Phillies Prospects: Evaluating Who Could Be Selected in Rule 5 Draft
By John Town
Outfielder Carlos Tocci
Carlos Tocci was the first of four TBOH Top 30 prospects to be left exposed to the Rule 5 draft this winter. I ranked Tocci as the No. 15 prospect in the system.
The Phillies signed Tocci when he turned 16 and gave him an aggressive assignment right off the bat as he started off his professional career in the Gulf Coast League at 17 years old. He then was promoted to Low-A Lakewood in 2013 at 18. The aggressive assignments may have hampered his development as he didn’t reach High-A Clearwater until two years later in 2015, and he spent all of 2016 in Clearwater as well.
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Tocci’s youth has come back to bite him as the 21-year old is now eligible for the Rule 5 draft. International prospects like Tocci often need to rise through the minors quickly as their Rule 5 eligibility comes much sooner than Americans who are drafted out of high school.
The biggest argument for Tocci being selected in the Rule 5 draft is his high floor as a defender.
Tocci is generally considered to be an above-average to plus defender in center fielder with a solid arm and speed to go with it. He will likely have some major-league role in the future based on his defense alone.
However, Tocci’s offense will likely hold him back from being selected. He posted a below-average OPS of .693 in 127 games with Clearwater this season. Tocci struggles with power, hitting just nine home runs in 2,219 plate appearances. That’s Ben Revere-like power (or lack thereof). There is little, if any, precedent of a High-A hitter jumping straight to the major-leagues with any form of success. It would take an advanced kind of hitter to do that, and that just isn’t Tocci.
Fangraphs’ KATOH system projected the WAR through the first six seasons of all the eligible players in this year’s Rule 5 draft. Tocci had the eight-highest projected WAR of all outfielders available in the draft, likely coming from his defensive ability. Considering his lack of offense and relative inexperience, it’s unlikely Tocci will be selected and even more unlikely he remains on a roster for a full season.