The Oakland A's chose to bypass a selection in the major league portion of this year's Rule 5 draft and escaped the major league portion of the draft without having one of their players taken. It was a different story during the minor league portion, however, as two of the A's farmhands were selected and the team tabbed one player. Unlike in the major league portion of the draft, there are no requirements for a player to remain on any particular roster if he is taken in the minor league portion of the draft.
The two A's relievers who were taken were both on the Midland Rockhounds' staff in 2010: right-handers Dan Sattler and Justin Friend. Sattler was selected with the eighth pick in the first-round of the Triple-A phase by the Los Angeles Angels and Friend was taken with the last pick in the second round of the Triple-A phase by the Philadelphia Phillies. The A's used the ninth pick in the Triple-A portion to select Jeiler Castillo from the Houston Astros.
Sattler was a part of the A's organization for one-plus seasons. The former Texas Rangers' farmhand was signed by Oakland out of the independent leagues in 2009. He appeared in four games for the Stockton Ports in 2009 and was brought back for the 2010 season. After allowing two runs in 7.2 innings with Stockton to start the season, Sattler was promoted to Midland, where he had a 4.17 ERA in 45.1 innings, all in relief. He struck-out 38 and walked 24. The Purdue alum and Indiana native turned 27 in November. Sattler has struggled with arm/shoulder problems dating back to college, but he has a live arm when he is healthy and he was healthy for much of the 2010 season.
Friend was the A's 13th round pick in 2007 out of Oklahoma State, where his head coach was Brett Anderson's father Frank and his teammate was A's outfield prospect Corey Brown. Friend, a Tracy native, put up some good numbers while with the A's and represented the team at the Arizona Fall League last season. In 2010, he had a 3.70 ERA in 56 innings for Midland. Friend struck-out 50, but he struggled with his command, walking 38. Friend also missed a month with a sore elbow. He has struck-out 237 batters in 217 minor league innings. Friend's best pitch is his slider and he also throws a good sinker that generates a lot of groundball outs.
Castillo recently turned 23. The right-hander from Venezuela pitched in the New York-Penn League and the Appalachian League in 2010, both short-season leagues. He has been stuck at the short-season level for three seasons now in the Houston organization.
The 6'0'', 155 pound right-hander had a 4.07 ERA in 42 innings last season. He struck-out only 27, but he walked only 12. He has been mostly a reliever during his five year career in the Houston chain, which began when he signed an undrafted free agent contract with Houston in 2006. He is likely to pitch at either Vermont (short-season A) or Burlington (Low-A) next season.