O's select outfielder Rickard in Rule 5 Draft

O's select outfielder Rickard in Rule 5 Draft

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Orioles selected outfielder Joey Rickard from the Tampa Bay Rays in the Major League portion of Thursday's Rule 5 Draft.

Rickard is a former ninth-round pick out of Arizona who was on Triple-A Durham's roster. Listed as a center fielder, Rickard is a right-handed hitter who posted a .321/.427/.447 line across three levels in 2015. With Durham, the 24-year-old batted .360 with six doubles, two triples and 11 RBIs in 29 games.

Rule 5 Draft results

"He has good on-base capabilities, good skills, he's got good speed," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of Rickard, who played winter ball in the Dominican Republic this year. "He's an excellent contact hitter, he can steal a base and he's a good defensive player. He can play center field and left field. We think he'll give us some depth and on-base capabilities, and it just looks like he's learned how to play. He looks like a good solid overall ballplayer. [He has] good discipline of the strike zone, and we're looking forward to taking a look at him in the spring."

The O's, who were able to keep Jason Garcia last year and have kept T.J. McFarland and Ryan Flaherty in the past, have to keep Rickard on the Major League roster all year or offer him back to the Rays. Their 40-man roster is now full.

Baltimore also lost first baseman Ji-Man Choi, signed to a Minor League deal last month, to the Angels. Choi was a longtime prospect in the Mariners' system.

"I was kind of surprised he got drafted to the Major Leagues, because he was out there a while as a free agent," Duquette said of Choi. "That was a bit of a surprise."

In the Triple-A phase of the Draft, the Orioles selected right-handed pitcher Cory Jones from the Cardinals' organization and left-hander Chipper Smith from the Marlins' organization.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.