Phillies Pass, Draft and Deal in Rule 5 Draft

The Phillies were seemingly quiet in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, but they did take three players in the Minor League Phase. After the draft, the Phillies purchased pitcher Chris Booker, who the Tigers drafted out of the Cincinnati Reds organization.

The annual 2005 Rule 5 Draft was pretty uneventful for the Phillies. They sat back and watched the Major League phase of the draft go by as 11 other teams drafted 12 players. The Florida Marlins continued their emphasis on young players by taking two players - Diamondbacks second baseman Dan Uggla and Dodgers pitcher Mike McGrew - while the Royals, Rockies, Devil Rays, Pirates, Tigers, Padres, Mets, Twins, Red Sox and Cardinals each drafted one player.

As it turns out, the Tigers, who picked pitcher Chris Booker from the Reds, were actually picking for the Philies. Immediately after the draft, the Phillies purchased Booker from the Tigers. The Tigers drafted sixth in the draft and the Phillies were afraid Booker wouldn't last until they came up with the 21st pick. So, they prearranged a deal with Detroit to help insure that they would get the guy they wanted.

The Phillies didn't lose any players in the Major League phase. The Dodgers, Blue Jays and Royals each lost two players, while the White Sox, Nationals, Giants, Diamondbacks, Devil Rays and Cubs each lost one player.

In the Minor League phase, the Phillies didn't suffer any major losses. The Pirates drafted outfielder Brad Correll and the Orioles drafted pitcher Fernando Quijada in the AA phase of the draft. Quijada is the bigger loss. The 21 year old right-hander out of the Dominican Republic returned from an injury to go 2-3, 4.13 for Batavia. Quijada struck out 39 in 32 2/3 innings.

Correll, who is 24, came to the Phillies organization during the 2004 season. He was originally drafted by the Reds in the 29th round of the 2002 Draft and played his entire time in the Phillies organization at Clearwater. In 145 games with the Threshers over the past two seasons, he hit .267 with 13 homeruns and 61 RBI.

The Phillies made three picks in the Minor League phase.

Chris Booker is a six-foot, three-inch, 230 pounder, who was originally drafted by the Cubs in the 20th round of the 1995 Draft out of Monroe County High School. Booker, who turns 29 on Friday, is a right-hander who made his major league debut with the Reds this past season. His debut didn't go well as he was hammered for seven earned runs in two innings - a 31.50 ERA - with the Reds. However, in 10 minor league seasons, Booker recorded 50 saves and posted a career ERA of 3.60. The Phillies hope that he can win a spot in the bullpen and join the team out of spring training. If he doesn't the Phillies will have to offer him back to the Reds or workout a deal with them to send him to AAA.

Booker is coming off his most successful season in the minors, having saved a career high 20 games at AAA Louisville, going 8-4 with a 2.49 ERA and striking out 91 in just 65 innings, while walking 28. Booker's success in 2005 was attributed to learning the split-finger fastball prior to the season.

In the first round of the AAA Phase, the Phillies chose Padres infielder Peeter Ramos. The 23 year old Ramos, who is primarily a second baseman, reached as high as AA Mobile in 2005, hitting just .173 in 104 at bats. He started the season with Class-A Lake Elsinore and hit .278 in 100 games. In five seasons in the minors, Ramos has hit .267 and stolen 101 bases.

In the second round, the Phillies chose Brewers catcher/first base prospect John Vanden Berg. Vanden Berg got his first taste of AA ball with Huntsville in 2005, hitting .252 in 81 games. Vanden Berg is a career .281 hitter in four minor league seasons. Vanden Berg, who turns 26 in February, was drafted by the Brewers in the 25th round of the 2002 Draft.

Finally, the Phillies chose another Padres infielder in the AA Phase, taking second baseman Brian Burgamy. The 24 year old Burgamy split 2005 between Class-A Lake Elsinore and AA Mobile, hitting a combined .254 with 9 homeruns and 55 RBI. Burgamy, who is a switch-hitter, played his college ball at Wichita State and was drafted by San Diego in the ninth round of the 2002 Draft.

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