NASHVILLE - Tyler Goeddel had spent three minor-league seasons as a third baseman before switching last season to become a full-time outfielder. He excelled defensively and made strides at the plate. Now, the Phillies hope he can make the switch to become a full-time major-leaguer.
The Phillies drafted Goeddel on Thursday morning with the first pick in the Rule 5 draft, the final event of the four-day winter meetings at the Opryland Resort.
Goeddel, 23, was a first-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2011. The righthander spent all of last season at double A, batting .279 with a .350 on-base percentage in 123 games. He ended the season by hitting eight of his career-high 12 homers in the season's final two months.
"Goeddel excited us at the beginning of this whole process with his approach at the plate, the athleticism, the speed, the fact that he moved to the outfield this year and handled all three outfield positions," said Mike Ondo, the Phillies' director of professional scouting. "You have a baseball player here. He has instincts. He can steal bases. There's a lot of things to like about this player."
The Phillies used their second-round pick on lefthanded reliever Daniel Stumpf from Kansas City. The Phillies must keep Goeddel and Stumpf on their 25-man roster for the entire season or they will be offered back to their former teams. The Phillies were able to find a gem in last year's draft, as Odubel Herrera started on opening day and thrived as a rookie outfielder.
"I think he showed what a guy with talent can do when they get the opportunity," Ondo said. ". . . Where we're at right now, we have the chance to take a shot on one of those guys with a high ceiling and tools and ability."
Stumpf, 24, pitched in 42 games last season in his first year at double A. He struck out 76 and walked 31 in 702/3 innings. His fastball can reach 94 m.p.h., and he pairs it with an effective slider. He limited lefthanded batters to just a .167 average last season. But Ondo said Stumpf is not just a lefthanded specialist, because he has the ability to force ground balls and pitch multiple innings.
The Phillies did not lose a player in the major-league portion of the Rule 5 draft. The team chose to leave outfielder Carlos Tocci and righthanded pitcher Alberto Tirado unprotected, hoping that another team would not believe they could stick on a major-league roster. The Chicago White Sox drafted righthander Manaure Martinez in the draft's minor-league portion. Martinez, who turns 24 this month, spent last season at low-A Lakewood. He throws a high-90s fastball but lacks control.
- Matt Breen