Angels Lose A Little In Rule 5 Draft

LOS ANGELES—The Angels spent most of the final day of the Winter Meetings focusing on Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. So you can't blame them for inactivity in the Rule 5 draft.

Or you can look at it another way and say the Angels thought it better to give rather than receive.

Either way the results are the same, with the newly minted American League favorites giving up five prospects—including two lefthanders—while adding no one. The Angels also lost a pair of high draft picks when they signed Pujols and Wilson, which has the potential to further weaken an already fragile minor league system.

Yet only one of the players the Angels lost in the Rule 5 draft—first baseman Gabe Jacobo—was considered a prospect. And with the Angels set at first base for the next decade, Jacobo was clearly expendable.

In the major league phase of the draft, the Angels once again lost Robert Fish, a 23-year-old lefthander with a live arm who has gone 21-20, 4.87 with more than a strikeout an inning in 152 games over six minor league seasons. This time he went to the Braves, after being selected by the Yankees in last winter's Rule 5. New York returned him to Los Angeles in the spring.

In the Triple-A phase, the Angels lost lefty reliever Barret Browning to the Cardinals, while infielders Ricky Alvarez, Michael Wing and Jacobo went to the Cubs, Padres and Blue Jays, respectively.

Jacobo, 24, a 10th-round pick out of Cal State Sacramento in 2008, hit .296/.333/.492 with 22 home runs and 107 RBIs at high Class A Rancho Cucamonga in 2010, earning an invitation to big league spring training. But the versatile first baseman's average dipped to .270/.309/.419 with just 10 home runs in 341 at-bats last year with Double-A Arkansas last season.


• Minor League Player of the Year Mike Trout did not make the kind of progress the Angels hoped he would in the Arizona Fall League, batting .245/.279/.321 with 33 strikeouts in 106 at-bats. Just six of Trout's 26 hits went for extra bases.

• Righthander Jerome Williams finished his brief winter vacation with Magallanes of the Venezuelan League by going 5-0, 1.00 in starts, yielding no earned runs in four of them. Williams was expected to start spring training as the Angels' fifth starter.