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Padres add pitcher in Rule 5 Draft

Padres add pitcher in Rule 5 Draft

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Padres added a pitcher and surrendered one in the Major League Rule 5 Draft that closed the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

With the 13th pick in the first round of the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft, San Diego selected Kevin Cameron, a right-handed middle reliever from the Minnesota Twins organization taken off the Triple-A Rochester roster.

Lost with the second choice in the draft was right-hander Joakim Soria, 22, taken by the Kansas City Royals off the Padres' Triple-A Portland roster.

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Players taken in the Major League portion of the draft cost the drafting club $50,000. If a player doesn't make the 25-man active roster, he is offered back to his original team for $25,000.

Cameron, who turns 27 on Dec. 15, was 6-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 40 games for Triple-A Rochester in 2006. He walked 26 and struck out 65 in 66 1/3 innings, holding batters to a .216 average.

A native of Joliet, Ill., who attended Georgia Tech, Cameron throws in the 89-91 mph range with movement.

"He throws strikes with a cutter in the Mariano Rivera style - only without the 95 mile-per-hour fastball," said Mike Wickham, assistant to Grady Fuson, the Padres' vice-president in charge of scouting and development. "We like him and think he has a chance to make the staff in middle relief."

Cameron experienced shoulder issues early in his career, undergoing labrum surgery in 2003. But he has been injury-free and durable since then. In 2005 he was 6-2 with 2.72 ERA in 79 1/3 innings, walking 27 and striking out 60.

Originally signed by the Dodgers in 2001, Soria spent most of the 2006 season as a reliever with the Mexico City Reds, appearing in seven games for the Padres' Class A affiliate at Fort Wayne and going 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA.

Starting for the Yaquis de Obregon in the Mexican Winter League, Soria has gone 8-0 in 10 games with a 2.02 ERA, striking out 64 in 62 1/3 innings.

In the Triple-A Phase of the Draft, the Padres chose second baseman Brandon Powell for their Portland affiliate from Washington's Harrisburg roster. Powell hit .280 with 14 homers and 71 RBIs at Class A Potomac in 2006.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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