Chris Devenski is a reliever for the Houston Astros. He has been one of the best relievers this season on the best team in baseball.
Devenski, nicknamed “The Dragon” by his manager in Double-A….has followed an unlikely path to his current status as one of Major League Baseball’s best bullpen weapons. The right-hander was a 25th-round pick by the White Sox back in 2011 before being dealt to Houston as a player to be named later in the 2012 trade that sent right-hander Brett Myers to Chicago. Devenski wasn’t protected from the Rule 5 Draft by the Astros following a solid-but-not-dominant 2015 season in Double-A, which Luhnow describes to Rosenthal as “a bad decision with an OK outcome.” Luhnow concedes that Houston took “too much of a risk” in leaving Devenski unprotected, though he’s surely thankful for how it worked out. In 131 1/3 MLB innings since Opening Day 2016, Devenski has a 2.12 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 (via MLBtraderumors.com).
Three times, Devenski was overlooked or ignored. Every team had multiple opportunities to acquire him, in the draft and when he was left unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft.
Sometimes everyone misevaluates a player; sometimes, a player develops into a player that nobody could have foreseen. Sometimes, a team gets lucky. That is a part of sports success, as there are too many factors involved in success to predict every one accurately.