The Phillies have done well for themselves in recent Rule 5 Drafts, coming up with Tyler Goeddel in 2015 and Odubel Herrera in 2014. This year, they had to pass on looking for another diamond in the rough, because they had a full 40-man roster. They did take part in the Triple-A Phase of the Draft though and came away with infielder Jorge Flores from the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
Flores, 25, was initially drafted out of high school by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 46th round of the 2010 Draft, but didn't sign. Two years later, the Blue Jays got him with their 19th round pick out of Central Arizona College.
Flores has the ability to put together some quality at-bats, but not enough of them to equate to a strong offensive output. Over five minor league seasons, Flores has hit a combined .256/.334/.338 in 470 games, with nine home runs and 134 RBI. He's spent parts of three seasons at the Double-A level and will likely get his first opportunity at Triple-A with the Phillies.
Consistency is an issue for Flores, who can get hot for a while and then turn cold very quickly. The right-hand hitter also does much better against left-handers than against righties, hitting nearly 50-points better against southpaws last season at Double-A New Hampshire, where he struggled to hit just .187 on the season. Ironically, Flores hit best against pitchers who are among the Top 20 pitching prospects in baseball, batting .272 against such pitchers last season in the minors.
What Flores will do offensively is make contact. He has struck out 239 times in 1,540 at-bats in the minors and has a career .298 batting average on balls that he puts in play. If you're looking for any power though, just look elsewhere, because there isn't much to see here. With just nine career home runs, Flores isn't going to provide much pop in a lineup.
Primarily, Flores is a shortstop by trade, but has also spent a good amount of time at second base with success there as well. While the Blue Jays didn't do much moving him around, Flores has played a handful of games at third and also in center and right fields, but certainly isn't proficient there. The Phillies do like to have young players be as versatile as possible, so it's possible that they will work him a little at third, especially.
While he's not going to remind anybody of Ozzie Smith or even J.P. Crawford defensively, Flores is a slightly above average defensive player at the middle infield positions. He's got good range and a solid glove, with an average, but accurate arm working for him.
The first thing that you notice about Flores is his size, or lack thereof. He's just 5' 5" and 160 pounds, which draws into question just how durable he may be, playing every day at higher levels. His good footwork and mechanics around the bag help him to avoid contact, but as he encounters faster runners and tougher players, he's going to be tested.
Speed isn't a great asset for Flores, but he has the ability to swipe a key base when needed, although his minor league percentages aren't great, with him being successful on just 52% of his stolen base attempts in his career, where he should be up around at least the 60% mark and above.
Keep in mind that the Phillies and Blue Jays have spring training complexes very close to each other in Florida and their teams play each other a lot in spring training. They also have teams together in both the High-A Florida State League and Double-A Eastern League, so the Phillies have had the opportunity to see a lot of Flores and there must be something there that they like.
Snagging Flores was a no-risk move and they don't view him as a starting player, but he could potentially be a player to fill a hole and possibly work himself into a job as a major league utility player if all goes right. At least he can give them some insurance at Triple-A and collect some at-bats there.