Rule 5 Draft – Phillies Select: Ender Inciarte (22) – CF

On the last day of the Winter Meetings is the Rule 5 draft.  The Rule 5 draft is an exciting time because it is essentially free major league talent.  However, since the rules have been changed to add an extra year of protection the talent available has dropped steeply.  The Rule 5 draft still offers two main types of players, the first are low upside players who can fill the last spot on a roster for very cheap, the second type are higher upside players who likely have not been above A-ball that will need to be hidden on a roster for at least a year. The Phillies have had mixed success over the year with their most recent selections who have stuck of Shane Victorino, David Herndon, and Michael Martinez.

Phillies Select Ender Inciarte (22) CF from Arizona Diamondbacks:

Inciarte, a 2008 Latin American signee, finished up 2012 on the Diamondbacks Hi-A affiliate.  He has shown good plate discipline without high strikeout rates (some can be attributable to repeating a level and then the Cal League).  At the plate he has a small bit of power, enough to have it above a 20 tool but not a ton.  He is quick on the bases with a good base running instinct.  In the field his speed plays up allowing him to be a very good defensive CF.  He will be overmatched at the plate so his chance of sticking depends on his ability to be a defensive replacement in all three OF positions.  His ceiling is likely as a 4th OF if everything breaks right.

No Phillies were selected in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft

5 Potential Picks:

The player pool that the Phillies could look at is immense but I am going to stick to five players that have piqued my interest.  Looking at the Phillies’ roster there are some places that do not make sense for a Rule 5 pick.  Of the potential picks there are a good amount of 1B/OF players, however with Darin Ruf it is very unlikely the Phillies would carry a redundant player.  There is little chance that the Phillies take an outfielder at all in the draft, if past experience is an indication of the future the Phillies take players who will fit a certain need and role on the team.

Jason Haggerty – Catcher – San Diego

A month ago there would be no chance that the Phillies would bring Haggerty in, but with Ruiz’s suspension there is a chance that the Phillies choose to get an extended look at Haggerty for the first month of the season.  Haggerty is ok behind the plate but he is not a liability.  At the plate Haggerty has a good approach with some good pop but did not show his full potential in 2012 while slowed by injuries.  It is unlikely that Haggerty is even available at the Phillies pick but this is a pick that might make sense with Ruiz out.

Jefry Marte – 3B – Mets

Marte is limited to an infield corner but is passable defensively at third base.  He was once a highly touted prospect, he regained some of his former allure in 2012.  He is only 21 years old and to this point as mashed left handed pitching making him redundant with Kevin Frandsen, but if the Phillies were looking for a different platoon partner at third base they could give Marte a look as someone who could platoon in a few years with a player like Cody Asche.

Kenny Faulk – LHP – Tigers

Faulk is a lefty specialist who’s fastball sits in the low 90s, he has good a slider, and usable changeup.  He has held lefties in check but he has been hit around by righties.  If the Phillies think that Diekman needs time and they would like a LOOGY they could do much worse than giving Faulk a chance.

Josh Fields – RHP – Red Sox

Fields is a 27 year old fireballing reliever who has a fastball who runs it up to 97 mph.  He is a polished product who has pitched in AAA.  He is on the old side but he is a major league ready middle reliever, the Phillies could take a look at him if he is still on the board as another arm to have in camp to compete with their collection of hard throwing right handed relievers.

John Keck – LHP – Royals

Keck is a power throwing lefty with a fastball in the mid 90s and a pair of breaking balls of which the slider is a better pitch.  He has some command issues but he does attack hitters rather than nibbling.  He likely has less upside than Diekman but the Phillies could bring him in to see what he can do in big league camp.

5 Phillies who could get picked:

The Phillies often have a player picked in the draft, often a raw reliever from the lower minors.  Here are five Phillies prospects not named Leandro Castro or Jiwan James that could have their name called and why they could be selected.

Julio Rodriguez – RHP

Up until 2012, Rodriguez had some of the best numbers in the system.  Rodriguez’s fastball is poor, rarely topping 90 mph, but he has a good change up and a big loopy curveball that misses bats, his best pitch though is a plus cutter that has below average velocity but great movement.  Rodriguez has been able to miss bats, even when he was struggling, but he is not a prototypical soft tossing control pitcher.  A team could see Rodriguez has a #5 starter, but more likely a team thinks that they can get his stuff to play up in the bullpen and that he can continue to develop there.

Austin Hyatt – RHP

If you need a 5th starter or long man with no upside and want to pay him to minimum than Hyatt is your player.  Hyatt has a below average fastball that sits 88-92, he pairs that with a plus change up and a passable breaking ball.  He has a good feel for pitching and can miss bats.  If a non-contending team (like the Twins) is looking to fill out their rotation without spending money or prospects than they can count on Hyatt to make his starts.

Juan Sosa – RHP

Sosa fits the profile of a low minors reliever who has a great arm.  His fastball sits plus throwing anywhere from 94-97 with a plus curveball and he has a good idea of how to use them.  There is a good chance that a team with a bullpen spot takes Sosa and hopes that they can have his stuff play against big league hitters.  For the Phillies he is behind their host of right handed relief pitchers but it is never good to lose an arm like Sosa.

Edgar Duran – SS

Teams are always in need of players who can stick at shortstop long term.  Duran is not much right now but there is a chance that he may be able to be average at the plate based on the flashes he showed in Clearwater and has been showing in Winter ball and a shortstop who is average in the field and at the plate is a major league regular.  Even if a team has to hide him for a year and then send him back down for a year or two, he could be worth it if he develops.  The reason that Duran is likely to go unselected is that he would not provide anything in 2013 and there is a chance that a year without regular reps will permanently derail his development.

Colby Shreve – RHP

Shreve is the relief version of the low upside back end starter.  Shreve has a relativity low floor and he can generate a large amount of ground balls, but his ceiling is mitigated by his lack of strikeout stuff.  Shreve could be selected if a team is desperate to fill out a bullpen with a minimum salary player.

At the end of the day the Rule 5 draft does not win a championship but it can provide a useful piece that can save a team money down the road.  Not every player is a star but serviceable major league player is a very valuable commodity.  That and it is fun to speculate.

About Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has previously appeared on Phuture Phillies and The Good Phight. You can read his work at Phillies Minor Thoughts

48 thoughts on “Rule 5 Draft – Phillies Select: Ender Inciarte (22) – CF

  1. Very useful write-up. Based on that, I could see value in the Phils selecting Josh Fields and giving him a training camp to determine if he is ready. As it stands, the Phils have too many lefty relievers to want to stash another and experiment with someone available through Rule 5.

  2. No mention of Nats Destin Hood….big and strong, and young, RH OF bat.. with a good year at Potomac a few years back, not sure what happened to him recently.

    1. I thought about him, he is RH but I think that the Phillies would much rather give Brown and Ruf the shot out there, and personally I think at least Brown has much more upside. It isn’t that I think Hood is a bad choice (and someone will take him), I just don’t think he fits onto the 2013 Phillies roster.

        1. Per Jonathan Mayo:

          “The Nationals hoped the toolsy Hood really started to figure some things out in 2011. His potential started turning into power and speed, and he produced more consistently. Unfortunately, 2012 was somewhat stunted by injuries, and Hood missed time with a wrist injury and a groin injury in June and August. He has above-average speed and raw power and could be a 20-20-type guy when all is said and done. He should be just fine in a corner outfield spot, but it’s his offensive potential that should continue to have Washington excited as he progresses.”

  3. I always like Catching prospects but Phillies would need to be creative to keep him after Ruiz returns. (Fake DL him somehow and see if they can get enough time to keep him in Sept.)

    If Marte was a lefty hitter, he’d make more sense. Still not a bad choice if the Phillies have not locked up a 3B solution by draft time. Just acquire as many options as possible.

    Lefty relievers are always in high demand in Rule 5 as Loogy guys are often available. Charlie is terrible at using them though. Fields seems like useful talent to take flier on regardless of any teams needs.

    Is there a good fielding speed CF available? (Jiwan James, ha ha). I could see Phillies just trying to plug a defensive specialist (especially if he could hit righties) out there with Mayberry.

    1. If we drafted drafted Hagerty, whose kind of intriguing, couldn’t we keep him for the duration of Chooch’s suspension and then just offer him back if we prefer Kratz?

    2. There are two. One is with Boston and I forget who the other is with. That is what I see them doing. Taking a speedy center fielder who plays good defense and can pinch run and swipe some bags. Good insurance policy. I’ll try to find the article and who they are.

      1. Kenny Wilson, CF Toronto and the better pick would be Jeremy Hazelbaker, CF Boston. The Boston guy has both power and speed but strikes out a lot. Has played AA and a little in AAA. Wilson is 22 and has only been to single A so not sure how much he can help.

  4. My personal feelings are that the Phillies will not select anyone, I suspect they are interested in a few guys but they will likely be off the board by the 15th pick. I expect two Phillies to be drafted and I expect one to stick (I don’t know who but there seems like enough out there that could be selected)

  5. Any teams drafting ahead of Phillies that have full 40man rosters? That would not allow them to make a selection, correct?

    Hagerty seems like more of a hitter than a fielder. Fields seems like a definite high selection, as well as Hood.

    I could see the Phillies drafting somebody. However, their roster may fill to the point where they just offer the player back.

  6. Another thing to consider is how anyone you “bring in for a look” affects the 40-man roster. I believe the Phillies have 3 open slots available +/- Savery. If they plan on filling those spots with a 3B, CF and CO than anyone else they pick would expose someone else to waivers (with no year long commitment) once the Phillies do sign the FAs they need.

    1. Jon Mayo’s Best Twenty–Rule V–Alphabetical Order:
      Jesus Aguilar—: 1B– 22,—Bats: R, Throws: R Ht: 6′ 3″, Wt: 257- Cle
      Miguel Celestino: RHP: 23, Bats: R, Throws: R Ht: 6′ 6″, Wy: 205 – SEA
      Ryan Chaffee: RHP: 24, Bats: R, Throws: R Ht: 6′ 2″, Wt: 195 – LAA
      Tim Crabbe: RHP: 24,Bats: R, Throws: R Ht: 6′ 4″, Wt: 195 – CIN
      Josh Fieldsn: RHP 27,Bats: R, Throws: R Ht: 6′ 0″, Wt: 185 – SEA
      Nate Freiman: 1B 25, Bats: R, Throws: R Ht: 6′ 7″, Wt: 225 – SD
      Jason Hagerty: C 25, Bats: S, Throws: R Ht: 6′ 3″, Wt: 220 – SD
      Kyle Heckathorn : RHP 24 Bats: R, Throws: R Ht: 6′ 6″, Wt: 225 – MIL
      Randy Henry RHP 22,Bats: R, Throws: R Ht: 6′ 3″, Wt: 190 – BAL
      Destin Hood OF 22, Bats: R, Throws: R Ht: 6′ 1″, Wt: 225 – WSH
      Jarret Martin RHP 23, Bats: L, Throws: L Ht: 6′ 4″, Wt: 227 – BAL
      Jefry Marte : 3B 21, Bats: R, Throws: R Ht: 6′ 1″, Wt: 187- NYM
      Jon Keck LHP 24,Bats: L, Throws: L Ht: 6′ 6″, Wt: 215 – KC
      Braulio Lara LHP 23,Bats: L, Throws: L Ht: 6′ 1″, Wt: 180 – TB
      Chris McGuiness 1B 24,Bats: L, Throws: L Ht 6′ 1″, Wt: 210 – BOS
      Carlos Perez : LHP 21, Bats: L, Throws: L Ht: 6′ 2″, Wt: 195 – ATL
      Ryan Pressly RHP 23, Bats: R, Throws: R Ht: 6′ 3″, Wt: 175 – BOS
      Blake Smith : OF 24, Bats: L, Throws: R Ht: 6′ 2″, Wt: 225 – LAD
      Juan Sosa : RHP 23, Bats: R, Throws: R Ht: 6′ 2″, Wt: 165 – PHI
      Coty Woods : RHP 24,Bats: R, Throws: R Ht: 6′ 2″, Wt: 190 – COL

    1. Drafted by the Phillies in 47th round of the 2004 draft, did not sign. Was eventually drafted in the 18th round in 2009 by the Royals.

      I wonder if the same scout still liked him.

  7. Kind of an odd choice in my mind. We seem to actually have a number of interesting low level prospect in center in Gillies, Collier, Tocci, and possibly Quinn. And retarding the development Inciarte who spent 3 seasons at A-ball doesn’t seem to help anybody. And in takes up a 25 and 40-man spot that could be better used.

    1. In my mind the Phillies think that if they get a poor defensive CF they could use him as a late inning defensive replacement as well as pinch runner. As I posted on Twitter, he is likely a worse prospect than the rest of those guys, but you can “screw up” Inciarte by having him stunted developmentally because they aren’t counting on him. He has demonstrated good plate discipline which bodes well that he might be able to recognize major league off speed pitches enough to hold his head above water.

      1. Another point on Inciarte, he’s experienced but he’s young, just turned 22. He’s also had 1,906 minor league plate appearances so he’s seen plenty of reps. It’s a different situation from Collier or Gillies who missed playing time entirely. Inciarte has played regularly for five years (remember those early years are short season ball). So I wouldn’t be too concerned with missing at bats. Not at his age.

        1. The problem is only 279 of those plate appearances came at A+ and none higher. Was there really no one in the free agent market, or a AAAA or AAA player that could act as a defensive replacement, pinch-runner and still offer at least a little something more. Inciarte won’t hit the Mendoza line. He fills the wasted roster spot previously wasted on Minimart with less positional versatility.

    2. Well, they probably value guys like Gillies and Collier more than they do Inciarte and they don’t want to screw up the development of those guys. Inciarte is probably just an insurance policy if they never find a CF or if people get hurt in ST. He can play a good defensive CF, pinch run and steal some bases. I guess you can say the same about Jiwan James, who has played at a higher level, but i guess if they are rolling the dice, they must like Inciarte’s approach at the plate better. I though Hazelbaker from Boston would have been a better choice. No one took him though so what do I know.

      1. Regarding Hazelbaker: Teams can lose a max of 2 players in the draft, and Boston hit that limit by the 4th pick in the draft

        1. I think it telling on how much some people here over value the likes of James and Castro and pretty much all of our prospects.

  8. Looking at Inciarte, he seems like a Gregor Blanco type, could fill in late in the OF at all 3 positions, he is an interesting find

    1. If the Phils give him back, its only costing them $25K to take a look at the guy. They might think that with the possibility of Ruf in LF or Ichiro in CF, adding a defensive guy who can run would be very helpful in roster design. They’d rather not have to use Mayberry or Nix for that instead of saving them for pinch hitting. My guess is the guy won’t make the final roster because there aren’t enough spots but we’ll see. It might depend on whether they add Youk or Young for 3B because Galvis is a lock and they signed Frandsen to a major league deal. If those 2 are both on the bench, that only allows for 2 OF spots (5 spots altogether if there’s 12 pitchers) and that would appear to be Nix and Mayberry, assuming they add a CF. If they add Willingham/Cuddyer, Ruf will lose his spot (or Frandsen will) because Nix is their only left handed bat and Mayberry is valuable on the bench. I guess they could carry only 6 relievers but I doubt it.

  9. Well, Lafferty/ LHP/ age 26, more Strikeouts than Innings pitched, no obligation to keep anywhere, why not? Looks like Kansas City lost 5 or more players just in the minor league portion of the draft. Looks like Kansas City is loaded, or Kansas City is inept, maybe both.

  10. Does anyone know what happens if a player who is selected in the major league portion of the draft gets injured at some point during the season? Are they allowed to be point on the DL? Do they have to have physical from a third party to verify the player is acutely unable to play? Just curious I know there has to be some kind of rule

    1. To prevent the abuse of the Rule 5 draft, the rule also states that the draftee must be active for at least 90 days. This keeps teams from drafting players, then placing them on the disabled list for the majority of the season. For example, if a Rule 5 draftee was only active for 67 days in his first season with his new club, he must be active for an additional 23 days in his second season to satisfy the Rule 5 requirements.

      1. I believe , if a player doesn’t fulfill the requirements in the season after they are Rule 5 drafted, they go into the next season with the same 90 day requirement as the original season.

        1. It is a rolling clock as nik put it, the minute they exhaust whatever 90 days they didn’t fulfill in their first season they become full property of the team that picked them

          1. Yeah, you’re right. Just looked it up on Cot’s .. The rule applied in that way gives rise to the possibility of funny business.They should change it to the full 90 days in each season method. And I heard somewhere they will start to monitor the DL status of Rule 5 picks more closely. They should monitor more and change the rule also.

    2. So basically has to be on active roster for 3 full months. I think they are also cracking down on the fake injuries by teams trying to hide the players on the DL after the 90 days are up.

  11. Phillies could not have finished the Revere trade before the Rule 5 draft?
    This guy is now completely useless. As a player I think he was an okay selection with speed and good plate discipline. I just assume he is a good defensive CF. But now Phillies have Revere, Gillies, Collier, and James as possible young CF options in the next 2 years. Collier is the only one whose bat could profile at a corner and his defense may push him there anyway.

    I would have preferred C Laferty given the options but I can see why they did not select him,
    The Good: he has great OBP, shows some power, came from top notch University program, was in AA for parts of two seasons, Phillies have a known hole at C for first month of the season,
    The Bad: he appears more a hit than field catcher, splitting time at alternate positions in the minors, Phillies unlikely to hold on to him once Ruiz is back. Inexperience at C may hurt the rotation.

    1. It would really be unusual for a team like the Phillies to carry a third catcher all season. MattWinks mentioned the Ruiz suspension, but realistically we can expect the backup catcher to play five games in that span, get about 20 at bats. In 20 at bats, the difference between a .250 hitter and a .200 hitter is all of one hit. Probably not worth acquiring someone for that spot when they can just play the AAA backup.

      1. I agree with the lack of playing time for the backup C and, since catchers are generally poor hitters, the reason they are rarely PH. However, with Ruiz in his walk year getting a possible quality catcher might be good for the organization assuming Valle is traded.

        If Valle is not traded I’d like to see him as the backup to Kratz. Let Joseph get the starts at AAA until then.

  12. I don’t think the Revere trade and Inciarte pick really have any bearing on each other. Revere is the starting center fielder, play every day. Inciarte is competing for the 5th outfielder role, a spot where you prefer to have a player who can passibly play center field. The only MLB ready player the Phils have in their system who can back up center is John Mayberry, and he’s barely capable there.

  13. I am at least glad that no Phillies were drafted. It is a mixed blessing I guess because it means none of those prospects have significant value. I still like James, Castro, Rodgriquez, Duran. All these guys would be fringe major leaguers at best but I could see one of them making it onto the 40 man next year.

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