The Phillies currently have 37 players on their 40-man roster, giving them the opportunity to partake in the process, if they so choose. The Phillies have the 16th pick in the draft, so it's possible that some of the players we list will be taken, but we have tried to limit our names to those who might still be available.
Who are some of the names that might interest the Phillies this year when the Rule 5 Draft gets underway this morning at ten?
Jason Hagerty (C/1B) - This would be an interesting maneuver. Hagerty is a 25-year old prospect who has bounced back-and-forth from level to level throughout his minor league career with the Padres. Much of the time, he has been at Double-A.
Hagerty has good defensive skills with a good arm and he also has some potential offensively. The fact that he can also play some first base is a plus.
The Phillies will be without Carlos Ruiz for 25 games to start the season, so that part of stashing Hagerty is easy. After that, he could serve as a third catcher, which would make Erik Kratz more available as a nice bat off the bench. Hagerty could also get an occasional start at first if Ryan Howard needs a day off and maybe garner a few pinch-hit appearances for himself along the way.
Josh Fields (RHP) - Stay with me, because this gets confusing. The Phillies have already signed Josh Fields, but not this Josh Fields. The one that is already signed plays third base. This guy is a right-handed pitcher in the Red Sox organization. Got it?
This Josh Fields is 27, so he's old to be a prospect, but "mature" enough to be a decent Rule 5 pick. This past season was a breakout year for Fields, who cut his walk ratio down from around six walks per nine innings to just under three walks per nine. He also struck out 12 hitters per nine innings.
It's very possible that Fields is gone by the time the Phillies pick and with their bullpen in such disarray, they might not want to try to have a guy come along for the ride, but if Fields is available, he would make for an interesting choice.
Blake Smith (OF) - A left-handed bat with power potential; 'nuff said? Smith, 24, missed a chunk of time in 2011 with a sports hernia, but still hit 20 home runs and returned last year to put up decent numbers in Double-A ball. He strikes out a lot, but has actually been improving on his plate discipline and should eventually get that under control. His power numbers did dip to 13 home runs last season with the emphasis on not striking out and the added pressure of facing better pitching in his first season at Double-A.
Smith is pretty well regarded in the Dodgers organization, but was simply a casualty of numbers when it came to protecting players.
Smith is good defensively, with a plus arm, which makes sense, since he was a pitcher in college and some teams considered drafting him as a pitcher.
Nate Freiman (1B) - Another power bat, who may be an interesting choice. Over the past two seasons, Freiman has hit 46 home runs in the minors, including 24 at Double-A San Antonio in 2012. In addition to hitting for power, Freiman hit .298 at San Antonio and drove in 105 runs.
On the plus-side, he's a right-handed hitter, which the Phillies could use. On the down-side, he can only play first base, but there has been talk that he could learn to play the corner outfield positions.