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Mailbag #13: Rule 5 Panic

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How did we get to having too many prospects?

The Rule 5 Draft has been good to the Phillies of late. Will it be again this year?
The Rule 5 Draft has been good to the Phillies of late. Will it be again this year?
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Rule 5 protection day was yesterday, and you can read all about who the Phillies protected here.

Mailbag!

Let's start with the obvious: Crawford is at shortstop. Galvis is probably the better defender right now, but Galvis is not your future, and you know he can play elsewhere. The next step is to see which of Cesar or Freddy has the most trade value; if the value is not enough then you have to keep both. If Cesar is playing like he did in the second half of last year, then Freddy is your utility infielder and Cesar is your second baseman. Given everyone's track record, the chance all three are doing well enough to make this a problem are low.

No. I get the dream, but Trout seems to like playing for the Angels and I can't imagine them trading him. I guess he will still be in his prime when his current contract runs out, but then you are in the free agency crap shoot. So the chance is very, very low.

Maybe. The Phillies have two major league needs: Infield bench bat and relief pitching. If they have an open spot, it is possible they give a player a shot in one of those roles, with the relief spot seeming more likely. If they do take someone, I doubt they have a high chance of sticking. I think it is more likely they look to solve those spots with with some non-roster invites to spring training.

Randolph is pretty much the same player he was a year ago. After all the dust settled, he ended up hitting .274/.355/.357 for Lakewood (.283/.364/.361 after coming off the DL). His power was hampered by injury, but there are very real lingering concerns about his long-term power. His swing is not geared for it, and he is not a guy who hits bombs in batting practice. Additionally, his frame is fairly maxed out, so there is not a lot of projection left in that way. He still has a great feel for the strike zone and his bat speed is impressive, and evaluators have few questions about his ability to hit. Unless the power comes, he is probably just an everyday left fielder with an acceptable batting average and on-base percentage. The huge unknown is how much of his power was sapped by the shoulder injury, because he did pretty well for a 19-year-old in full season ball. I wouldn't worry too much about Randolph; some of the shine is off, but he is still mostly the same guy he was before.

This is going to disappoint everyone in the crowd who wants big splashes, but the Phillies are likely mostly done with offseason moves. They need a reliever or two, and maybe if an outfielder comes cheap they pounce. In all of these cases I don't see the Phillies going hard after anyone and instead being more opportunistic as the market develops.

I don't know if anyone the Phillies left unprotected are guarantees to be selected. The answer is probably Andrew Pullin because of his major league proximity and being on the correct side of a platoon split. Otherwise, Hoby Milner might be selected just because everyone likes LOOGYs. Miguel Nunez has a big arm, and some team may want that. The truth is in the Rule 5 draft it just takes one team that believes in a player to take them and keep them.