Phillies Grab Three In Rule 5

Jim Ed Warden

Rule 5 picks usually have a long, tough road. Many teams sit out the Rule 5 Draft, but the Phillies went wild, grabbing three players in the draft. One, Alfredo Simon, returns to the Phillies organization.

The Phillies 40 man roster had plenty of room left, so they decided to fill three spots with players who probably have little chance of making those spots permanent.

Technically, the Phillies drafted a reliever and two catchers in the draft. Officially, they wound up with two pitchers and a catcher after sending catcher Adam Donachie to the Orioles for Alfredo Simon, who the Orioles had taken earlier in the draft. Simon returns to the Phillies, where he started his professional career. Simon had taken a long road back to Philadelphia after the Phillies dealt him to San Francisco along with outfielder Ricky Ledee for pitcher Felix Rodriguez. Just last month, Simon had signed with the Texas Rangers before being lost in the Rule 5 Draft. Simon pitched at both the A and Triple-A levels with San Francisco last season, but the Phillies pursued him based on the reports out of the Dominican Republic where Simon is pitching in winter ball. Word is that Simon has his velocity up to 98 miles per hour and that his control is coming around. The Phillies are hoping that he's starting to develop into the pitcher that they had thought he would be while he was in their organization.

Speaking of developing pitchers, the Phillies grabbed Jim Ed Warden from the Indians. Warden, a 6' 7" right-hander who throws sidearm, will fight for a spot in the Phillies bullpen. Warden was effective pitching at Double-A ball in the Indians organization, going 5-2 with a 3.05 ERA and 11 saves in 55 games. Scouts have compared Warden to Chad Bradford because of his delivery and velocity which touches the mid-90s.

The Phillies grabbed a catcher in the third round of the draft, taking Ryan Budde from the Angels organization. With the Phillies' catching situation being a big question mark, Budde could stick with the club. That would allow them to use Chris Coste as a utility infielder and prime pinch-hitter while keeping a catcher ready for emergency use. Budde has some power potential, but is primarily a defensive type of catcher.

The odds of any of the three players sticking with the team are long and it's nearly impossible that all three would stick. If the Phillies don't keep the players that they drafted on their 25 man roster, they would have to be offered back to their original teams and would have to go through waivers before they could be optioned out.

In the Triple-A Phase of the draft, the Phillies took Yankees prospect Victor Hall. Hall hit .321 and stole 35 bases in 65 games at Class-A Tampa last season.

The Phillies didn't lose any players in the Rule 5 Draft.

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