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A's Take Three, Don't Lose Any In Rule 5
In a surprising move, the Oakland A's chose to use a Rule 5 pick on an outfielder, Ben Copeland of the San Francisco Giants organization. The outfield would appear to be an area of depth for the A's, who already have Matt Holliday, Jack Cust, Travis Buck, Ryan Sweeney, Chris Denorfia, Rajai Davis, Matt Murton, Javier Herrera and Richie Robnett on their 40-man roster. In addition, former first-round pick Danny Putnam and minor league free agent signing Matt Carson appear set for Triple-A in 2009.
Copeland was the Giants' top pick in 2005 (fourth round) out of the University of Pittsburgh, alma mater of former A's prospect Brant Colamarino. He split the 2008 season between Double-A Connecticut and Triple-A Fresno. For Connecticut, he hit .261 with five homers and 21 stolen bases in 103 games. He picked up the pace considerably in a short stint in Triple-A, batting .341 in 22 games. Copeland competed in the Arizona Fall League this off-season and hit .275 with an 876 OPS in 14 games for Scottsdale.
In 2007, Copeland spent the entire season with High-A San Jose. He hit .280 that season with seven homers, 70 walks and an 803 OPS. Copeland hit .281 in 2006 for Low-A Augusta, where he was third in the league in walks with 73. Scout.com's SFHardball spoke with Copeland in March about his 2007 season and his preparation for 2008: http://sfgiants.scout.com/2/742082.html.
Rule 5 picks have to stay on a team's major league roster for the entire regular season or be offered back to their original teams. Last year the A's selected reliever Fernando Hernandez from the Chicago White Sox. He made the team out of spring training, but was returned to the White Sox after only a few outings in the big leagues.
Given the A's depth in the outfield, Copeland will have to have a big spring to leap over players like Denorfia and Davis on Oakland's depth chart, unless the A's make a few trades before the start of the spring. Davis and Denorfia are out of options. Copeland will be 24 all of next season.
A's Take Two In Minor League Portion
The A's selected outfielder Yusuf Carter and right-hander Josue Selenes in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft. Players selected in the minor league portion of the draft become part of their new organization with no restrictions on what level they must play at in 2009.
Carter was part of the Chicago Cubs organization. The nephew of former MLB star Joe Carter, Yusuf was actually a draft pick of the A's in the 34th round in the 2004, but he did not sign. He was selected in the 12th round the next season by the Chicago Cubs. He has progressed gradually through the Cubs' system ever since. In 2008, he spent the entire season in Double-A Daytona, where he was limited to 83 games thanks to a hamstring injury. He hit .233 with 13 homers and a 747 OPS with 16 stolen bases. Scout.com's Inside the Ivy profiled Carter in May: http://cubs.scout.com/2/755206.html. He will be 24 next season.
Selenes comes over from the New York Yankees organization. The right-hander split his season between High-A Tampa and short-season Staten Island, where he made a combined 24 appearances. In 35.1 innings, Selenes had a 2.55 ERA with 33 strike-outs and 14 walks and no homeruns allowed. All of those outings were relief appearances. He spent three years from 2005 to 2007 in the Gulf Coast League before he moved up last season. Selenes will be 24 all of next season.
A's Don't Lose Any Players In Draft
The A's left a number of higher profile prospects exposed to the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft, but they walked away with their system intact. Catcher Anthony Recker, relievers Brad Kilby and Jay Marshall, first baseman Tom Everidge and outfielder Danny Putnam were all players who might have piqued the interest of other teams. However, the A's were able to hold onto all of them. They also didn't have any players selected in the minor league portion after losing Ben Fritz, Luke Appert and Brant Colamarino in the minor league portion last year.
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