In the first round of the Rule V draft, the A's selected LHP Tyler Johnson of the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Johnson was a relief pitcher for the Cardinals' AA team last season, making 53 appearances and throwing 56.1 innings. Johnson had a 12.3 K/9 ratio and a 4.79 ERA. He struggled a bit with his control but has very good stuff and could project to a second lefty, middle relief role in the bullpen. (9:17 am PST)
More on Johnson
The lefty is 6'2'', 180 and he was a 34th round draft choice of St. Louis in 2000 out of Moorpark College. He is only 23 years old, but has never played above AA. Johnson had a big year for the Cardinals' Low-A team in 2002, posting a 15-3 record with a 2.00 ERA. He made 18 starts and 4 relief appearances that season.
Johnson then split the 2003 season between the Cardinals' High-A team and their AA club, sharin time as a starter and a reliever. He had a solid year, posting a 3.08 ERA in A and a 1.65 ERA in AA. Johnson has always been a strike-out pitcher throughout his professional career, posting a career average of 10.70 strike-outs for every nine innings pitched. Johnson has also only allowed 14 career homeruns in 338 career innings pitched. He also averages giving up less then one hit per inning pitched. If he can cut down on walks, Johnson should improve on his plus 4 ERA next season.
It isn't clear whether the A's would entertain keeping Johnson their 25-man roster or whether they will try to trade for his rights from the Cardinals at the end of spring training. However, with Chris Hammond and Arthur Rhodes departing this off-season, the A's are currently sporting only one lefty in the bullpen. Beane usually prefers to have at least two lefties in the bullpen. Assuming the A's don't acquire another major league left, Johnson figures to compete with Sacramento's Ron Flores for the second lefty slot. (9:36 am PST)
Major League portion of the draft is over
The A's have escaped the major league portion of the Rule V draft unscathed, as none of the A's prospects were taken. The minor league portion is underway now. (9:40 am PST)
The A's select two players in minor league portion
The A's selected two players in the minor league portion of the Rule V draft, righthanded pitcher Victor Moreno and shortstop Andrew Beattie. No one was selected from the A's organization.
Moreno was selected in the AAA portion of the draft and will report to the Sacramento RiverCats next season. He was most recently in the Minnesota organization and has also spent time in the Philadelphia and Anaheim organizations.
Moreno has been used mostly as a relief pitcher during his minor league career. He has excellent strikeout numbers (a career 10.1 K:9 ratio), but struggles with his control. He also gives up a high number of hits per innings pitched. Moreno was signed by the Phillies out of Venezuela in 2001 at age 21. He will be turning 25 during the 2005 season.
Andrew Beattie is a shortstop who was recently signed by the Philadelphia Phillies. He had spent his entire career as part of the Reds' organization up until that point. Beattie hit .300 last year for AAA Chattanooga with six homeruns and 43 runs batted in. The Florida native also compiled a .381 OBP. Beattie will be 27 going into the 2005 season. He sports a career .274 minor league batting average.
Oakland A's Rule V Coverage
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