How Does Rule 5 Pick Inciarte Stack Up?

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, December 07, 2012 07:00 PM | Comments: 6
Fightins, Minor Leagues, News, Posts, Prospecting, Threshers

In the Rule 5 draft portion of the MLB Winter Meetings, on Thursday, the Phillies selected outfielder Ender Inciarte from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Inciarte, who has played 310 career minor league games in center field, posted a career high OPS of .797 combined at two levels, the Class A Midwest League and the Class A Advanced California League, in 2012. Additionally, Inciarte uses speed as a key to his offense, as he stole 46 bases in 58 opportunities last season but sports just a 73% success rate in stolen base attempts during his pro career.

Comparatively, Phillies’ outfield prospect Tyson Gillies, who has had a considerable amount of injury issues since joining the organization, had an OPS of .809 at three levels in 2012 (.822 in 68 games at Double-A), which ranked as his third best season in that department through his minor league career. Gillies came over from Seattle in the December 2009 Cliff Lee trade after being picked in the 25th round of the 2006 draft. The 24-year-old has played 263 of his 324 professional defensive games as a center fielder and provides strong defense anywhere in the outfield.

Another Phillies outfield prospect, 23-year-old Jiwan James, who was limited by a left knee ailment throughout the 2012 season, has never posted an OPS greater than .690 in a season in which he played in more than 30 games. James was selected in the 22nd round of the 2007 draft, by the Phils, as a pitcher. James has manned center field 350 times in his pro career with great range and made national headlines with his remarkable defensive play for Reading this past July. James, who typically has relied on speed (32 SB per season avg, 2010-2011), stole just eight bases in 16 attempts during the 2012 regular season in the Double-A Eastern League, due to his knee troubles.

Leandro Castro, who has 91 games in center field under his belt, in the minors, tallied a .742 OPS as an All-Star with Double-A Reading in 2012 and sported a .785 mark with Class A Advanced Clearwater in 2011. Castro stole 13 bases in 22 chances (59% success rate) this year.  With defense that doesn’t hurt a team, the 23-year-old projects more as a corner outfielder, but very likely needs to increase his power to catch on the majors.  Castro was originally signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent in 2007.

Zach Collier, who was added to the Phils’ 40-man roster this off-season, put together a strong Arizona Fall League campaign (.371/.461/.532) following a drug suspension shortened season in which he put forth a solid effort with the Class A Advanced Threshers, posting a .269 average with six homers, 32 RBI and 11 steals in 78 games.  Collier stole 35 bases in 2011 during a full season with Class A Lakewood.  The 22-year-old, who was taken with the Phils’ supplementary round draft pick in 2008, is a solid defender that has played 143 regular season games in center.

The overall thought here is that the 22-year-old Inciarte is not any great improvement over the options the Phillies already had on the way up in their developmental ranks. Although, he does seem to measure up fairly well to the other young outfielders in the Phils’ system.  He is more durable than Gillies.  He provides more impressive offense than James.  He is younger and faster than Castro.  He is about even with Collier, at this stage.

Inciarte, a native Venezuelan who was originally signed as an amateur free agent, has posted a .225/.284/.288 line in 35 games, playing with Zulia in the Venezuelan Winter League. His Zulia teammate, Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis, has tallied a .304/.348/.458 line in 43 games. Galvis, 23, played in 58 games with the big league Phillies in 2012, prior to being sidelined with a back injury and being suspended after testing positive for banned substances.

The Phillies will need to keep Inciarte on their 25-man big league roster for the entire 2013 season, or risk losing him back to Arizona.

Players are eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft when they are not on their major league organization’s 40 man roster and 1) were signed to a contract at age 19 or older and have been in that organization for 4 years, OR 2) were signed at age 18 or younger and have been in that organization for 5 years.

Additionally, the Phillies selected Brendan Lafferty in the minor league portion on the Rule 5 draft.  The 26-year-old UCLA product was an 18th round draft choice in 2009.  Prior to college, Lafferty was drafted by the Phillies, but he chose not to sign.  This year in the Double-A Texas League, Lafferty sported a 1-1 record with a save, a 4.77 ERA in 43 relief outings.  Also, he struck out 71 batters, while walking 40 in 60 1/3 innings.

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  • Posts: 0 George

    None of these guys seem to be spectacular, although there are plenty of them.

    Inciarte is worth a look, I suppose, but I doubt if he’s kept. Too much competition.

  • Posts: 0 Psujoe

    He seems ahead of Gillies due to all of the injuries. Might be worth working out a deal so they can send him back Down. Only if he does well in Spring training.

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    Interesting seen that have a few guys like him down in the minors. Although whats his name cant stay healthy.

  • Posts: 0 hk

    I wonder how sure they were that the Twins would part with Revere when they made this pick. After the trade, this guy seems redundant and unlikely to take a spot on the 25 man roster. Since Revere projects to control CF for the next 4+ years, I would hate to see them squander a roster spot on this guy instead of someone like Mayberry, who brings different skills (a RH bat who kills LHP’s, defense at multiple positions).

  • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

    what a waste of a pick!we just traded for a guy with almost identical skills! why? why not draft someone who has an outside chance? if a chance at all. sometimes i don’t understand the thinking. you mean to tell me that they’re willing to let this guy take up a roster spot ala mini mart. and on the other hand after the year he had last year hitting a total of 51 hr’s that they can’t hand a spot to ruf? and they still keep saying as do the writers that ruf has to prove himself! they compare his situation to dom brown? how’s that dom brown is nothing ruf is the real deal. anybody with any baseball instinct can see the guy has it. i watched him last year, yea he had only 31 at bats but his demeanor was far and away better than browns. you talk about being put in a pressure cooker and asked to produce? he did! no they weren’t in a pennant race cooker but after the year at AA he had, he had to come up and produce and he did just fine. then he goes to winter ball and continued to crush the ball. what exactly did dom brown do in his case? pencil him in left get what else ya need. don’t worry about left fiels for a few years it’s covered now.

    • Posts: 351 Jay Floyd

      Avatar of Jay Floyd

      No, Ryne…I don’t think the Phils intend to keep Inciarte on the 25-man roster at this point. I think they hope to get lucky with him, the way they did with Victorino, when they had to offer him back, but he was rejected. They could then place him in the minors for more seasoning.

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