The MLB Winter Meetings began on Dec. 4 in Nashville, Tenn., and the Rule 5 Draft will take place on Dec. 6. The Philadelphia Phillies have the 24th selection, and there are plenty of outfielders that will be available.
During last year's Rule 5 Draft, Philadelphia selected Noah Song from the Boston Red Sox. Song had been serving in the military and had limited experience in the minor leagues. The Phillies designated him for assignment at the end of July last season. After going unclaimed on waivers, they sent him back to Boston per league rules.
What outfielders might the Phillies choose in the Rule 5 Draft? Here are some options that could be worth considering.
Wilfred Veras, Chicago White Sox
Wilfred Veras comes from a lineage of players who spent time in the Major Leagues. His father, Wilton, previously had a brief playing career (1999-2000) playing third base for the Boston Red Sox. He spent time playing in the minor league systems for both the Red Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers.
The young outfielder's uncle is former third baseman Fernando Tatis, Sr. The former infielder played for the Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, Montreal Expos, Baltimore Orioles, and New York Mets. San Diego Padres shortstop/right fielder Fernando Tatis, Jr. is Veras' cousin.
The 21-year-old Veras, the No. 21 ranked prospect in the Chicago White Sox minor league system, spent last season in High-A with the Winston-Salem Dash. He had a slash line of .277/.316/.438 with a .754 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) in 92 games for Winston-Salem. He finished with 25 doubles, 11 home runs, and 63 RBI.
He also spent time in Double-A with the Birmingham Barons for a second consecutive year. During 2022, Veras played in 12 games for Birmingham and had a .267/.313/.533 slash line with a .846 OPS. In 38 contests with the Barons this season, he finished with a .309/.346/.533 line, had 14 doubles, six home runs, and 30 RBI.
Veras' estimated time of arrival to the Majors is during the 2025 season. Due to appearing in more games at Double-A last year, he could begin next year there and play a fair amount of the season with the Barons before debuting at Triple-A by the end of 2024.
Hudson Haskin, Baltimore Orioles
Hudson Haskin, the No. 17 prospect for the Baltimore Orioles, is a part of a loaded farm system for the club. The 24-year-old spent the 2022 season with the Aberdeen Ironbirds, Bowie Baysox, and Norfolk Tides. He only played in 33 games in 2023 due to a hamstring injury and surgery to correct a hip impingement.
In 2022, he was effective at Double-A for the BaySox. Haskin played in 109 games and finished with a .264/.367/.455 line and a .822 OPS. His development was halted due to the injuries he sustained this year, so he is hoping for a healthier and more productive season in 2024.
NEXT: Three more outfielders the Phillies might consider in the Rule 5 Draft.