Each December at the Winter Meetings is the Rule 5 draft, the draft was created in order to provide a path to the major leagues for players in deep systems that would otherwise be blocked. To be eligible for the Rule 5 draft a player must:
- Not be on a 40 man roster
- Have been in the minor leagues for at least 4 years if he was signed at or after age 19
- Have been in the minor leagues for at least 5 years if he was signed at or before age 18
The main point of interest here is which prospects will receive a 40 man roster spot in order to be protected in the draft. Two of the most controversial players Tyler Cloyd and Darin Ruf received spots on the 40 man roster has part of their September call-ups and are thus exempt from the draft. The Phillies have until November 20 to submit a 40 man roster to the commissioner’s office of those that are to be protected.
The draft itself operates in reverse order to the standings and each team may make a pick (making a pick costs the team $50,000) or pass and the draft ends once all teams have passed. There is a minor league portion but since not much talent is moved and it is more about filling out rosters that won’t be covered here. Once a player is selected he is subject to these restrictions:
- He must remain on the 25 man roster throughout the regular season
- He must acrrue at least 90 days of active status (not on a disabled list), if a player has less than 90 days he is subject to Rule 5 restrictions until he gains 90 days
- In order to be optioned to the minors the player must be offered back to his original team for $25,000 fee
- If his original team chooses not to accept them back they are the property of the team that drafted them as if they were claimed normally off of waivers
I am going to go through all of the players in the system eligible for the draft regardless of their current level as in 2011 the Cubs selected Lendy Castillo a converted infielder who had only pitched for two years and never above Low-A. There are many players eligible in the system and I will have a brief write up on each but there will be much more priority placed on the higher profile players in the system. (All ages are as of the draft)
2005 International Signings
Tim Kennelly – Age 26
Scouting Report: Up until 2012 Kennelly was an org player who specialized in playing every position on the diamond. After being called to do some mop up pitching Kennelly showed a fastball that touched 97 mph. The Phillies have since begun to transition Kennelly full time to relief pitching. He is rapidly gaining command and control of his fastball and he has a developing slider. If he can harness both he is a potential late inning reliever in the mold of Cardinal’s closer Jason Motte.
Prediction: Kennelly certainly has the upside to be a power reliever but he needs to log innings right now to refine his command and control. There is small chance that a major league team would draft Kennelly, but his upside would be lost if he has to take a year in a major league bullpen without regular work.
D’Arby Myers – 4th round (#127 overall) – age 24
Scouting Report: Myers is generally considered a failed prospect, he got off to a great start his first year of pro ball but he has since struggled to make consistent contact. He is a good defensive player but not quite enough to profile every day in center fielder. While still young, Myers bat profiles primarily in center fielder, which makes him a player without a position, and his upside as a #5 OF.
Prediction: Myers lacks the upside to be a real candidate to be a pick in the draft. He may still eventually make it to the majors at some point, but unless a team is desperate for a late inning defensive replacement he likely will return the Phillies org in 2013.
Chance Chapman – 8th round (#263 overall) – Age 28
Scouting Report/Prediction: At this point in his career Chapman is a journeyman organizational reliever. It will be less surprising to see him released than selected.
Justin Friend – 13th round (#420 overall) – Age 26
Scouting Report/Prediction: Friend is a great story having been drafted bu the Phillies in the AAA portion of the Rule 5 draft in 2010. In 2012 he put up amazing numbers as Reading’s closer with a 0.23 ERA. Friend does not have great stuff, but he has good control and does not make mistakes and gets a good amount of ground balls. Friend may eventually make the majors and be a an effective middle reliever but he will likely need to prove it AAA for a team. In the Rule 5 draft teams are looking for instant help or upside and Friend provides some of the first and not much of the second. Friend likely goes to the LHV bullpen with the hope he gets a 2013 call to help the Phils pen.
Jiwan James – 22nd round (#683 overall) – Age 23
Scouting Report: James started his career as a pitcher before switching to hitting in 2009 after missing 2008 due to injury. James is probably the best defensive center fielder in the organization and he has a plus arm as well. At the plate James has never followed up on the flashes he shown. He has good power and speed but his approach has been below average and he has never been a good base runner. However, James has only had four years of hitting and there is plenty to like if he does put it together.
Prediction: James was one of the highest profile players left unprotected in 2011, but was not selected in the draft. James hasn’t improved his stock enough to be protected this year either. For a team looking for a 4th OF James is intriguing because he has the tools to be average at the plate in the majors, and he already is a great defensive player. It is as likely that he gets selected this year as he was last year, which means he probably won’t be selected this year.
2007 International Signings
Gabriel Arias – Age 23
Scouting Report/Prediction: Arias has put up good numbers at each level he has pitched at, ultimately ending 2012 in Clearwater. He hasn’t shown enough stuff to be fast tracked and spent 4 years in the DSL before making his state side debut. Seems to profile as a useful organizational reliever but not a potential Rule 5 candidate.
Miguel Alvarez – Age 23
Scouting Report/Prediction: Alvarez was an under the radar signing in 2007 out of the Dominican Republic. Alvarez had a breakout year in 2010 for Williamsport showing a chance to be a decent prospect, however he failed to live up to that promise in 2011. Alvarez is far away from the from contributing on a major league level and has no chance of being selected in the Rule 5 draft.
Juan Sosa – Age 23
Scouting Report/Prediction: Couldn’t find any good reports on Sosa’s stuff but he seems like a good org reliever. Doesn’t seem to be any chance of being protected or picked.
Leandro Castro – Age 23
Scouting Report: Castro doesn’t have any plus tools but he is also lacking any deficiencies. He hits for power and average, but doesn’t have enough power to profile in an outfield corner, and he doesn’t have the plate discipline or speed to add secondary skills to his contact ability. He can play all three outfield positions but isn’t quite good enough in center to play there every day. Castro’s likely role is as a 4th OF, though he could be a starting corner outfielder for a second division team while he is young and cost controlled.
Prediction: Castro likely only needs another half season in the minors before he could step in as a 4th OF. This makes him intriguing to a team that has an outfield corner spot open and a belief that Castro can repeat some of his Reading numbers. If not he could be a good bench player for a team willing to deal with his approach issues at the plate. Castro was left unprotected last year, but a season ending leg injury and having not played above A-ball stopped him from being selected. This year if left unprotected he seems to be a lock to be selected as he will be useful in 2013. Unless trades or signings take up more 40 man spots than predicted, it is likely that Castro will be protected and sent to LHV to refine his skills.
Ethan Martin – 1st round (#15 overall) Los Angelos Dodgers – Age 23
Scouting Report – Martin struggled early in his career with command, but in 2012 he started to put it all together and posted the best numbers of his career. Martin has a plus fastball that can touch 97 and a slurvy curveball that also flashes plus, and his change up is a work in progress. If he puts it all together he still has #2 pitcher upside, if not he could be a late inning reliever.
Prediction – With the trade investment made in Martin, combined with his upside make him a lock to be added to the 40 man roster.
Anthony Hewitt – 1st round (#24 overall) – Age 23
Scouting Report: Hewitt has all the tools in the world, he has never been able to put them all together. At the time of the draft some scouts but an 80 on his raw power and his speed is plus as well. Hewitt has always struggled with off-speed pitches and has posted huge strikeout rates and low walk rates. Defensively he is limited to a corner where he has plenty of arm, but his route running has been poor. The good news is that Hewitt has been improving slowly and he is still young enough that a #4 OF upside with his power is not out of the question.
Prediction: Due to his age Hewitt was Rule 5 eligible last year, and went unselected. There is almost no chance that the Phillies protect him this year. Hewitt is an interesting pick for a team looking to dream on upside and take a chance. It is unlikely that he gets picked, but there is still long term hope that Hewitt can still become a bench player in the big leagues.
Zach Collier – supplemental 1st round (#34 overall) – Age 22
Scouting Report: The story of Collier’s career has been his time away from the field due to injury and suspension. In the field Collier is an average center fielder with an average arm but there is enough there to be a good center fielder at the major league level. At the plate Collier is a good hitter who began to show more power in 2012. Collier also has plus speed and has good base running instincts. Collier was sent to the AFL at the end of the season and has held his own to this point. It is hard to project anything more than being a solid 4th OF, but since he has missed so much time there is still a chance that he will actualize more of his tools with more ABs and become a starting CF.
Prediction: Collier has the tools to be a solid major league player, and has the potential to be better than that. Due to his missed time, Collier is still putting things together on the field, as evidenced by his power spike this season. Collier’s performance in the AFL is the tipping point that likely guarantees him a spot on the 40-man, and a few more years of minor league plate appearances in the Phillies system. If he is not protected he compares well to Jiwan James in 2011 with Collier showing a bit more power, and would have a decent chance of selection in the Rule 5 but by no means a lock.
Jonathan Pettibone – supplemental 3rd round (#110 overall) – Age 22
Scouting Report: Pettibone ended 2012 in AAA, one step away from the majors. Pettibone’s fastball is average and can touch slightly above with good sink, his change up is solid, and his slider is fringe average. Pettibone’s plus control allows his pitches to play up, and he has the ceiling of a mid rotation starter and could be ready as soon as mid season 2013.
Prediction: Pettibone will be in contention for the #5 starter job out of spring training. This would make him one of the top players in the Rule 5 draft if he was available. He is a lock to be added to the 40-man roster and protected from the draft.
Kyle Hudson – 4th round (#116 overall) Baltimore Orioles – Age 25
Scouting Report/Prediction: Speed is Hudson’s calling card and he isn’t really a burner. He isn’t a great hitter and is a solid org guy who may get another cup of coffee eventually. With the resigning of Derrick Mitchell there likely is not a place for Hudson in the org next year let alone worth protecting from the Rule 5.
Trevor May – 4th round (#136 overall) – Age 23
Scouting Report: May is built like a prototypical right handed power pitcher and he has the stuff to live up to it. He has a plus fastball, a slightly above average curveball, and an average change up. May has always struggled with his command and his walk rate was up in 2012 and his strikeout rate plummeted. May was also victimized by a large home run rate partially induced by the Reading ballpark as well as a change in pitching style. May has #3 starter upside if he can keep his control and a back end reliever if he doesn’t.
Prediction: May is the former top prospect in the organization and hasn’t lost a ton of what gave him that distinction. There is no way that May will not be added to the 40 man roster and protected.
Colby Shreve – 6th round (#196 overall) – Age 24
Scouting Report: The Phillies took a risk that Shreve would rebound from pre-draft Tommy John Surgery but his stuff never came back to what it was before. Shreve has an average fastball and secondary pitches that will flash average as well. Shreve has made himself into a groundball specialist, though his walk rate remains high and his strikeout rate has not been there against advanced hitter. Shreve profiles as a middle reliever/longman going forward.
Prediction: Shreve is a casualty of a numbers crunch, the Phillies have a ton of high upside right handed relievers making Shreve expendable. There is a chance that a team sees his pre-2012 strikeout rates and drafts him as a middle reliever where he should be a good value. If he is not drafted Shreve looks like a candidate to change organizations next year when he is a minor league free agent, as he has the ability to make a career in the bullpen it just doesn’t look likely it will be with the Phillies.
Julio Rodriguez – 8th round (#256 overall) – Age 22
Scouting Report: JRod has a below average fastball but he has natural cutting movement. He has a big loopy curveball, a sharp slider, and a solid change up. His delivery has a ton of deception to it. JRod has good control but it is not plus, but despite all this he has missed bats at each level. After a shaky 2012, Rodriguez still has ability to be a #5 starter but his most likely outcome is as a middle reliever with the hope that his stuff plays up in the bullpen.
Prediction: Rodriguez is a close call when it comes to protecting. His stuff does not indicate a high upside, but he could a be a useful piece on the major league level. With a limited number of spots on the 40 man roster there are higher upside players needing protecting, not leaving a spot for Rodriguez. There is a chance that another team sees him as a middle reliever who could be a long man or #5 starter if needed.
Cody Overbeck – 9th round (#286 overall) – Age 26
Scouting Report/Prediction: Going into 2012, there was a chance that Overbeck could build on a good 2011 and seize a bench role in Philadelphia. Instead he struggled in AAA, and while he can play some third base he has been passed there and at his primary position of first base by better prospects. Overbeck was left unprotected and unclaimed a year ago and it appears that will be his fate again this year.
Troy Hanzawa – 16th Round (#496 overall)- Age 27
Scouting Report/Prediction: Hanzawa is an org middle infielder, incredibly valuable to the org to fill spots but that is the extent of it.
Jim Murphy – 17th round (#526 overall) – Age 27
Scouting Report/Prediction: Murphy has spent the last four years between CLW and LKW. His numbers suggest that he could put up a Ruf-esque season in Reading next year but he isn’t a prospect, again a good org guy for the Phils, nothing wrong with that,
Steve Susdorf – 19th round ( #586 overall) – Age 26
Scouting Report/Prediction: Susdorf has been old for every level he has played at and while he has performed well, his bat doesn’t profile well at any position. Susdorf may get a late season cup of coffee but he doesn’t have the upside teams are looking for in the Rule 5 draft.
Michael Cisco – 36th round (#1096 overall) – Age 25
Scouting Report/Prediction: Cisco has a slightly below average fastball and a plus curveball, to go with a fringe average breaking ball he can through for strikes. He has good command but he doesn’t miss bats. He is in a similar position to Shreve, he is caught behind higher upside relievers, a team desperate for a long man could pick him, but he is likely back to the LHV long man role.
2008 International Signings
Edgar Duran – Age 21
Scouting Report: Duran has had a quiet trek through the Phillies minor league system. Duran was signed as a glove first shortstop, he isn’t elite with the glove, but he is more than capable at the position. Each year he has improved at the plate, and he has shown surprising power and good plate discipline and contact abilities. At only 21 years old he could still improve, even if he has to repeat a year in CLW.
Prediction: Duran is interesting, if drafted by a team it would set his development back a year because he won’t hit on the major league level. But he could provide a glove as a back up middle infielder and is young enough to spend time in the minors developing. He is a close call for the Phillies and it will depend on how they handle free-agency. He is not a must protect, but if there is an extra spot he could receive it as a long term investment.
Austin Hyatt – 15th round (#467 overall) – Age 26
Scouting Report: Hyatt has an average fastball and a below average slider, his main weapon is a plus change up. Hyatt has plus command and control but if he is a little bit off he gives up a ton of hits and fly balls. Hyatt was expected to have the season that Tyler Cloyd did, instead everything fell apart and his walk rate skyrocketed and his strikeout rate plummeted.
Prediction: If Hyatt had built on his 2011 he would be in consideration as a back of a rotation starter. The fact is that at 26 years old there is no upside left for Hyatt, he is what he is at this point in his career. Someone like Rodriguez is younger and has pitched better this year than Hyatt. There is no chance of Hyatt being protected and little chance of him being picked in the draft.