Overall, Rule V Draft a Plus For Phillies

The Phillies haven't exactly been finding a lot of raw talent in the annual Rule V Draft. In fact, they were usually the one giving away talent like Miguel Ascencio and Derrick Turnbow. This year, with their organization talent dwindling, the Phillies were more of a taker than they were a giver. They may have filled a couple of major league holes in the annual give and take process.

First, the bad news; The Phillies lost pitchers Jean Machi and Nick Bourgeois along with shortstop Andrew Beattie in the Rule V Draft.

Bourgeois was the biggest of the losses for the Phillies. The left-hander was taken by Houston in the second round of the AAA Phase of the draft. Bourgeois, 24, pitched at Clearwater this past season and posted decent numbers, but not the kind of numbers that he is well capable of posting. The Phillies took Bourgeois in the fourth round of the 2002 Draft and with left-handers always at a premium, his loss could be felt down the road.

Machi is talented, but has battled behavioral problems and was likely headed for release. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are taking a chance on the talented youngster, who turns 22 in February. Several times, Machi was suspended from the Phillies Venezuelan Summer League team for problems off the field. He was 2-4, 4.78 with Batavia last summer, but wasn't going to progress because of his attitude. 

Beattie was signed as a minor league free agent after the 2004 season and had been placed on the Reading roster, making his eligible to be grabbed in the AAA Phase of the draft. The Oakland A's took the shortstop prospect, who turns 27 in February, after he hit .300 with six homeruns and 43 RBI for AA Chattanooga last season.

Now, for the upside of the Rule V Draft. The Phillies may have filled a couple holes on their roster.

In the Major League Phase of the Draft, the Phillies took Dodgers outfielder Shane Victorino. The 24 year old split his time between AA and AAA in 2004, hitting a combined .290 with 19 homeruns and 63 RBI. He has a lot of speed, but hasn't put it to much use on the basepaths, stealing just 16 bases last season. A far cry from the 45 that he stole in 2002 or the 47 that he stole the year before. He is a center fielder with a lot of potential and plays aggressively. The Phillies believe that he could see some playing time in the outfield as a reserve or as a potential platoon partner with Kenny Lofton. If they believe strongly enough in Victorino or if he shows enough in spring training, the Phillies might be inclined to deal Jason Michaels elsewhere. At the very least, Victorino could spell the end of Doug Glanville's stint with the Phillies.

In the AAA Phase, the Phillies grabbed veteran Chris Gomez from Baltimore. Gomez had been pursued by the Phillies and somehow fell through the cracks of the Orioles' system and was placed on their AA roster, making him eligible for the AAA Phase. The 33 year old Gomez has played for various teams in the majors and hit .282 in 109 games with Toronto last season. If he doesn't make the club out of spring training, he could be a key piece of insurance, should the Phillies encounter injuries to infielders.

Victorino and Gomez filled two potential holes on the Phillies roster and basically accomplished what they set out to do at the Winter Meetings.

The Phillies went on to select Jared Blasdell in the AA Phase. Blasdell was selected by the Cardinals in the 38th round of the 2001 Draft. He pitched in A, AA and AAA ball for the Cubs last season, going 2-5, 5.02 in his three stops. The majority of his time was spent at AA, where he was 2-4, 4.80 at West Tennessee. Blasdell is 25.

Finally, the Phillies took outfielder Josh Carter from the Padres. Carter turned 24 last month and played at both the A and AA levels for San Diego last season, hitting a combined .288 for the Padres. "He puts the ball in play…and that is a tough one for us," Padres' Director of Player Development Tye Waller said. "We worked with him on trying to get him to drive the ball. He came to us as a pull hitter and we got him to stay inside the ball and use the whole field. I think sometimes he stays inside the ball a little too much, almost an inside-out approach. If he can find the balance of the two, he might find something there. As a corner outfielder, he did play some centerfield, but he had been more of a corner outfielder for us. We think he is going to need that ability to either hit for a higher average to drive in runs or develop that power."

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