I would take a chance on several Phillies pitchers not protected in the Rule 5 Draft at the MLB Winter Meeting on Thursday. Former Phillies prospect, pitcher Sam McWilliams, has rocketed up the Baseball America list to No. 1 of likely picks. But it is likely none of the current Phillies Rule 5 eligibles will be drafted if the MiLB and Baseball America’s experts are right. Read HERE HERE HERE.
While we watch the experts on MLB-TV talk about million of dollars to be handed out to major league free agents, a team could find a bargain non-40 man roster player for a mere $100K. If they do not keep the Rule 5 prospect on the opening day 25-man MLB roster, the team from whom they drafted the player can get him back for only $5oK. Not a bad deal to take a look at eligible Rule 5 players in spring training.
The Phillies have several pitchers who might get at least a look off the Rule 5 draft board. Go to the Phillies players who have played in the off season leagues. Some of them will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, having been stuck in the Phillies farm system for at least four years for college guys and five years for high school and international guys, See HERE.
Several names to consider. We like starter Tyler Viza. He ended the Arizona Fall League with a five-inning shutout striking out nine. He ended the season strong, pitching to a 1.98 ERA over his final ten games mostly with Reading.
Jan Hernandez had a good 2018 season hitting .292 with 10 homers in the first half for Reading. Currently, he is hitting .323 in Puerto Rico.
Catcher Deivi Grullon hit 21 homers for Reading. But he went 0 for 16 in the Dominican Winter League before being shutdown. He is a late addition to the Baseball America Rule 5 potential Rule Five Draft picks.
A guy who appears to be not playing winter ball is Jose Pujols. All he did was hit .301 with 18 home runs in the Florida State League read HERE and hit four more homers in August for Reading. He was tied with 11 assists in the FSL. Jose was voted FSL Player of the Year, read HERE.
Second baseman Daniel Brito showed flashes, hitting around .250 at both Lakewood and Clearwater. He finished up with the Threshers hitting .300 over his last ten games of the season. He was also the Rawlings minor league Gold Glove winner at second base in 2018.
Several Phillies relievers looked good in the Arizona Fall such as Luke Leftwich and Seth McGarry. Luis Carrasco can bring the heat along with a good breaking ball. He pitched well in the the Sally League playoffs where he pitched 4.2 shutout innings striking out five.
A top lefty reliever available is Tyler Gilbert who pitched to left handed batters at a 1.50 ERA and a .132 batting average with Lehigh Valley.
So don’t forget to check in on Thursday to see if any movement occurs in the Rule 5 draft.