NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Nationals were active in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, selecting third baseman Zack Cox in the Triple-A phase.
The Nats needed left-handed-hitting depth in their farm system, according to Mark Scialabba, the director of player development. Cox, 26, spent 2015 in the Marlins' farm system and hit a combined .304 with five home runs and 31 RBIs for Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans.
• Complete Rule 5 Draft results
Cox was drafted by the Cardinals in the first round of the 2010 Draft. He stayed in the organization until the middle of the 2012 season, when he was traded to the Marlins for right hander Edward Mujica.
Cox, who played college ball at the University of Arkansas, was scouted by Nationals scouting director Kris Kline.
"The left-handed bat appealed to us," Scialabba said. "To be able to play third base and add him to the inventory of left-handed bats in the organization and provide some depth -- that is something that we were targeting going into this phase. We felt like he was a top target for us in the Triple-A and Double-A phase."
The Nationals didn't lose anyone in the Rule 5 Draft.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He can also be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.