Red Sox select pitchers Joe Jacques, Ryan Miller in minor-league phase of Rule 5 Draft

The Red Sox may have passed on taking a player in the major-league phase of Wednesday’s Rule 5 Draft, but they did make two selections in the minor-league phase.

Boston added left-hander Joe Jacques from the Pirates and right-hander Ryan Miller from the Yankees. The two hurlers have been assigned to Triple-A Worcester.

Jacques, 27, was originally selected by Pittsburgh in the 33rd round of the 2018 amateur draft out of Manhattan College in New York City. The New Jersey native received a mere $2,000 signing bonus and made his professional debut in the Appalachian League.

After beginning this past season on the 60-day injured list, Jacques spent most of the 2022 campaign with Triple-A Indianapolis. There, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound southpaw posted a 3.62 ERA and 4.74 FIP with 27 strikeouts to 12 walks over 29 relief appearances (37 1/3 innings) for the Indians. He also fared far better against left-handed hitters (.257 OPS against) compared to right-handed hitters (.845 OPS against).

Jacques, who turns 28 in March, throws from a unique sidearm slot and operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a two-seam fastball, a four-seam fastball, a slider, and a changeup, according to Pittsburgh Baseball Network.

Miller, 26, was originally taken by the Diamondbacks in the sixth round of the 2018 draft out of Clemson University. The Florida native signed with Arizona for $25,000, but was released less than two years later at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. He latched on with the Southern Illinois Miners of the independent Frontier League in 2021 and began the 2022 season with the Sioux Falls Canaries of the American Association before having his contract purchased by the Yankees in late May.

In his return to affiliated ball, Miller produced a a 5.75 ERA — but much more respectable 4.11 xFIP — with 50 strikeouts to 18 walks across 25 relief appearances (36 innings) for High-A Hudson Valley. He did not pitch at all in the month of September due to an undisclosed injury.

Listed at 6-feet and 180 pounds, Miller put up reverse splits this year, as he held opposing left-handed hitters to a .622 OPS against but allowed right-handed hitters to slash .275/.374/.522 off of him.

Miller, who — like Jacques has a birthday in March, becomes the sixth different pitcher the Red Sox have taken from the Yankees in the major- or minor-league phase of a Rule 5 Draft dating back to 2018. Boston took Anyelo Gomez in 2018, Raynel Espinal in 2019, Garrett Whitlock and Kaleb Ort in 2020, and Brian Keller in 2021.

Red Sox lose Cameron Cannon to Phillies

In addition to picking up two pitchers, the Red Sox also lost an infielder in the minor-league phase of Wednesday’s Rule 5 Draft as Cameron Cannon was scooped up by the Phillies.

Cannon, now 25, was Boston’s second-round pick in 2019. The University of Arizona product was once regarded by Baseball America as the No. 22 prospect in the Red Sox farm system but had since fallen off the list completely. He spent the majority of the 2022 season with Double-A Portland before being promoted to Worcester in August. Like fellow 2019 draftee Noah Song, Cannon is now reunited with Dave Dombrowski to some degree in Philadelphia.

Former Red Sox infielder Jonathan Arauz, who was claimed off waivers by the Orioles in June, went from Baltimore to the Mets organization on Wednesday.

(Picture of Chaim Bloom: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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