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Oakland A's lose 2B Colin Walsh to Brewers in Rule 5 Draft, sending Jabari Blash to Padres

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The Athletics also made several selections in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft.

The Milwaukee Brewers selected Oakland Athletics second baseman Colin Walsh, who finished a successful year in Double-A Midland, with the fifth selection of the Rule 5 draft. The A's chose outfielder Jabari Blash from the Seattle Mariners with the sixth pick, but are sending Blash to the San Diego Padres as the player to be named in the deal to acquire Yonder Alonso and Marc Rzepczynski, A's general manager David Forst informs Oakland beat writers.

The Brewers will have to retain Walsh on their active roster for the entire season or else waive him to allow other teams to claim him on Rule 5 terms. If no team claims Walsh, the Brewers must offer him back to the A's for $25,000, which would allow the A's to return him to the minor leagues and off the 40-man roster.

Jabari Blash selected by A's from Mariners and headed to the Padres

Outfielder Jabari Blash, 26, is the player to be named in the deal that sent Drew Pomeranz and Jose Torres to the San Diego Padres for first baseman Yonder Alonso and left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski. He sacrifices plate discipline for power: he has 614 strikeouts and 109 home runs in 2,269 minor league plate appearances, a 27 and 4.8 percent rate, respectively. He hit 32 home runs between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Tacoma in 2015, good for a .271/.370/.576 batting line.

This is often a point of confusion when a Rule 5 draft selectee is chosen, but note that the A's do not have any special rights to Blash if the Padres elect not to carry him on their active roster. If Blash is waived, the A's can claim him on Rule 5 terms in order of waiver priority (this is how the A's obtained Nate Freiman in 2013), but he ultimately would be offered back to the Mariners if he cleared waivers.

Colin Walsh selected by Brewers

Oakland was the second team for second baseman Colin Walsh, 26, after he was released by the St. Louis Cardinals before the 2014 season. Walsh was just starting to show a little bit of pop, hitting .302/.447/.470 with 13 home runs over 619 plate appearances, a 20 percent walk rate, and a 21.2 percent strikeout rate in 2015 for Double-A Midland.

Athletics Nation's Spencer Silva interviewed Walsh at the end of August as Midland was getting set to clinch a postseason berth:

This offseason, Walsh plans on doing work all over the diamond to increase his versatility. As an older prospect, he's willing to do whatever it takes to make it to the big leagues. In the minors, he's spent time at second base, third base and outfield. This winter he wants to do get some reps at shortstop, if only to be a serviceable emergency option.

Walsh was probably going to be crowded out by higher-rated middle infield prospects Joey Wendle and Chad Pinder, both expected to start in Triple-A, with Yairo Munoz and Franklin Barreto on his heels in Double-A.

A's take three, lose one in Triple-A portion of draft

In the Triple-A portion of the draft, the A's selected outfielder Danny Oh (OF, NYY), Alex Glenn (OF, ARI), and Viosergy Rosa (1B, MIA). The A's must keep Oh, Glenn, and Rosa on its Triple-A reserve list, but it can send them to any of their minor league affiliates. The A's made no selections in the Double-A portion of the Rule 5 draft.

The Arizona Diamondbacks selected A's outfielder Chad Oberacker in the third round of the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft.

Danny Oh selected from Yankees

Oakland's first pick in the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft went to left-handed batting outfielder Danny Oh, turning 26 this month. The Yankees originally took him in the 27th round of the 2012 amateur draft out of the University of California, Berkeley, where he was teammates with current A's Mark Canha and Marcus Semien.

As a lower round draft pick Oh hasn't necessarily been given a full load of plate appearances, and I'm not sure if month long breaks in his 2013 and 2014 batting logs should be chalked up to injuries or an assignment to extended spring training. He earned a promotion in 2015 after going .333/.411/.437 in 112 High-A plate appearances, a 159 wRC+ for the Florida State League. He played in another 67 games hitting .293/.337/.397 in 261 Double-A plate appearances, a 110 wRC+ in the Eastern League. He had 13 stolen bases and was just charged with just one error in 185 chances last year.

Alex Glenn selected from Diamondbacks

Oakland's next Triple-A pick went to Alex Glenn, a 24-year-old left-handed batting outfielder. The Diamondbacks took Glenn in the 12th round of the 2012 amateur draft out of Arizona Christian University.

Glenn showed enough power in the California League between 2014 and 2015 (32 home runs in 789 plate appearances) to earn a promotion to the less hitter-friendly Southern League, where he hit .238/.307/.419, a 103 wRC+ over 189 plate appearances. Minor League Ball's John Sickels' evaluation of Glenn in his end-of-year sleeper picks round up:

Age 24, hit .248/.305/.434 with 22 doubles, 10 triples, 11 homers, 29 walks, 88 strikeouts in 403 at-bats between High-A and Double-A. Stole just six bases after swiping 22 in 2014. As a tweener type he needs to get the speed back or add more power.

Viosergy Rosa selected from Marlins

Oakland's third Triple-A pick was used to select Viosergy Rosa, a left-handed batting 25-year-old first baseman. The Marlins selected Rosa in the 29th round of the 2010 amateur draft.

Rosa was ranked past the Top 20 on the Minor League Ball preseason Marlins prospect list, and at the end of the year, he still didn't rate highly:

On the negative side, many of the mid-level hitters have failed to perform up to expectations, with toolsy Justin Twine and first baseman Viosergy Rosa being particular disappointments in addition to many of the names mentioned in the main report.

In Double-A Jacksonville, Rosa hit .217/.349/.339 with 10 home runs, 93 strikeouts, and 77 walks in 470 plate appearances, giving him a Three True Outcomes rate of 38.3 percent.

Chad Oberacker goes to Diamondbacks

The A's lost Chad Oberacker, an outfielder chosen in the 25th round of the 2011 amateur draft, to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Oberacker turns 27 in January.

Oberacker is two seasons away from reaching minor league free agency and just finished his third season in Double-A Midland. His 2015 campaign was a slight breakout for him at the plate, he hit .294/.360/.425 for a 120 wRC+ in the Texas League with five home runs after a .220/.275/.313 in 2014.

Unprotected players retained

The A's were able to retain several notable unprotected players:

  • Right-handed reliever Aaron Kurcz, obtained from the Braves for an international bonus slot in 2015
  • Right-handed reliever Tucker Healy (2012 23rd round)
  • Right-handed reliever Kris Hall (2012 8th round)
  • Catcher Bruce Maxwell (2012 2nd round)
  • Outfielder Brett Vertigan (2012 10th round)