, thanks to a mid-90s fastball. The 2010 fifth-rounder lacks a reliable secondary pitch and control (45 walks), which is why he was left unprotected.
Brian Moran, LHP, Angels (from Mariners via Blue Jays): The older brother of Marlins third-base prospect Colin Moran, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2013 Draft, Brian was a seventh-rounder in 2009. He's much more deceptive than overpowering, throwing a lot of strikes with a mid-80s fastball and an upper-70s slider, and he struck out 85 in 62 2/3 Triple-A innings this season.
Seth Rosin, RHP, Dodgers (from Phillies via Mets): A fourth-round pick in 2010 by the Giants, Rosin went to the Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade two years later. Philadephia used him as a starter, and he went 9-6 with a 4.33 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 126 2/3 innings in Double-A this year. Los Angeles may turn the strike-thrower back into a reliever, a role in which he has touched 94-95 mph with his sinking fastball and shown a sharper slider.
Wei-Chung Wang, LHP, Brewers (from Pirates): Wang signed for $350,000 out of Taiwan in 2011, but a physical revealed an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. Pittsburgh voided his first contract and re-signed him for $60,000, which made him Rule 5 Draft eligible this year. He made his pro debut this summer in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where he compiled a 3.23 ERA and 42/4 K/BB ratio in 47 1/3 innings, and his stuff was equally impressive. His fastball was clocked as high as 95 mph, and he showed the potential for a solid curveball and changeup as well.
Marcos Mateo, RHP, D-backs (from Cubs): Another Tommy John surgery survivor, Mateo pitched in the big leagues in 2010 and 2011, but missed all of '12 and much of '13 after having his elbow reconstructed. His stuff has bounced back in the Dominican Winter League, where he has reached the upper 90s with his fastball and the upper 80s with his slider, though command always has been an issue.
Michael Almanzar, 3B/1B, Orioles (from Red Sox): The son of former Major Leaguer Carlos Almanzar, Michael signed for $1.5 million out of the Dominican Republic in 2007. He has two enticing tools in his raw power and his strong arm -- he batted .268/.328/.432 with 16 homers in Double-A this year -- but he's not consistent with the bat and is limited athletically.