Update: Ender Inciarte was selected by the Phillies with the 15th pick of the 2012 Rule 5 Draft. Inciarte is a 22 year old left handed hitting outfielder. In 2012 he hit .307 with 2 HR and 47 RBI with stops in the Midwest League (A South Bend) and the California League (High A Visalia).
In the minor league portion, the Phillies selected Brendan Lafferty, a left handed pitcher from the Kansas City Royals. In 2012, he recorded a .447 ERA in 60.1 innings for Northwest Arkansas of the Texas League (AA).
At 10 am EST time, one of the most insignificant portions of the baseball calendar will occur, the Rule 5 Draft. On this day each year, players with more than 3 or 4 years of experience after they originally signed but left off of the 40 man roster are eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft.
As Phillies fans, we are well aware of some very notable names that have been selected through Rule 5. There are also many names that we do not remember because they were offered back to their original team.
The most famous and successful Rule 5 selection in recent Phillies history was also offered back to his original team, the Dodgers, who declined. Thus, Shane Victorino, after being selected back in 2004, made his debut taking over for Bobby Abreu in right field in 2006. The rest is history.
More recently than Shane, the Phillies have taken David Herndon and Michael Martinez in the Rule 5 Draft. Even though both stuck around with the Major League club for while, most of us wondered why.
They are required to remain on the active 25-man roster for 90 days, but most of us wondered why they weren’t offered back to begin with. Were the Phils really afraid Mini Mart was going to turn into the next great infielder if sent back to the Nationals?
Not with a batting average of .188 in his 2 year stint. He did play all over the field, and he did have some wheels, but it ended there.
Herndon took some heat from all of us in Philly, but he actually didn’t have such a bad tenure. It wasn’t stellar, but it wasn’t all bad either. If it weren’t for Tommy John surgery last year, he may even still be a Phillie. Clearly the Yankees weren’t too afraid to claim him off of waivers in October.
Last year at this time, the Phillies did not make a selection in the Rule 5 Draft. This year they do have space on the 40-man roster, currently at 36, but they also need to fill those spots with a few important pieces. You know which ones I’m talking about.
This year’s crop of eligible players is pitching heavy, as is the top of the Phillies farm system. I would be surprised if they take one of the many projected relievers in this year’s Rule 5. Of course, whoever they take is a long shot to become the next Shane Victorino or Josh Hamilton. If they make a selection, odds are he turns out to be more like Robert Mosebach, who the Phils selected in 2009.
We will wait with curiosity to see who, if anyone, the Phillies select with the 15th pick today.