Add One, Lose Two in Rule 5 Draft
The club stayed quiet in the Rule 5 draft, selecting only 25-year old shortstop Jorge Flores from the Blue Jays in the Double-A portion of the draft. Flores split 2016 between High and Double-A in Toronto’s system, posting a .211/.280/.286 line in 114 games. Ryan Mueller of FanSided’s “Jays Journal” said after the 2015 season Flores “projects as a AAAA infielder, but developing a running game would elevate him to a solid bench prospect who could fill in for short stretches.”
Selecting Flores was a can’t-lose move for the Phillies as they lack minor-league shortstop depth after J.P. Crawford and Malquin Canelo in Triple and Double-A, respectively. He likely won’t be much more than a depth guy in the organization, but there’s always the hope he puts something tangible together. Since there are no restrictions on players selected in this phase of the draft, he is Philadelphia’s as long as they want him.
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The Phillies didn’t lose that much in the Rule 5 draft either. Lefty reliever Hoby Milner was the only Phillie selected in the major-league portion of the draft as the Indians took a shot on him. Milner’s finesse style may not pan out at the major-league level, but Cleveland likes his potential as a lefty specialist in their bullpen. Carter Hawkins, their assistant general manager, told Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com, “He [Milner] has left-on-left potential. He dropped his arm slot recently (late last season) and had a lot of success. We feel he has a chance to be that situational-type guy.”
While I would have loved to see Milner fill that role for the Phillies instead of another team, it would be hard for him to do so. He was left off the 40-man roster for a reason as the club sees much more potential in other pitchers in the system. Milner could always wind up back with the Phils, or he could stay in Cleveland and possibly form an interesting Milner-Miller combination with Andrew Miller.
The Phils also lost right-handed pitcher Jairo Munoz, who up until this point I had not heard of before. He pitched just nine innings in the minors this year, one with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and eight with High-A Clearwater. Considering he didn’t rise above the rookie-leagues until the 2015 season, it’s hard to see the club missing Munoz.