Rule 5 Draft – Juan Mateo Selected from Cubs

The Cardinals made one of the 12 selections in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft on Thursday when they plucked right-handed pitcher Juan Mateo from the Chicago Cubs. They also made two selections in the minor league phase.

The Cardinals made one of the 12 selections in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft on Thursday when they plucked right-handed pitcher Juan Mateo from the Chicago Cubs.

Mateo is a 6'2", 180 pound right-hander from Bani, Dominican Republic. He turns 23 years old on the 17th of this month and has played three seasons in the Cubs system. Mateo's career mark is 18-5 with a 3.35 ERA. Overall, he fanned 218 in 217-2/3 innings, while walking just 60.

Mateo pitched in A-Advanced with the Daytona Cubs in 2005. He joined the Cubs' rotation in June and went 6-4 with a 3.28 ERA in that role. Mateo paced the Daytona staff with 123 strikeouts in 109-1/3 innings, walking only 27. He had ten wins overall.

In 2004 for Lansing Lugnuts of the Single-A Midwest League, Mateo worked out of the bullpen. He held opposing hitters to a .224 mark while posting a strong 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Mateo logged nine saves and struck out 24 batters while walking just two in the ninth inning all year.

Mateo will have to make the Cardinals' major league roster and remain there for the entire 2006 season. Otherwise, he would have to be returned to the Cubs for half of the $50,000 the Cardinals paid to draft him.

The Cardinals did not lose any players in the major league phase of the draft.

Franco and Harrison join organization
The Cardinals also selected a pair of players in the Triple-A portion of the draft, claiming catcher Iker Franco from the Atlanta Braves and infielder Vince Harrison from the Boston Red Sox. Both players have been assigned to the Cardinals' Memphis (AAA) roster.

Franco is a 24-year-old from Ensenada, Mexico. The 6'1", 212 pound catcher started in the Dominican Summer League in 1998 and was in the Tampa Bay organization until 2004, where he reached the Double-A level.

As a six-year minor league free agent, Franco joined the Braves' organization for 2005, spending most of the season at Double-A Mississippi, where he hit .296 with three home runs and 23 RBI in 179 at-bats. He also made a brief appearance with Triple-A Richmond.

Harrison, 26, is a 5'11", 200 pound third baseman. He can also play some second. Harrison was originally drafted by the Marlins in 1998, but did not sign, instead attending classes at the University of Kentucky. He joined the Devil Rays after being selected in the 13th round in 2001.

Harrison was selected by Texas in the Triple-A Portion of the Rule 5 Draft in 2004, but was on the disabled list for the entire 2005 season due to a wrist injury.

Hummel lost
27-year-old third baseman Tim Hummel was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the first round of the Triple-A draft. He split the 2005 season between Memphis, where he hit .275, and the Red Sox' Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket. Hummel has 85 career major league at-bats, but is not considered a prospect at this point.

Brian Walton can be contacted via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.


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