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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

9/9/2020 : Phillies 2020 Off-Season Rule Five First Time Eligibles

The Phillies will face some tough roster decisions this off season in regards to protecting players from the Rule 5 draft. Each off-season brings such decisions to the forefront but this year’s first time eligible list has perhaps more intriguing names than in years past.

Due to the fact that the minor league season was cancelled any Rule 5 selection will be much more speculative this time around in many regards but there’s also the possibility that big league rosters may be 26 to 28 players next season which would leave clubs with more room to take a perceived risk.

Last year the Phillies left players such as Catcher Rafael Marchan, LHP Jeff Singer, IF Luke Williams, OF Jhailyn Ortiz and 1B Darick Hall unprotected without having any of them selected by another club. This year it’s a certainty that at least Marchan will be protected from that group if not others.

Players not presently on the 40 man roster who will be eligible for the first time for the Rule 5 Draft if not protected are ...

LHP Damon Jones

OF Austin Listi

IF Nick Maton

OF Mickey Moniak

LHP Kyle Dohy

LHP Jakob Hernandez

LHP David Parkinson

OF Josh Stephen

RHP Andrew Brown

RHP Francisco Morales

LHP Zach Warren

LHP Kyle Young

C Colby Fitch

IF Dalton Guthrie

OF Simon Muzziotti

RHP Kevin Gowdy

RHP Alejandro Made

LHP Jhordany Mezquita

C Juan Aparacio

IF Cole Stobbe

OF Yerwin Trejo

RHP Leonel Aponte

RHP Carlos Francisco

IF Juan Herrera

IF Nicolas Torres

IF Jose Tortolero

OF Raymond Mora

RHP Eudiver Avendano

RHP Dalvin Rosario

IF Edgar Made

IF Luis Rojas

IF Christian Valerio

RHP Jeison Blanco

RHP Yeison Sanchez

RHP Juan Sanchez

RHP Aldemar Rivas

Players from the first year eligible list that stand out for strong consideration include Damon Jones, Austin Listi, Nick Maton, Mickey Moniak, Kyle Dohy, Francisco Morales, Zach Warren, Simon Muzziotti, David Parkinson and Kevin Gowdy.

LHP Jones was in big league ST, Summer Camp and the 60 man player pool. He finished last season at the AAA level after being promoted up the rung twice from the A and AA levels during the year. He’s a hard throwing hurler with a plus secondary pitch ( slider). It would seemingly be a no brainer that he’s protected from the draft.

1B/3B/OF Listi is a “professional hitter” type who played at the AAA level in 2019 and was added to the 60 man player pool this August. He’s got big league skills that a team certainly could use on a major league roster. The Phillies might chance leaving him unprotected but if they do so it would not be surprising at all for another club to select the 2018 Paul Owens Award winner.

2B/SS Maton finished the 2019 season at Reading after playing the brunt of the year at Single A Clearwater. He was a non roster invite to big league spring training and was added to the 60 man player pool in August. Nick has a quick short Utley like compact swing from the left side. His inexperience at higher levels may sway teams away from drafting him if left exposed but he’s not far from being a big league contributor ... in years past players like him have typically been selected.

OF Mickey Moniak would seem to be a lock to be added to the 40 man roster and protected. He was in big league ST for the second consecutive year and would have been added to the 60 man player pool earlier than late August if he had not suffered a knee injury from accidentally slipping down some stairs. He would have been at the AAA level this summer for sure after completing a decent season at Reading in 2019. I have a great deal of confidence he will be a big league contributor in the near future ...

LHP Kyle Dohy has extreme swing and miss stuff ... he’s got a plus plus change up to couple with a mid 90’s capable fastball. The issue has been control and command ... Kyle pitched at the AAA level last season, the Phillies may gamble that another club won’t select him but then again another club might believe they can harness the control/command issues and get themselves a high strikeout producing reliever.

RHP Francisco Morales is a no doubt about it add to the 40 man roster. After watching the second half of his 2019 season in Lakewood and what I saw in last year’s Fall Instructs I truly believed he was gonna have a huuuuge season this summer. The young man has what is capable of being elite stuff, mid to upper 90’s FB, hard slider and a decent change up out of the same arm slot. He definitely battled command early in his career as a teenager but he turned that corner this past fall ( from what I saw ). I believe his stuff is as good as Spencer Howard’s ... he’s just 20 years old and hasn’t pitched above low A but I have no doubt another team would select him if left unprotected ... just sayin

LHP Zach Warren spent the entirety of 2019 with Advanced A Clearwater and was destined to spend at least the beginning of 2020 at Reading. He’s got mid to upper 90’s capability with the FB and has a very good secondary pitch ... a curve that is a big time swing and miss put away pitch ... he’s had his battles with command but is a back end of the pen strikeout machine that left exposed in the draft would seemingly have a good chance of being selected. Zach was in big league Spring Training camp this year ...

OF Simon Muzziotti spent the 2019 season at Clearwater ... he’s just 21 years old and was destined for Reading this summer had the season played. Simon is a glider in the outfield with a plus arm, he covers ground very well and is an exceptional fielder. The slender native of Venezuela spent the entire 2020 summer in Clearwater with a group of fellow Phillies VZ countrymen training daily at the stadium and Joe Dimaggio Complex. Simon is a solid hitter ( .287 average at CW in 425 AB’s ) and has plus speed. He’s an Ender Inciarte like leadoff type batter with potentially more pop ... I don’t know if I’d dangle him out there for draft exposure in a perfect world ... since we don’t live in a perfect world that may be the choice taken but he’s a talented player ...

LHP David Parkinson spent the 2019 season at Reading, he’s the winner of the 2018 Paul Owens Award. David is an intense competitor that knows how to both pitch and win. This past spring he experienced an uptick in FB velocity as did many of the pitchers in the system with an adaption of some of the Driveline training techniques. I talk with quite a few scouts ... while David may not be as know a commodity to fans, scouts are very much aware of his capabilities.

RHP Kevin Gowdy spent the 2019 season at Lakewood after missing the previous two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery. The 2016 2nd round pick is now 22 years old and his injury history and lack of pro experience seemingly make it unlikely he would get selected if exposed in the draft. Here’s a tidbit for ya though ... from my observations and various feedback from others we believe Kevin is on the verge of busting out ... he’s got the capabilities of elite stuff, 2019 was a struggle with control but what was truly evident was his mix of pitches were not hit hard at all when he found the zone. In 2019 Fall Instructs the awe of electricity was back ... don’t bet against this young man ... he’s a very talented battler who won’t be denied.

Just my take ... only reporting what I see, hear, read and think 🤔... that’s baseball

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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