If it’s the final day of the winter meetings — in person, virtual, or otherwise — it must be the Rule 5 draft, an opportunity that the Phillies often utilize to take a flier on a player who might help deepen the roster.
On cue, then, they snatched up shortstop Kyle Holder on Thursday in a draft that was held via conference call.
Holder, 26, has been regarded as a slick defender but work-in-progress hitter since the New York Yankees drafted him in the first round in 2015. He spent last season at the Yankees’ alternate site but didn’t get called up. In 2019, he batted .265 with a .336 on-base percentage and nine homers at double-A Trenton.
“Kyle is a natural shortstop and a plus defender at the position, and he has shown good progress offensively,” Phillies pro scouting director Mike Ondo said in a statement. “We’re excited to welcome him to our organization.”
As a Rule 5 player, Holder must either remain on the Phillies’ 26-man major-league roster next season or be offered back to his previous team for $50,000, half the cost of selecting him in the first place. The Phillies will determine in spring training if Holder can provide middle-infield depth.
In years past, the Phillies have acquired talented players in the Rule 5 draft, unearthing Dave Hollins, Shane Victorino, Ender Inciarte, and Odubel Herrera, among others.
The Phillies neither lost a player in the major-league portion of the Rule 5 draft nor selected one in the minor-league phase. But right-hander Reggie McClain, who allowed five runs in 5⅓ innings for the Phillies last season, was selected by the Yankees in the triple-A phase of the draft.