Yesterday we kicked off the Rule 5 protection preview with pitchers. Today we tackle hitters which are a lot less interesting top to bottom, but include a top prospect who can’t seem to stay healthy. This should be the last class of hitters for the Phillies that is empty, with a considerable number of players becoming eligible in 2016.
Roman Quinn is a lock to be added to the roster. Not only is he a top 10 prospect in the Phillies’ system but he is an easy stash for another major league team. There is a lot of debate about Quinn’s upside and future role, but there is little debate that he is a major leaguer. It looks like at this point his floor is a defensive 4th outfielder who is a terror on the bases. There is a non-zero chance that if he was selected he would put up a year similar to Delino DeShields Jr. or Odubel Herrera
It is Really Close:
Apparently Tocci is eligible even though he is only 20 years old. His defense and young age make him intriguing as a selection candidate because he has time to grow even if he loses a year. I believe in Tocci’s upside more than Quinn’s, but you could make an argument that his lack of physicality makes it impossible for a team to carry him all year. I think that being picked in the Rule 5 draft will disrupt his year in a way that would be hard to overcome. I would protect him, but I could see a scenario where the Phillies do not agree with me.
Cameron Perkins, Brian Pointer
There is nothing wrong with Cameron Perkins or Brian Pointer as people or interesting baseball prospects. Neither is really MLB so a team would need to carry them as dead weight all year, and both are old enough that losing a year of development could end their chances at the majors. I will say that I have always been lower on Perkins than the industry seems to be, and with the changes to his swing made by the Phillies he is finally showing some power and was good down the stretch. There is a chance that a team (maybe even the Phillies) really likes what they see in Perkins going forward.
Chace Numata, Gabriel Lino, Logan Moore
Catchers are hard to predict, hard to protect, and hard to pick. Gabriel Lino is the best of the bunch, but with Knapp’s emergence and Alfaro’s arrival it is hard for the Phillies to carry him too. He has the tools to be an everyday catcher, but it is going to take years of painful development for him to get there, despite him being in AAA. Logan Moore is a great defender who finally hit some in AAA, but he lacks any impact in his bat making him a back up catcher. His ceiling is marginally above what you can find in minor league free agency each year. Numata is a converted shortstop with a big arm and feel for contact for both sides. His upside is solid backup, but he is far away from that.
AAAA First Baseman
Art Charles, Brock Stassi, Tommy Joseph
Every team has a first baseman or two with plus power and a long list of potential flaws. Charles has big power, big miss, and huge platoon splits. Tommy Joseph has intriguing power, but as a first baseman his prospect status is extremely fringy. Stassi is the most intriguing of the bunch for another team to select in the draft. For the Phillies, it makes no sense to use a roster spot all winter on a 26 year old first baseman who has maybe average power potential and took two years to hit in a Reading bandbox. However, if you are an AL team looking for a platoon first baseman to bring to camp, Stassi brings an intriguing mix of hit tool and approach that might be worth a look. If a team does do that, it is more of a hit to the IronPigs than the Phillies.
If You Can’t Play Shortstop or Hit You Need Not Apply:
Angelo Mora, Carlos Alonso, KC Serna
Mora and Alonso can’t play shortstop (Mora doesn’t play second base particularly well either) which limits their utility for any selecting team. Serna was a just a minor league free agent and is a utility infielder who could maybe get a brief cup of coffee in the majors eventually, but is otherwise a solid org guy.
Harold Martinez, Mitch Walding
Martinez came back from the dead to hit .292/.335/.400 for Reading in 2015. He is still a fringy defender at third base, and even with the resurgence his power is not acceptable for third base. He will need to have a big boost in power to make a major league roster some day. Walding can really field, he really can’t hit. This year his walk rate made a good stride, while also dropping his strikeouts some (25.4% is still very high), but his power just collapsed. He will be 23 on opening day so he might not be out of the org yet, but he is towing a fine line.
Tromp had a horrid first half and a decent second half. But he is a 22 year old in Low-A who has the upside of a 4th outfielder. The payoff just isn’t there for anyone to take him.
He technically is still Phillies property and not officially retired, but yeah.
Roman Quinn and I would protect Carlos Tocci, I think a team could keep Tocci all year if they wanted to even though he is underdeveloped physically. There is a non-zero chance that they are high on Cameron Perkins, but given that he is behind Herrera, Altherr, Quinn, Williams, and probably Asche on the depth chart makes his addition very unlikely to me. There are a few guys who could be picked in the right scenario, but won’t be huge losses.