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Phillies get busy in Rule 5

Phillies take the top Defensive Second Baseman in the Texas League, who also won the batting title, along with an old Lefty Reliever who made his MLB debut 4 and a half years ago. They also lose 3 guys to the minor league portions of the draft.

Andy Oliver
Andy Oliver
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

to the minor league portion of the DraftOf late the Rule 5 draft has been a dull, arid land of junkballers, offensive hacks, washouts and guys with very little chane of sticking on a roster. This year looked different, but any hope for the big names was gone early as Mark Canha got plucked by the Rockies, the Rangers picked DeShields and the Twins grabbed J.R. Graham. The Rule 5 was deep this year though, so there were plenty of names still out there to take.

The Phillies, with the 9th pick grabbed Odubel Herrera, a 22 year old Second Baseman (he can also play Center and Left and in a pinch, Shortstop). Last year Herrera won the Batting Title for Double-A Frisco in the Texas League with a .321/.373/.402/ line. His profile is going to start sounding familiar otherwise to the man he likely replaces, Cesar Hernandez: Good speed, doesn't K too much and takes Walks, very little power, Singles hitter, very good Defender (per Baseball America the best Defensive Second Baseman in the Texas League). The good news is that he can probably stick on an MLB roster as a Utility Infielder, given his defensive ability in multiple spots. Also, if Utley does get traded, he could end up playing Musical Chairs at Second with Cesar. The downside is, he seems like a pretty lateral move from Cesar, albeit younger by a few years.

With their Second Round Pick, the Phillies took Andy Oliver from Pittsburgh. Andy is the aforementioned old Lefty Reliever. Oliver just turned 27 and made his debut in 2010 for the Tigers (it was not very good). Oliver was a Starter then and remained on until 2014 when the Pirates moved him to the Bullpen. As a Pitcher, Oliver has the stuff to be a very exciting Pitcher, a Fastball that is Plus and sits mid 90's along with a Curve/Slider combo. The problem is that Oliver has a propensity for Walks that would leave Phillippe Aumont's mouth agape in shock, an issue even the vaunted Pirates Pitching team gave up on fixing. The payoff would be really good if he can iron it out, but it's hard to use a guy who walks ~6 batters per nine innings in any role.

In the Minor League Portions the Phillies lost Delvi Francisco to the Indians, Kyle Simon (and his porn mustache) to the Rockies and Peter Lavin to the Dodgers. In the MiLB portion of the draft there are no restrictions, all 3 of those players now belong to their new teams, none are a particular loss ot the Phillies org.