For only a $100,000, a MLB team can select a Rule Five prospect but they must be kept on the MLB roster or put back on waivers. If unclaimed, they are offered back to their original team for $50,000. The Phillies did not bother to protect outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz or catcher Rodolfo Duran. Usually pitchers are most in demand in the Rule Five draft. With the addition of an extra player on the MLB roster this season that might change.
We will know starting at noon ET when the Rule Five draft opens at the conclusion of the Winter Meetings. Ortiz is only 21 years-old and can hit a ball a country mile. He was second in the Florida State League with 19 homers in 2019. He hit 13 long balls in the Sally League in 2018. His specialty was hitting with the bases loaded where last season he went 3 for 9 with a homer and 10 RBIs with the sacks full. The problem is he hit only .200 for the season.
Ortiz is a good outfielder. He had 14 outfield assists including one from left, three from center and ten from right field. He played 89 games in the outfield.
Duran is a strong power hitter with 27 home runs in 160 games over the last two seasons including three in the 2018 SAL playoffs. He was injured swinging and missing at a pitch and was shutdown the last six weeks of the 2019 season.
All Duran does is catch nine-inning and five inning no-hitters. He caught the Spencer Howard nine inning “no-no” in the 2018 SAL playoffs. Last season with Clearwater, we watched him catch another nine-inning no-no game by three pitchers and a five-inning no-hit outing by Howard. He threw out 26 runners in base stealing attempts in the 64 games he caught for the Threshers.
Ortiz and Duran would be my Rule 5 picks from the Phillies but since they are not pitchers they might be safe. On the other hand you can’t buy two better young prospects for only $100,000 a piece in baseball.