The Oakland A's were busy during the 2015 Rule 5 draft, selecting one player in the major league phase and three players in the Triple-A phase of the draft. Oakland also lost prospects Colin Walsh and Chad Oberacker in the draft. Walsh went in the major league portion to the Milwaukee Brewers, while Oberacker landed with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Triple-A portion of the draft. As it turned out, their selection in the major league portion of the draft was for another team, as Oakland flipped their pick, Jabari Blash, to the San Diego Padres to complete the Yonder Alonso trade.
Blash has prodigious power, but also swings and misses quite a bit. He was one of the most intriguing talents available in the Rule 5 draft this year. Blash hit .271/.370/.576 with 32 homers in 116 games split between Double-A and Triple-A in 2015. The 26-year-old walked 59 times and struck-out 123 times. He has 109 career homers in 551 games, but he has struck-out 614 times. He has never hit fewer than 14 homers in any full season in the minor leagues. Our Seattle Mariners' sister site -- SeattleClubhouse.com -- profiled Blash in their Rule 5 preview last month. Rick Randall, publisher of the site, had this to say about Blash:
"Blash, who I had as the organization's No. 23 prospect in that latest update, split his 2015 season between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Tacoma, combining to hit 32 home runs -- good for a second place tie among all minor leaguers -- and slashing at .271/.370/.576 in 116 games. The right-handed hitting native of the US Virgin Islands turned 26 this past July and has struggled at the minors' highest level a bit the past few years, but he slugged at a .640 clip in the PCL this year. Jabari has been unprotected and available each of the last two seasons via Rule 5 and slipped through, but now he's coming off a loud, productive season at the minors' highest level. And while he is strictly a corner outfielder, Blash does have decent speed in the outfield and on the bases for a player his size and also possesses a strong throwing arm."
Blash will need to remain on the Padres' 25-man roster all season or be offered back to the Mariners.
The A's also selected three players in the Triple-A portion of the draft. Players taken in the Triple-A portion become part of their new organization with no restrictions on where they play in the organization. Oakland took three position players: OF Danny Oh from the New York Yankees, OF Alex Glenn from the Arizona Diamondbacks and 1B Viosergy Rosa from the Miami Marlins.
Oh is a Cal alum who went in the 27th round of the 2012 draft to the Yankees. He reached Double-A for the first time in his career last season, hitting .293/.338/.397 in 67 games with Trenton. Oh also played in 29 games at the High-A level last year and hit .333/.411/.408. He has some speed, a good eye and outstanding bat control. Oh has only 156 career strike-outs in 256 games. Injuries have limited Oh's playing time during his pro career. He turns 26 later this month.
Glenn was a 12th-round pick of the D-Backs in 2012 out of Arizona Christian. The left-handed hitting and throwing outfielder hit 24 homers and stole 22 bases for High-A Visalia in the California League in 2014. He began 2015 in Double-A, but was sent back to Visalia in June after hitting .238/.307/.419 in 58 games. He hit .255/.303/.446 in 58 games for Visalia after the demotion. Glenn, 24, has a career .477 SLG and 51 stolen bases in 399 minor league games.
Rosa is a first baseman in the traditional A's model -- a left-handed hitter with some power and lots of patience. He had a down season in 2015 with Double-A Jacksonville, batting only .217 with a 687 OPS. He did walk 77 times, however. Rosa had 15 homers and an 807 OPS the year before, a season in which he split his time between High-A and Double-A.
The A's lost two key players from their 2015 Texas League championship squad in Midland: Walsh and Oberacker. Walsh joins with Brewers with an opportunity to make his major-league debut as a utility player for a team that is rebuilding. Walsh took a major step forward in his development in 2015, putting together one of the best offensive seasons in the Texas League. A switch-hitter who can play all over the field, Walsh batted .302/.447/.470 with an MiLB-leading 124 walks and 13 homeruns. Walsh played primarily second base for Midland last year, but he can also play third base and first base and left field. He has some speed, as well, and he swiped 17 bases last season. The A's acquired Walsh as a minor league free agent before the 2014 season after he was released by the St. Louis Cardinals. He is a Stanford alum.
Oberacker also had a breakout season for Midland in 2015. He joins Arizona and will hopefully get an opportunity in Triple-A after three seasons in Double-A with the A's. In 2015, Oberacker served as Midland's lead-off hitter and centerfielder for much of the year. In 101 games, the left-handed hitter batted .294 with a .360 OBP. He stole 19 bases and walked 42 times. Oberacker is a solid defensive player, as well. He was the A's 25th round pick in the 2011 draft out of Tennessee Tech.