The Philadelphia Phillies are looking closely at outfielder Tyler Goeddel in preparation for the MLB Rule 5 Draft.
Selected by the Tampa Bay Rays as the 41st overall selection in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft out of Mountain View High School in Georgia, Goeddel signed as an 18-year old, and thus became a free agent following five minor league seasons after which he was not included on the Rays’ 40-man roster.
Goeddel was originally a third baseman, playing the hot corner as he rose through the Tampa minor league system over his first three seasons. The Rays decided to move him to the outfield a year ago.
A superb athlete with good speed, a strong arm, and a quick bat, there has been somespeculation that Goeddel was rushed at the outset of his development when the Rays started the teenager at Low-A Bowling Green in 2012, an uncommonly aggressive move by the usually conservative Tampa organization.
The major flaw holding Goeddel back has been a propensity for striking out. He has whiffed 98 times in each of the last three seasons after striking out 94 times in that first 2012 season.
Playing the last full season as a 22-year old at AA Montgomery in the Southern League, Goeddel stroked a career-high 12 home runs and knocked in a career-high 72 RBI.
After stealing 30 bases in each of his first two minor league seasons, the 6’4″ right-handed hitter returned near that level with 28 steals this past season.
If the Phillies do indeed make Goeddel their selection, they would need to do as they did a year ago with Odubel Herrera– keep him on the big league roster for the entire season. That would mean an MLB debut for the player, who turned 23 years old back in October.
The Phillies already have a somewhat crowded outfield situation, with Herrera, Aaron Altherr, and the newly acquired Peter Bourjos leading a group that also could includeCody Asche, Darin Ruf, and Darnell Sweeney.
That doesn’t even include the continued development of speedy prospect Roman Quinn, or the possibility of re-signing fan favorite Jeff Francoeur.
Ryan Gerstel looked at leading contenders for this first overall pick at TBOH just over a week ago.
While listing Goeddel as one of three reasonable options, he also listed pitcher Corey Black and outfielder Jabari Blash as other possibles.