LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Nationals lost one player and gained two others in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday morning.
The Nationals lost catcher Adrian Nieto to the White Sox in the Major League phase. He arguably had his best season in 2013, hitting .285 with 11 home runs and 53 RBIs for Class A Potomac. Assistant general manager Doug Harris wasn't surprised that the White Sox selected Nieto, who was the Nats' fifth-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
"We gathered some information the last several days that there was some interest in him," Harris said. "You never know in this Draft. We heard the rumors. Adrian struggled for several years with us. We actually took a step back with him, kind of restarted his career by going back to Auburn. It jump-started him. He matured a great deal. We are very proud of what he accomplished."
The Nationals also gained two players in the Triple-A phase, selecting Reds outfielder Theodis Bowe and Mets right-hander Martires Arias.
With the loss of outfielder Billy Burns to the Athletics in a trade for left-hander Jerry Blevins on Wednesday, the Nats wanted to add speed to the Minor League system, and Bowe fits the bill. During his six years in professional baseball, Bowe has swiped 136 bases. He is coming off a rough year with Double-A Pensacola in 2013, hitting .206 with four home runs, 16 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.
This past season, Arias went 1-7 with a 5.81 ERA for Class A Kingsport.
"He is a young kid who pitched in the Appalachian League last year," Harris said. "He has velocity. We like his body. We think there is some upside we can tap into."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats.