Orioles Make Good Use Of Rule 5 Draft

SARASOTA, Fla.—Outfielder Joey Rickard projects as the latest Rule 5 draft pick to break camp with the Orioles.

The 24-year-old Rickard has impressed the right people in camp and would bring value to a roster devoid of speed.

He would join a growling list of Rule 5 selections in the organization that includes utility infielder Ryan Flaherty (a 2012 rookie), lefthander T.J. McFarland (2013) and righthander Jason Garcia (2015).

The Orioles snagged Rickard from the Rays, in part because of his lifetime .390 on-base percentage in four pro seasons. Factor in his ability to play all three outfield positions, and he has a chance to head north.

Rickard has continually drawn praise from big league manager Buck Showalter.

“I like him,” Showalter said. “He’s a good defender in center and left (field) so far.

“Timing is everything. He’s (at the age when) a lot of guys start figuring it out. He’s kind of come into his own the last year, and he carried it over into winter ball.”

Rickard spent most of 2015 at Double-A Montgomery but played at three levels, hitting .321/.427/.447 with 69 walks and 23 steals in 117 games. He then compiled a .344 OBP in 50 games in the Dominican League.

“He seems like a sharp kid,” Showalter said. “He runs the bases well . . . So far so good.

“These (Rule 5) guys were told when they come in to be ready to play. It looks like Joey heard us.”

Rickard seems to be relaxed in a big league atmosphere. His teammates make sure of it.

“I think the veteran core here is pretty comforting with the new guys, the young guys, pretty much everybody,” said Rickard, a Rays ninth-round pick from Arizona in 2012. “I’d say all of them lead by example.”

Rickard bats from the right side, but the Orioles are intrigued by the idea of having him switch-hit, something he did briefly early in his high school career in Las Vegas.

“I’m as ambidextrous as they come,” he said. “I haven’t really put much thought into it, but people have put that in my mind.”

Rickard tried switch-hitting in games, but he didn’t feel the same from the left side.


• The Orioles re-signed outfielder Julio Borbon to a minor league deal. The 30-year-old has spent the past two seasons at Triple-A Norfolk.

• The Orioles designated righthander Andrew Triggs for assignment to make room for Pedro Alvarez on the 40-man roster. The Athletics subsequently claimed Triggs on waivers.

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