Getting Ready for the 2021 Rule 5 Draft

The Rule 5 Draft won’t be held until December 8th, but the deadline for teams to submit their 40-man rosters is tomorrow (Friday, November 19th). 

The Phillies have 31 players on their 40-man roster – 18 pitchers and 13 position players.  There is consensus among media, fans, and the Phillies themselves, that Phillies have to fill holes in left field, center field, the middle of the lineup, the top of the order, shortstop, backup catcher, bench bats, closer, one or two more relievers, and another back of the rotation starter.

Based on in-season comments by Joe Girardi and post-season comments by Dave Dombrowski, I think it’s unlikely the Phillies are counting on filling a lot of their holes from within the organization.  So, the Phillies will have to try to address most of their needs through free agency and trades.  It seems very unlikely that the Phillies will be able to protect more than a couple of their Rule 5 eligible minor league prospects.

The domestic reserve list limit increased from 180 players to 190 players the fifth day after the end of the world series.  That limit stays in place until the earliest opening day of the subsequent Minor League season.  The reserve list for Triple-A teams is raised to 38 players through the end of the Rule 5 draft.

The Rule 5 draft consists of two phases – the Major League phase where any eligible player not on the 40-man roster can be selected, and the Triple-A phase where any eligible player on rosters below the Triple-A level can be selected.

Player eligibility for the Rule 5 draft is determined by several rules among which the most inclusive are as follows –

  • 18 years or younger on the June 5th immediately before the signing date is eligible at the 5th Rule 5 Selection Meeting that follows the signing date (2017),
  • 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately before the signing date is eligible at the 4th Rule 5 Selection Meeting that follows the signing date (2018),
  • if the signing date occurs after the conclusion of the championship season for the
    team to which the player is assigned and before the Rule 5 Selection Meeting, then the player is considered to have signed after the next Rule 5 Selection Meeting,
  • Once a player has been eligible for the Rule 5 draft he will remain eligible for all subsequent Rule 5 drafts for which he is on a minor league roster.

Hans Crouse, Alec Bohm, and Matt Vierling are all first-time eligible for the Rule 5 Draft.  However, none can be selected since they are on the Phillies 40-man roster.  Other first-time eligibles include –

  1. Colton Eastman, RHP
  2. Ethan Evanko, LHP
  3. Jack Perkins, RHP
  4. Tyler Carr, RHP
  5. Taylor Lehman, LHP
  6. James McArthur, RHP
  7. Austin Ross, RHP
  8. Jack Conley, C
  9. Matt Kroon, 3B
  10. Luke Miller, 3B
  11. Madison Stokes, IF
  12. Jonas De La Cruz, RHP
  13. Keylan Killgore, LHP
  14. Ethan Lindow, LHP
  15. Tyler McKay, RHP
  16. Mark Potter, RHP
  17. Tom Sutera, RHP
  18. Victor Vargas, RHP
  19. Gabriel Yanez, LHP
  20. Nick Matera, C
  21. Luis Garcia, SS
  22. D.J. Stewart, 3B
  23. Carlos De La Cruz, OF
  24. Cristian Hernandez, RHP
  25. Carlos Betancourt, RHP
  26. Ben Brown, RHP
  27. Hsin-Chieh Lin, RHP
  28. Oscar Gonzalez, C
  29. Luis Gomez, RHP
  30. Wilberson Liendo, RHP

Most of the players on this list are too far from the majors to be drafted and kept on a major league roster for a season.  Teams are only allowed 13 pitchers on their 26-man rosters.  In recent years, the Phillies have protected pitchers from the upper levels.

Returning Rule 5 eligible players include –

  1. Mark Appel, RHP
  2. Jakob Hernandez, LHP
  3. Braeden Ogle, LHP
  4. Jeff Singer, LHP
  5. Daniel Brito, 2B
  6. Dalton Guthrie, SS
  7. Darick Hall, 1B
  8. Scott Kingery, INF
  9. Simon Muzziotti, CF
  10. Trevor Bettencourt, RHP
  11. Joel Cesar, RHP
  12. Jonathan Hennigan, LHP
  13. David Parkinson, LHP
  14. Zach Warren, LHP
  15. Colby Fitch, C
  16. Jhailyn Ortiz, RF
  17. Josh Stephen, LF
  18. Andrew Brown, RHP
  19. Julian Garcia, RHP
  20. Jhordany Mezquita, LHP
  21. Manuel Silva, LHP
  22. Jonathan Guzman, SS
  23. Nicolas Torres, INF
  24. Jose Tortolero, INF
  25. Ben Pelletier, RF
  26. Rodolfo Sanchez
  27. Juan Aparacio, C
  28. Leonel Aponte, RHP
  29. Edgar Made, SS

All the players on the two lists above are eligible for the MLB portion of the Rule 5 draft.  All except those in bold text are eligible for the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft.

Any players on the Triple-A roster are exempt from the Triple-A portion of the draft.  The Phillies currently have 17 players on their Lehigh Valley roster.  The twelve in bold text above who are eligible but exempt and Mike Adams, Brian Marconi, Braden Zarbnisky, Logan O’Hoppe, and Bryson Stott who are not eligible this year.

The Phillies can add up to 21 players players up to the limit of 38 to the Triple-A roster to protect them from the draft.  They can also move guys off the Lehigh roster if 21 spots aren’t enough.  The five guys mentioned above who aren’t eligible this year could be the first five moved off before guys become or remain exposed.

This happens every year and by no means is a clue as to who might be assigned to which level next season.  It’s just a way to avoid losing players to the Rule 5 draft.  The Triple-A level returns to 35 players after the draft is completed.

I think the Phillies might consider protecting from among but not all of Colton Eastman, James McArthur, Luis Garcia, Christian Hernandez, Mark Appel, Simon Muzziotti, and Jhailyn Ortiz.



8 thoughts on “Getting Ready for the 2021 Rule 5 Draft

  1. We spend a lot of time on this site bemoaning the McPhail-Klentak era. For good reason. Imagine, signing Scot Kingery to a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract and losing him in the Rule 5 draft. Personally, I’d put him on the 40. I still have hopes for Scotty though dreams of the Second Coming of Dustin Pedroia have long since passed.

    1. I can’t imagine a team would select Kingery and his $6.25M salary this year, $8.25M next year, and $1M buyout in 2024. But, if they did, the Phillies would have an extra $4.0M under the cap to play with..

  2. For me … I see the Phillies adding McArthur, Ogle, Ortiz, Muzziotti, and Luis Garcia. I think Adonis Medina could be traded (maybe as early as today).

    I’m still looking at the Guardians as a team to watch. Will they add Steven Kwan? Will they trade Bradley Zimmer? Would DD be interested in Zimmer as a buy low/inexpensive CFer? Or could Dombrowski look to swing a deal for Kwan if Cleveland can’t fit him on their 40-man? Konnor Pilkington is another Guardian prospect I’d have an interest in. The LHP is a former 3rd round draft pick (Mississippi State), and posted 10.7 K/9 & 3.5 BB/9 in AA this season.

  3. From the names Jim posted above, I see 4 which the Phillies likely protect….MacArthur, Garcia, Ortiz and Muzziotti.

    1. I could see teams like Tampa, LAD or Atlanta jump on a Garcia or Ortiz and turn them into quick rising stars.

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