Phillies’ Jhailyn Ortiz Among Prospects Left Unprotected from Rule 5 Draft
The Phillies recently added four players to their 40-man roster, yet many prospects remain unprotected from the Rule 5 Draft, one being OF Jhailyn Ortiz.
Amid the Phillies hiring of Joe Dillon as hitting coach this past week, the club was faced with a Wednesday deadline of deciding which of their prospects to place on the 40-man roster and protect from the Rule 5 Draft.
The Phillies ultimately opted protecting their No. 10-ranked prospect LHP JoJo Romero, No. 15-ranked prospect RHP Mauricio Llovera, as well as a pair of non-ranked southpaws, Garrett Cleavinger and Cristopher Sanchez. The last prospect, Sanchez, had just been acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays.
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Even after making these additions, the Phillies’ 40-man roster still sits at 39. Leaving one spot open could be strategic, but, nonetheless, it means the possibility of losing a prospect in the Rule 5 Draft whom could have been protected.
Among those include the club’s No. 12-ranked prospect, outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz.
Ortiz is qualified for being subject to the Rule 5 Draft not only because the Phillies left him unprotected by not adding him to the 40-man roster; the Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic, native is also eligible more so because he signed with the Phillies by age 18 and has completed five professional seasons.
Prospects are also eligible if they signed at age 19 or older and have completed four professional seasons. The Phillies signed Ortiz at 16 years of age to a franchise-record $4 million bonus.
If another team were to select Ortiz in the Rule 5 Draft, it would cost them $100,000. Ortiz would have to remain on their big-league roster for the entIrety of the 2020 season, nor can they be sent to the minors without clearing waivers. Otherwise, Ortiz would have to be offered back to the Phillies for $50,000.
MLB.com describes that a prospect like Ortiz may not as appealing for Rule 5 consideration:
"Guys with raw power and high strikeout rates who haven’t played above A ball aren’t typically prime Rule 5 candidates, but it’s hard to completely ignore the pop that produced 19 homers in the pitching-friendly Florida State League. He needs to refine his approach but still has the upside of being a power-hitting, run producing corner outfielder."
This past season at High-A Clearwater, the 21-year-old slashed just .200/.272/.381 with 19 home runs and 149 strikeouts. In the field, Ortiz played all three outfield positions, with the most time spent at right field. In 597 1/3 innings at the position, Ortiz committed zero errors spanning 124 chances, while also tallying 10 assists.
In fact, Ortiz committed no fielding errors all season spanning 776 combined innings. That, if anything, might be what draws the attention of major-league clubs considering to select him in the Rule 5 Draft.
RELATED | Phillies prospect Jhailyn Ortiz had unheralded success in 2017
In February 2018, Phillies 2008 World Series-winning manager Charlie Manuel said on 97.5 The Fanatic that Ortiz has the chance to be a “real good hitter”:
"“[Jhailyn’s] doing good. He’s got the chance to be a real good hitter. He has what I call a ‘strong back side.’ He stays behind the ball good and has quick hands. When he hits the ball, it looks like it doesn’t want to come down. It looks like it keeps jumping … he’s young. He’s 19 right now, but at the same time, he’s definitely ahead of like a high school kid coming out or maybe a first-year college player. He’s already ahead of those guys because he’s played the last couple years. He’s got talent and has the chance to be a real good hitter.”"
This offseason’s Rule 5 Draft will take place exactly two weeks after Thanksgiving: Thursday, December 12, which is also the last day of the Winter Meetings in San Diego.