DALLAS - The Nationals didn’t make a pick in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft Thursday morning, but they lost two players from their Triple-A Syracuse roster.
With the 22nd pick, the Cardinals selected outfielder Erik Komatsu, who was acquired from the Brewers in the trade for Jerry Hairston Jr. Komatsu hit .277 with seven homers and 48 RBIs between Double-A Huntsville and Harrisburg in 2011.
“We were prepared for the possibility that he would be (picked),” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said of Komatsu. “With the center field situation in the big leagues and the crop of guys we have moving up that would push Komatsu, we felt we had enough depth there to leave him exposed.”
With the 29th pick, the Yankees chose right-hander Brad Meyers, who went 9-7 with a 3.18 ERA between Single-A Auburn, Harrisburg and Syracuse last year. The 26-year-old was a fifth-round selection in 2007.
Meyers had a 378-to-105 strikeout-to-walk ratio over five minor league seasons, but fell victim to Washington’s strong organizational pitching depth.
“You can only protect so many players and we felt when we pref out our own players, we (felt we) have enough depth to absorb if we lose a starting pitcher or two,” Rizzo said. “We actually anticipated losing more than one starter in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft. It goes with the territory - when you build a minor league system is getting better, it often happens you lose a player because you can’t protect everybody.”
Update: In the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft, the Nationals picked catcher Beau Seabury from the Rockie’s Double-A Tulsa club. The 26-year-old Seabury hit .274 with two homers and 20 RBIs at Single-A Modesto last year.
Rizzo said Seabury was more of a catch-and-throw guy than an offensive threat, and his addition gives the Nationals some additional catching depth and the flexibility to include one of their young receivers in a trade down the road.
“We have some strong scouting reports on (Seabury),” Rizzo said. “You can never have enough catching depth. He’ll come into minor league camp and back up one of our prospects and be depth in case we move one of them in a trade or anything.”
Update: In the Double-A phase, the National took right-hander Matthew Buschmann from the Padres’ Single-A roster. The 27-year-old, a fifth-round pick in 2007, was 12-6 with a 6.16 ERA in 32 games, including 22 starts, between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson last season.