NASHVILLE - Ben Revere was not the only centerfielder the Phillies added to their roster before leaving the winter meetings Thursday.
They also selected speedy Ender Inciarte off the triple-A roster of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the annual Rule 5 draft. The 22-year-old Venezuelan had a career .283 average and .347 on-base percentage and 111 stolen bases in five minor-league seasons with Arizona.
The lefthanded-hitting Inciarte hit a combined .307 with 28 doubles, 10 triples, two home runs, and 46 stolen bases at low-single-A South Bend and high-single-A Visalia. He is a teammate of Phillies infielder Freddy Galvis on the Zulia squad in Venezuela. Inciarte was hitting .225 with three doubles, a triple, and five RBIs in Venezuela.
The Phillies paid $50,000 for Inciarte and must keep him on their 25-man roster all season or offer him back to Arizona. Given that he has never played above single A, it will be a challenge for the Phillies to keep him. They also have the option of trying to swing a deal with the Diamondbacks in an effort to keep him.
"Our [scouts] think he has the instincts to play the outfield and with his tools, at least initially, he can fill in as a late-inning replacement or pinch- run," director of professional scouting Mike Ondo said. "He understands how to play. He plays the speed game. I don't know how the bat is going to play, but in terms of defense and speed, it adds an element to our team."
The Phillies also selected 6-foot-5 lefthander Brendan Lafferty in the minor-league phase of the Rule 5 draft. He was taken from Kansas City's double-A roster. Lafferty, 26, was 1-1 with a 4.77 ERA in 43 relief appearances at double-A Northwest Arkansas last season. He is a potential lefthanded specialist, as lefties batted .143 against him last season.
The Phillies did not lose any player in the Rule 5 draft.