Jays Select Smith in Rule 5 Draft, Mateo Lost

With the 21st selection in the 2006 Rule 5 draft the Toronto Blue Jays selected shortstop Jason Smith from the Chicago Cubs.

Smith, who spent the 2006 season in the Colorado Rockies organization, was signed to a minor league deal by the Cubs on November 12, but was left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft. In 49 games with the Colorado Rockies he batted .263 with 5 home runs.

In 41 games for Triple-A Colorado Springs, Smith batted .291 with 4 home runs and 23 runs batted in.

The left-handed batter was originally selected by the Cubs in the 23rd round of the 1996 draft, and in 10 seasons in the minor leagues he has a career .257 batting mark.

Smith appeared in the majors in 2001 with the Cubs, in 2002 and 2003 with Tampa Bay, and also in 2004 and 2005 with the Tigers.

No Jays' were selected in the major league portion of the draft.

With the 15th pick in the Triple-A portion of the draft, the Cincinnati Reds selected LHP Francisco Mateo from the Blue Jays.

The 22-year-old pitched for Pulaski this past season and went 5-2 with a 4.18 ERA in 14 games. Mateo is now property of the Reds, and unlike the Major League portion, he can pitch at any level, and does not have to be offered back to the Jays.

The Jays passed on making a selection in the first round of the Triple-A phase and also in the Double-A Phase.


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