Notable recent SF Giants signing whisked away by archrivals
On Wednesday, Duplantier became a Dodger.
In the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft Wednesday afternoon, Duplantier was plucked by Farhan Zaidi's former team in the third round. He was one of six SF Giants minor leaguers selected by other teams, while Zaidi and the front office brought in one player, outfielder Michael Gigliotti from the Rays.
While the major league half of the Rule 5 draft did not take place thanks to the MLB Lockout, the minor league portion was able to go as planned because the players are not going to be added to the 40-man roster when selected, which is a requirement of the major league portion.
Players are eligible for the Rule 5 draft when they are left off their team's 40-man roster following five seasons of professional baseball after signing at 18 years old or younger, or following four seasons after signing at 19 or older. Teams need to have less than 38 players on their Triple-A roster to be able to select in the minor league Rule 5 draft.
While major league Rule 5 picks need to be kept on the drafting club's 26-man roster for the entire next season (with some modifications for injured players) or be offered back to the original team, minor league selections have no roster requirements and do not need to be offered back.
Most MLB teams made selections in the first round, with only five passing from the get-go (once a team passes they are not allowed to jump back in later). Left-handed pitcher Conner Menez, who appeared in 23 games with the Giants from 2019-21 with a 4.04 ERA, was the first Giant taken as the fifth overall pick by the Chicago Cubs.
Two other Giants farmhands were selected in the first round: Matt Seelinger, a righty who was acquired by the Giants in a 2019 trade with Tampa Bay, was taken by Philadelphia, while John Nogowski went to Atlanta after spending a brief portion of 2021 in the Giants system with Sacramento.
The Oakland Athletics picked Vince Fernandez, himself a 2020 Giants selection in the minor league Rule 5 draft, in the second round, and the Pittsburgh Pirates' third round choice was Jacob Gonzalez - son of former Major League star Luis and a four-year Giants minor leaguer after joining the organization as a 2017 second-round amateur draft selection.
Finally, at the end of the third round, the Dodgers called Duplantier's name. Los Angeles seemed to be chasing recent highly-touted pitchers who had been demoted from the majors, as their second pick was 2015 amateur draft first-rounder Carson Fulmer, who has been in the big leagues for part of every season since 2016.
Gigliotti, the lone Giants pick, entered pro baseball as a fourth-round selection of the Kansas City Royals in 2017 out of Lipscomb University. Acquired by the Rays in a 2020 trade, Gigliotti has impacted games mainly with his speed, swiping 65 bases in 185 minor league games while batting .287 and showing a good eye at the plate (100 career walks against 150 strikeouts and a .389 OBP).
Interestingly, everyone selected in the minor league portion is also eligible for the major league Rule 5 draft if/when it takes place, assuming they aren't added to the selecting team's 40-man roster after the lockout ends. So if the Giants really like Duplantier they might have a chance to take him back from the Dodgers, but it will be more difficult to keep him in the system if he doesn't show he can stay in the major leagues.