Phillies Likely to Select Rays’ Tyler Goeddel in Rule 5 Draft

J.J. Cooper of Baseball America hears from two sources that the Phillies are likely to select outfielder Tyler Goeddel from the Rays with the first overall pick in the Rule 5 draft on Thursday. That’s right: not only does one get the first overall pick in the amateur draft for finishing with baseball’s worst record, one also gets the first pick in the Rule 5 draft.

Goeddel, 23, was selected by the Rays in the first round, 41st overall, of the 2011 draft. He has put up middling numbers over parts of four seasons in the minors. This past season, his first at Double-A Montgomery, Goeddel hit .279/.350/.433 with 39 extra-base hits (including 12 home runs) with 28 stolen bases in 37 attempts across 533 plate appearances.

Here’s what Cooper wrote about Goeddel at Baseball America:

Goeddel’s bat seemed to take off somewhat this year after he moved from third base to the outfield. He’s an athletic, if a little slight-framed righthanded hitter with a smooth swing who is above-average in the corners and playable in center field. Coming off a .279/.350/.433 season at Double-A, Goeddel is one of the more polished hitters available in this year’s Rule 5 draft.

Any player the Phillies select in the Rule 5 draft must remain on the 25-man roster for the duration of the season; otherwise, they must offer the player back to his original team. This shouldn’t be an issue for the Phillies just as it wasn’t last year with Odubel Herrera. The club doesn’t have a bounty of major league-ready outfield talent. Herrera has center field and Aaron Altherr will man right field. Goeddel could either play left field full time or share the spot with Peter Bourjos. Theoretically, Herrera could move to second base to open up an outfield spot, but considering how well he played defensively in center field, that would appear to be a sub-optimal transition.

The Phillies were fortunate to get an historically-good performance from Herrera after selecting him in last year’s Rule 5 draft. If Goeddel joins the squad, temper expectations; don’t expect him to match what Herrera did.

Adding any more major league-caliber outfielders, whether through the Rule 5 draft or otherwise, all but writes Cody Asche out of the picture. The Angels reportedly had some interest in Asche, but there are a handful of other teams — mostly small-market types — that could benefit from Asche’s versatility as well. At this point, it would be surprising if Asche were to show up to spring training in a Phillies uniform.

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