The Philadelphia Phillies selected two players in this morning’s Major League Baseball Rule 5 Draft.
As I speculated here at TBOH just yesterday, the club made former Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Tyler Goeddel the top overall pick in the selection process. Goeddel is a 23-year old outfielder from California who has played the last five seasons in the Tampa Bay Rays system.
In the 2nd round, the Phils chose former Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Daniel Stumpf. The 24-year old lefty was Kansas City’s ninth round selection in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of San Jacinto College in Houston.
Matt Klentak will be bringing back a bundle of new prospects from his first Winter Meetings as the franchise’ general manager. While he dealt away Ken Giles, he also brought in outfield prospects Goeddel and Derek Fisher, pitching prospects Stumpf, Vincent Velasquez, Brett Oberholtzer, and Thomas Eshelman, and veteran reliever David Hernandez.
After beginning his pro career as a reliever in the 2012 season with the Royals’ Rookie-level club at Burlington, Stumpf was switched to the starting rotation at A-level Lexington for 2013, and actually had some success in that role.
The Royals decided that he was better suited for the bullpen, however, and began to transition him back during the 2014 season at High-A Wilmington. He then pitched effectively over seven games with Peoria in the Arizona Fall League later that year.
In 2015, Stumpf had a solid season pitching with Northwest Arkansas in the AA Texas League. Over 42 games he pitched 70.2 innings, allowing just 55 hits with a 76/31 K:BB ratio. He was particularly outstanding against lefty batters, who produced just a .167/.289/.250 slash line against him this past season.
Mike Ondo, the Phillies director of pro scouting, was quoted by Philly.com’s Matt Breen: “I think with where we’re at, coming in to compete for a spot in the bullpen as a left-handed reliever adds some more competition with a guy with a good arm and a good approach.“
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Stumpf’s age, experience, and success would seem to indicate a player who is ready for the challenge of a big league role. As a lefty reliever, he stands a reasonable chance of sticking with and helping the club through spring training and the 2016 season.
The Phillies currently have just Elvis Araujo on the 40-man roster as a healthy, left-handed reliever, though they are bringing former Cubs’ reliever James Russell to spring training on a minor league contract as well. Those two should provide the main competition for Stumpf.
Mario Hollands underwent Tommy John surgery back in early April, and should be ready at some point during the coming season, though he is likely to begin his road back with a minor league stint. Matt Harrison and Jesse Biddle have primarily been starters in their careers, and each have significant injury hurdles to overcome.
Sticking for the entire season on the Phillies big league roster might be trickier for Goeddel, despite his obvious talents. With Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr expected to fill two starting spots, Goeddel will be competing for playing time, and possibly a roster spot, with Cody Asche, the recently acquired Peter Bourjos, and near-ready prospect Roman Quinn. Like Asche, Goeddel is a converted 3rd baseman.
Breen quoted Rondo on the Goeddel selection: “Goeddel excited us at the beginning of this whole process with his approach at the plate, the athleticism, the speed, the fact that he moved to the outfield this year and handled all three outfield positions. You have a baseball player here. He has instincts. He can steal bases. There’s a lot of things to like about this player.”
Goeddel seemed excited about getting a new start with the Phillies, posting the following to his Twitter feed this morning:
There is plenty of opportunity to be had with this rebuilding Phillies team. Goeddel has always had the tools to reach the big leagues. He has never had a better chance to actually realize that goal. Klentak and the Phils are hoping that he can put it all together, and give the club the kind of production from the Rule 5 process that ‘El Torito’ brought last season.