The MLB Winter Meetings traditionally close with the terrifying Rule 5 Draft, a process that involves teams watching their possibly-coveted low-level prospects get snatched away by somebody else. I can’t tell you what rules 1-4 are, but rule 5 is all about the immense satisfaction of wanting someone else’s stuff and then stealing it without anyone screaming this time.
The Phillies are not immune from such tactics, and on the eve of the Unfair Draft for Conniving Thieves, the team was prepared to say farewell to Jiwan James.
James is a young outfielder with a volcanic Twitter account who spent last night going to high school basketball games and then playing Call of Duty, while everybody else asked him questions to which he had no reason to answer. As one of the Phillies’ top prospects who was surprisingly left unprotected, it was naturally assumed he was about to disappear before our very eyes.
And then, when he finally admitted he could not predict the future, the Cubs went and selected Lendy Castillo from Lakewood, who is an even younger guy that used to be an infielder and is now a pitcher. No word yet on how active of a Twitter account he has.
The Phillies, who by now you must have heard are pretty keen on this Rule 5 draft, mainly because it gives Ruben Amaro a chance to be openly evil, chose after some deliberation to select “no one” from “any team.” An interesting move for an organization with an empty slot on the 40-man roster, but in the end, Amaro claimed he just didn’t see anything out there he liked. In any of 30 teams’ farm systems. Anywhere.
But fortunately, that leaves us with young James, who had moved on so quickly from the issue that this very morning he was already campaigning to get someone else more followers.