Phillies Tyler Goeddel: What to Expect
The Philadelphia Phillies have a Rule 5 Draft outfielder on their roster to open the year for a second straight season.
The Phillies tend to do quite well in the Rule 5 draft. Past draftee successes include the likes of Shane Victorino, David Herndon, Michael Martinez (yes, he counts), and Odubel Herrera, who had a terrific season last year.
Heck, even though they let him get away, the Phillies should at least be given some credit for drafting Ender Inciarte, the owner of a .292 batting average since his Major League debut in 2014.
Trying to join that list of names is the top overall pick in the 2015 Rule 5 draft, Tyler Goeddel. With the season just getting started, it may be the perfect time to see just what the 23-year old outfielder brings to the table.
On Tuesday night, Goeddel delivered his first big league hit at a key moment. He led off the bottom of the 6th inning with a clean single to left field, then three batters later came home to score on a triple by Odubel Herrera that put the Phils and Charlie Morton up by a 1-0 score in a game they would eventually win 3-0.
Goeddel does a lot of the little things right, potentially making him a useful player. He is a relatively solid base-stealer, swiping 108 bags across four minor league seasons. Perhaps demonstrating his speed in an even subtler way, Goeddel has 79 career minor league doubles.
Another area in which Goeddel is strong is patience. He was able to work 48 walks for the Tampa Bay Rays’ AA affiliates last season. His minor league on-base percentages have consisently been above the .340 mark the last few years.
Goeddel isn’t too shabby on the defensive end of the spectrum either. Beginning his career as a 3rd baseman, Goeddel has transitioned well to the outfield.
As his MLB Pipeline prospect profile details, “Goeddel made a nice transition to the outfield in 2015, with the skills to play all three outfield positions. His strong arm profiles well in right field.” His arm also contributes to the relatively solid package he brings at the plate and on the basepaths.
So what should we be expecting from Goeddel in 2016 and beyond? That is a fairly tough question. We did not see a whole from him in spring training, where he produced just a .250/.323./.339 slash line along with a single stolen base.
His MLB.com player page offers a season projection of a .236/286/.355 slash line, along with five homers, sixteen walks, and eight stolen bases over 68 games. That sounds pretty fair, and honestly would be considered a pretty nice success for the Phillies. Maybe even as the season goes along he will get a little bit more comfortable and exceed those expectations.
Goeddel will continue to have limited playing time. He is already behind Odubel Herrera, Peter Bourjos, and even Cedric Hunter. Cody Asche will return at some point this summer, and the likes of highly regarded prospect outfielders Roman Quinn and Nick Williams could certainly keep him on his toes as well. He will definitely have to perform to stick with the Phillies long term, but I think he will do just that.
By no means is Goeddel a stud. He is not the next Victorino or even Odubel. What he is, however, is a potential backup outfielder who does a lot of the little things right. He could certainly help the Phillies’ organization going forward.
Goeddel should be able to do enough to stick around in 2016 and be put in the outfield depth conversation for next year, even though the competition will be much steeper. Frankly, even getting a Rule 5 selection to play in the Major Leagues at all should be considered a success both for the organization and the player.
Goeddel does not offer superstar potential, but he could certainly help the Fightins’ while continuing to be carried here in 2016. He offers another interesting storyline for fans to follow all season long as this young team continues to rebuild and gives young players a chance to produce.