Compared to last year’s losses (Andrew Sisco in particular,) the Cubs fared pretty well in this year’s Rule 5 draft. Players that are chosen in Rule 5 must stay on the rosters of their new team at their assigned level or they must be offered back to their original team. Here’s the run down on what we lost, what we got and what we could have lost:
What we lost
The Cubs biggest loss was pitcher Juan Mateo, who was selected by St. Louis in the AA portion of the draft. Mateo went 10-5 for high A Daytona and compiled a very respectable 3.21 ERA in 16 starts. Yorkin Ferreras was claimed in the first round of the minor league level by Tampa Bay. This lefthander had a 3-5 record for Daytona and an ERA of 5.21. Next the Cubs lost Victor Ramos to Boston; Ramos had an ERA of 3.24 in 25 innings pitched for West Tenn. Victor also spent time with low A Peoria and short season A level Boise.
Next San Diego plucked Boise pitcher Andy Santana, a reliever who earned a 4-1 record with a 2.47 ERA in 47 2/3 innings. Finally West Tenn third baseman Aaron Sisk was claimed by the Giants. Sisk had a good start at A Peoria but struggled a bit for the Diamond Jaxx.
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What we got
The first player the Cubs drafted was Carlos Jan from Baltimore. Cubs minor league director Oneri Fleita described Jan as a “left-handed pitcher with arm strength.” His 2005 results were somewhat mediocre although he did have more strikeouts than innings pitched. Next the Cubs took Geivy Garcia from the Padres. Geivy had an ERA slightly above 5 – Fleita commented on him as being “another right-hander who has arm strength.”
For their last pick the Cubs took middle infielder Aaron Rifkin from Seattle, who was promptly shipped off to Colorado for a player to be named later. Apparently the Rockies really wanted this kid and were willing to give up a player for a conditional pick.
What we could have lost
As I said earlier, we got real lucky because teams passed on some guys I was sure we were gonna lose. For some inexplicable reason nobody took 1B Brandon Sing. Brandon has some issues with defense but it seems clear that the guy is gonna hit. Bobby Brownlie, a former Cubs first round draft pick out of Rutgers was not claimed either. Bobby rebounded successfully from shoulder trouble but his results at Iowa were so-so. Reports are that he’s lost some velocity; only time will tell.
Also unclaimed was Chadd Blasko, a real promising reliever who also had season-ending arm trouble this year. Chad throws in the mid 90s and projects as a power reliever. Russ Rohlichek was left unprotected mainly because he walked a ton of guys at Iowa; Russ is a big lefthander who was obtained by the Cubs from Houston. Finally Baseball America’s Cubs top ten prospect Billy Petrick took a pass due to season-ending shoulder surgery. This sinker-slider pitcher was viewed as one of the Cubs best prospects until he ran into arm trouble in Daytona.
The net-net is we didn’t get much but we didn’t give up much either. And it sure could have been worse!
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