Friday, December 07, 2007
The Rule 5 Draft is a favorite tool of the Phillies to collect talent. They utilized the Rule 5 Draft to snare Shane Victorino away from the Dodgers in 2004 and look at the player he has become! The Phillies were very active in the 2007 Rule 5 Draft, taking two of the eighteen major league picks and two of the thirty-six Triple-A picks. The Phillies lost two players in their minor league system.
The Phillies utilized the 14th and 18th picks of the Rule 5 Draft to snare Travis Blackley from the Giants system and Lincoln Holdzkom, both pitchers, from the Red Sox system. In the minor league draft the Phillies acquired Patrick Sellers, a third baseman, from the Astros system and they snared Luke Appert, a second baseman, from the Oakland A’s. Will this turn out to be the Phillies big move?
First, Blackley: he threw 162 innings for the Fresno Grizzlies in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League (PCL) and finished with a 10-8 record and a 4.66 ERA. Blackley’s numbers aren’t great – most were pretty much in-line with the PCL’s averages – but he has a lot of upside and might still develop into the pitcher he was going to be when he was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Year in 2003. (Point in his favor: Blackley seems to be a groundball oriented pitcher.) Blackley is apparently being brought in to press Adam Eaton as the fifth starter or go to the bullpen as middle relief. My gut tells me that Blackley will work middle relief.
Holdzkom struggled a lot with his control: a whopping 5.79 walks per nine innings in Double-A ball and 7.41 BB/9 for Triple-A. Holdzkom’s upside is there too: he gets a lot of strikeouts. If he can master his control, he’ll be good. Holdzkom is also off to a solid start this season with the Mesa Solar Sox, striking out ten in seven innings of work. Both might work out and be solid additions for the Phillies, or they simply get returned to their teams and the Phillies are $50,000 poorer.
In other news … the Santana deal is still unconsummated. Too bad. Looks like the Tigers emerged as the big winners of the Winter Meetings, loaded and ready to roll. I wonder if the addition of Miguel Cabrera might push Brandon Inge, the team’s Gold Glove-calibur third baseman, onto the trading block. Might Inge turn out to be a Phillie?
Chris Coste is busy writing a book about the 2006 season. I wonder if Hollywood might still pursue a movie on him?