Padres Rule V recap

The San Diego Padres roster was at forty, precluding them from taking anyone in the Major League portion of the rule V draft. There was a chance that they could lost a couple players, including names like Natanael Mateo, Wilmer Villatoro and Jake Gautreau.

Twelve players were taken in the rule V draft, eight of them pitchers and five of those were lefthanders.

None of them, however, were San Diego Padres, though former Padre Shane Victorino did get plucked by the Phillies.

That is a good thing as the Padres are very high on Wilmer Villatoro and Natanael Mateo while being pleasantly surprised with Jake Gautreau's rebound season.

The more intriguing phase and the one that created more buzz was the minor league phase of the rule V draft.

Marcus Nettles was picked up by the Washington Nationals, Josh Carter went to Philadelphia and Kervin Jacobo was selected by Seattle.

The Padres were down on all three players. Nettles had disciplinary problems and many of their scouts felt he had reached his ceiling. He had speed but was not a prototypical leadoff hitter as his on base percentage remained poor.

One scout, during a game between the Storm and Inland Empire, called Nettles "Mr. Single-A" to MadFriars.com because he had been with the Padres' High-A affiliate, the Lake Elsinore Storm, for three years and hit .248 over that span.

Josh Carter frustrated the Padres' brass by not hitting for more power. Since he was seen as a corner outfielder prospect, the Friars were not willing to forgive his lack of power for a higher average. Carter managed just two homers in 122 games.

"He puts the ball in play…and that is a tough one for us," Padres' Director of Player Development Tye Waller admitted. "We worked with him on trying to get him to drive the ball. We think he is going to need that ability to either hit for a higher average to drive in runs or develop that power.

"He came to us as a pull hitter and we got him to stay inside the ball and use the whole field. I think sometimes he stays inside the ball a little too much, almost an inside-out approach. If he can find the balance of the two, he might find something there. As a corner outfielder, he did play some centerfield, but he had been more of a corner outfielder for us.

Jacobo was similarly disappointing. He led the California League in strikeouts with 171 and had an on base percentage of just .299. On August 2 he was batting just .211 but he went on a .364 tear to raise his average to .242 on the year. It was too little too late for Jacobo as he was not the run producer they envisioned, hitting .208 with runners in scoring position in a hitter's league. His 35 errors were also a problem for the Padres who place defense in high regard even in the minors.

San Diego did select left-handed pitcher Javier Arturo Lopez from Los Angeles and shortstop Christian Herrera from Pittsburgh.

Lopez has a career record of 19-13 with a 4.42 ERA (137 ER/279.0 IP) with one save. He is a 21 year old prospect out of Mexico. He was signed as nondrafted free agent by Dodgers, Feb. 12, 2001. Back in 2001, Lopez was first in the Gulf Coast League in runners allowed per nine innings with 5.72.

He went 5-4 in 29 games last year with seven starts in 2004. He limited lefties to a .215 batting average but allowed eleven homers in 87 innings. He struck out nearly a batter an inning, whiffing 83 in 87 innings.

Herrera has a career batting average of .234 (169-for-723) with one home run, 60 RBI and 104 runs scored over parts of five minor league seasons.

He was originally signed by the Dodgers in 2000 and then signed by the Pirates in 2003. In 2001, Herrera batted .320 in the Gulf Coast Rookie League but he hasn't been the same since. While he batted .282 with Williamsport of the New York Penn League, he hit a dismal .198 with Lynchburg of the Carolina League, including an 0-for-15 mark against lefties.

Padres Major League scout Ken Bracey was named the Major League Midwest Scout of the Year by the Scout of the Year Foundation. The announcements were made at Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings in Anaheim, CA.

"Ken Bracey has been a valuable part of our organization and was a big part of the success we achieved on the field last season," general manager Kevin Towers said.


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