Angels acquire Rule 5 draftee Taylor Featherston
Shortly following the major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, the Angels acquired infielder Taylor Featherston from the Chicago Cubs, who was drafted minutes earlier by the Northsiders. In what appears to be a premeditated deal, Chicago will receive cash in exchange for Featherston.
Taylor Featherston, who I highlighted earlier as a potential draft target, put up solid numbers last year for the Rockies’ Double-A affiliate. Featherston hit 16 home runs and posted a .439 SLG in the harsh hitting conditions of the Texas League. Although he managed just a .322 OBP in 2014, the middle infielder has a career .342 OBP in the minor leagues. Featherston has played mainly second base in his pro-ball career, but has seen a fair amount of reps at shortstop and can man the hot corner as well.
After trading Howie Kendrick to the Dodgers last night, general manager Jerry Dipoto has been on the lookout for middle infield depth. A mere minutes after making the Kendrick trade, Dipoto acquired Josh Rutledge from the Rockies, who can play both middle infield positions. Featherston will compete against Rutledge and Grant Green for the everyday job at second, but will also have an opportunity to land a bench role as a utility infielder.
As with all Rule 5 draftees, Featherston will be required to stay on the active roster for the entirety of the season or else the Angels will have to offer him back to Colorado. I think this alone makes Featherston less likely to stick to the team than Green or Rutledge.
Come February, however, Taylor Featherston will have the opportunity to showcase his skills in Spring Training and if the Angels like what they see, he might hang around a little longer. In order to separate himself from the others, Featherston will need to present power at the plate and an ability to play around the diamond. But overall, I like this deal and think Featherston has a great chance at making the team. Make sure to keep your eyes on the TCU alum in Tempe, Arizona as he battles for a chance to become an Angel.