2016 Rule 5 Protection: On the Outside

The Phillies only added fuel to the Rule 5 speculation fire when they released Matt Harrison yesterday freeing up another 40 man roster spot to protect a prospect. That is of little help to these players all of are going to be on the outside looking in this year.

Notable Players:

Malquin Canelo, SS – Canelo has the raw skills to be an everyday shortstop, but he did not hit in hi-A this past season. He has no 2017 value to a major league team and his ceiling just does not warrant carrying him all year.

Shane Watson, RHP – The 2016 season was a huge improvement for Watson in his injury recovery. His stuff is fine, but not overwhelming, and his injury history and lack of a solid third pitch means he is likely headed to the bullpen long term. His upside in the bullpen puts him well behind a lot of arms that will be available.

Tom Windle, LHP – Coming into the year Windle looked like he might getting back on track as a full time relief pitcher, but he proceed to continue to walk everyone before getting injured in late June. He would come back and pitch for the GCL Phillies and Threshers before rejoining Reading in the playoffs. At his best Windle still has a mid 90s fastball and solid slider, but if he walks batters and lets lefties hit .315/.416/.479 off him again he has no place in the major leagues.

Jose Pujols, OF – Pujols might have the highest upside of anyone on this list, but he struck out over 30% of the time in low-A. At this point Pujols would be lucky to make contact with a ball in the majors and a year off of regular at bats probably sets back his career irreversibly.

Deivi Grullon,  C – Grullon made solid improvements in 2016 and is still very young (20), but like Pujols he put up his numbers in low-A. Grullon’s defense might be major league ready, but it would be hard for a team to carry his zero behind the plate all year given that his offensive upside is relatively low.

Ranger Suarez, LHP – Suarez is in no danger of being selected in the Rule 5 given that he just finished up a year in Williamsport. However, Suarez is a major league caliber prospect with a command profile and average pitches.

Mitch Walding, 3B – Walding has had a bit of a breakout year at age 24 in Clearwater. Walding has shown more power and hard contact to go with his usual good defense. However, he still strikes out at a very high rate and while his power is solid, it isn’t spectacular for a third baseman. Given his lack of upper minors success and age it is hard to see a team taking Walding.

Jiandido Tromp, OF – Another low minors breakout as Tromp finally escaped Lakewood while putting up a 20 home run season. Tromp has raw power, can run some, and is finally showing some plate discipline. He did only hit .240 in hi-A, and as a 23 year old he lacks the upside needed to wait a year on him.

Hoby Milner, LHP – The Phillies dropped Milner’s armslot even more this year and the results were impressive as he finally started missing bats. Milner still throws in the hi-80s to low-90s without any standout secondary pitches which limits him to middle relief, likely as a LOOGY. There is a chance a team takes Milner in the draft, but given the alternatives the Phillies have to protect it is a risk they should be willing to take.

Cameron Perkins, OF – Perkins just turned 26 recently and is entering his second year of Rule 5 eligibility. Perkins can just hit. The problem is that while the batting average and strikeout numbers are good he struggles to do enough elsewhere to have major league value. Perkins has some power, some speed, and is a decent defender in a corner outfield spot. If a team is desperate for a RH 5th outfielder he is someone they could look to, but for the Phillies they have no shortage of younger outfielders with more upside.

The Rest:

  • Carlos Duran
  • Zach Green
  • Mark Leiter Jr. – Kitchen sink reliever with low 90s fastball, a slow curve, and a million other pitches
  • Will Morris
  • Carlos Indriago
  • Gregori Rivero
  • Joey Curletta – Large bodied slugger came over in Ruiz trade, struggled greatly in AA in Dodgers system.
  • Wilson Garcia
  • Angelo Mora
  • William Cuicas
  • Herlis Rodriguez
  • Jesen Therrien – Middle relief profile, decent fastball and control
  • Ranfi Casimiro
  • Yacksel Rios – Hard throwing RHP lost his ability to throw strikes in 2016.
  • Harold Arauz
  • Jairo Munoz
  • Logan Moore
  • Brock Stassi – Stassi is tearing up the Venezuelan Winter League, but his is a 27 year old coming off a 12 HR AAA campaign.
  • Harold Martinez
  • Chace Numata – Numata has turned himself into a solid hitter and good defender, but he lacks upside beyond just backup catcher.
  • Ulises Joaquin

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.


  1. Matt, is it possible some of these players could be chosen during the Minor League phase of the Rule 5? Some are useful for the organization or have enough potential to keep around–hate to lose them for nothing.

    • Matt Winkelman

      I don’t think any of these players are in danger, maybe someone like Mark Leiter could be on outside, but I have not done the math on the AAA or AA rosters

  2. David

    Thanks Matt. Really great insights throughout this series!