Rule Five Round-Up: A's Lose Ogando

The Oakland A's lost one of their most talented minor league players during the Rule Five draft on Thursday, although it is unclear whether that player will be playing in the US in 2006. Oakland managed to hold onto all of their unprotected players in the major league portion of the Rule Five draft and picked up four players in the AAA portion. We have all of the details inside…

A's Lose Ogando

On the one hand, it is hard to get worked up about losing a minor league player who has never played above short-season A ball, hit .150 during his stay in short-season Vancouver and didn't play in the US in 2005. However, Ogando was a special talent and it will be a shame that the A's will probably never get to see him develop on their watch. Despite his lack of experience playing professionally in the US, Ogando landed in our top-25 for A's prospects because of his sheer raw skills.

Ogando has a monster arm, plus power potential, good speed and a quick swing. After a huge season in Rookie ball in 2003, many projected that Ogando would move quickly up the A's chain. However, he struggled at short-season Vancouver and then posted only mediocre numbers back at Rookie ball in 2004. Still, there was a lot of hope that Ogando could make a breakthrough in 2005. Unfortunately, he never made it back to the US for the 2005 season. A mysterious visa problem left Ogando in his native Dominican Republic for the entire 2005 season and it is unclear whether he will be able to make it back to the US to play in 2006. If he does, he will be a prospect to watch.

In addition to losing Ogando, the A's also lost LHP Jose Lugo in the minor league portion of the draft. Lugo made his US debut in 2005 at Rookie ball and went 2-3 with a 5.23 ERA in 15 appearances (5 starts). He struck out 44 in 53 innings. The A's also lost catcher/1B John Suomi. Suomi was a big part of the Modesto A's championship team in 2004, but he sustained a horrific knee injury in the playoffs that year and missed the entire 2005 season.

The A's did not lose anyone in the major league portion of the draft. A number of the A's more well-known prospects were available, including Brian Stavisky, Brad Sullivan, Brian Snyder, Brant Colamarino and Gregorio Petit. All will be returning to the A's organization in 2006, barring a trade.

A's Pick Up Three in AAA Portion of Draft

Oakland added more depth to their Sacramento roster on Thursday with the addition of four players in the AAA portion of the Rule 5 draft. For those who are not familiar with the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft, any player who is not protected on the AAA with more than three years of experience is eligible to be taken by any other team.

In the draft, the A's snared SS Ronnie Merrill from San Diego, RHP Dave Bradley from Milwaukee, LHP Tim Rall from Seattle and 2B/OF Cameron Coughlan from Texas. Merrill will be joining his fourth organization since being drafted in the seventh round by the Detroit Tigers in 2000. The 27 year-old has been in the Detroit, Colorado and San Diego chains. He made the jump from High-A to AAA in 2002, but struggled at AAA and didn't make it back there until this past season, when he spent 14 games with AAA-Portland. Merrill hasn't had a lot of success at the plate in the minors, but he is reportedly an excellent fielding shortstop and he should give the River Cats some depth at a position they figure to be thin at.

Bradley will be joining his third organization, having spent time with Cincinnati and Milwaukee previously. Bradley has never pitched at a higher level than AA, but he did have some success there in 2005. The 28 year-old right-hander split time between the starting rotation and the bullpen for the Hunstville Stars, posting a 3.35 ERA in 104 innings. He has a career 8.26 K/9 ratio in five minor league seasons. He spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons in the Independent Leagues. Bradley is from the same town as A's outfielder Nick Swisher, Parkersburg, WV.

Rall spent most of the 2005 season at AA-San Antonio, where he pitched out of the bullpen, posting a 3.81 ERA in 41 appearances. The 25 year-old has a career 3.59 ERA in 119 minor league games and he averages 9.31 K/9. Seattle is the only other major league organization Rall has been with.

Coughlan is a speed-burner who spent last season in A and AA ball for the Rangers' organization. The 23 year-old switch-hitter stole 37 bases last season. He also hit .351 in 39 games for High-A Clinton before being promoted to AA-Frisco, where he hit .262. Coughlan's career high in stolen bases in 47 in 2003 and he is a career .274 batter. He has never played above AA.

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