Mets select RHP Henry Owens in Rule V

<b>ANAHEIM, Calif. – </b> It was a quiet Rule V draft for the Mets, who added a pitcher and didn't lose any.

The Mets selected right-hander Henry Owens from the Triple-A Altoona Curve in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, New York's only selection in the draft.

No club chose a Mets player, despite the fact that lefthanded relievers Blake McGinley and former No. 1 draft pick Royce Ring were left exposed.

Owens, a 6'3", 220-lb. reliever, was 3-4 with a 4.28 ERA and four saves in 39 games this year for the Lynchburg (A) Hillcats of the Carolina League. In 54.2 innings, Owens allowed 26 walks and struck out 49.

"He's an arm strength guy," Mets director of scouting operations Gary LaRocque said. "The reports we have on him are good. He has a good fastball, a good sinker, and a slider."

LaRocque said that Owens will be in the mix of minor league players during spring training, after which point the Mets will determine his 2005 club. Right now, he is assigned to Triple-A Norfolk.

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