Cubs select three in Triple-A Rule 5 Draft
Chicago takes catcher Freitas from Nats, outfielders O'Neill, Loya
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Cubs did not select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft but did pick three players in the Triple-A phase, including catcher David Freitas.
The Cubs also took two outfielders, Mike O'Neill off the Cardinals' roster and Jesus Loya from the Red Sox's roster.
Freitas, 26, was a 15th-round pick by the Nationals in 2010. He was dealt to the Orioles in 2013 as part of the Jim Johnson trade, and he spent most of last season at Double-A Bowie, where he batted .242 in 71 games with eight homers, 12 doubles and 33 RBIs.
The Cardinals selected O'Neill, 27, in the 31st round of the 2010 Draft, and the left-handed hitter had a combined .289 batting average in 90 games last season at Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis. He has a career .412 on-base percentage.
Loya, 23, a left-handed hitter, spent last season in Mexico, where he batted .260 in 93 games.
The Cubs did not lose a player in the Major League phase of the Draft, but had four prospects taken in the Triple-A phase. The Reds took infielder Pin-Chieh Chen, the Angels picked left-handed pitcher Ariel Ovando, the Yankees took right-handed pitcher Julian Aybar and the Cardinals took left-handed pitcher Michael Heesch.
Heesch, 25, was the Cubs' eighth-round pick in the 2012 Draft, which was a thrill for the Crystal Lake, Ill., native who grew up a Cubs fan. He was 8-2 with a 2.24 ERA in 33 games last season at Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, striking out 49 over 64 1/3 innings.
The Cubs had selected Ovando in the Minor League phase of the 2014 Rule 5 Draft and converted him from a position player to a pitcher.
Aybar, 23, was 8-1 with a 1.82 ERA in 20 games with the Cubs' Dominican Summer League last season.