Nothing Lost, Nothing Gained In Rule 5 Draft

As expected the Dodgers demonstrated their faith in the players currently in their system by passing entirely in the annual Rule 5 draft. They also showed that they were able to protect anybody truly desirable for all the others clubs declined to draft a Dodger-owned player, either.

That the club would forego any activity in the major league phase of the draft was pre-ordained in this year when everybody got an extra year to protect their more valuable minor leaguers. In addition, for the first time within memory, L.A. passed entirely in the minor league phase as well. Last year they had taken only one, lefthander Alberto Bastardo.

It was mildly surprising, though, that no other team felt any Dodger farmhand left unprotected was somebody worth taking. Righthander Casey Hoorelbeke was expected to chosen in the major league phase- after all, he's always thrown well in his three seasons and his sidearming, almost submarine delivery can be wicked on righthanded hitters.

Yet, no one thought Casey was worth gambling $50,000 on nor was there anybody else left out there by the Dodgers that was deemed worthy of choosing, either. So it was none taken, none lost when it was over.

There was one former Dodger that became quite sought after and was chosen as the second player taken when Kansas City selected righthander Joakim Soria.

Soria is a Mexican that Mike Brito had discovered and signed in October 2001. His debut on 2002 was quite promising, so much so that he was brought over from the Dominican Summer League to the Gulf Coast before the season was over.

However, he developed a sore elbow, had surgery and missed all of the next season as a result. When he came back in 2004, his fast ball seemed missing so he was let go to Mexico City. After that, though, it came back (he throws 95 now), and San Diego picked him up this year- only to lose him in the draft.

So, the Royals will get a chance to see of they can profit from the promise that Brito first spotted a few years ago. And, maybe, the Dodgers will look more carefully at the Mexicans they do have under contract.

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