Phillies Risk Losing This Top Prospect in Rule 5 Draft
The Philadelphia Phillies have several prospects in the Rule 5 Draft, none more intriguing than this outfielder.
Carlos De La Cruz could be in the Majors next season, based on how he progressed in 2023 with the Philadelphia Phillies.
But, if he makes it, will it be with the Phillies or another team?
De La Cruz is one of several Phillies prospects exposed to the Rule 5 Draft, which is set for Wednesday during the MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville.
At the tender deadline two weeks ago, the Phillies opted not to put De La Cruz on the 40-man roster, which would have protected him from the Rule 5 Draft.
De La Cruz has been in the minors since 2018, which is why the Phillies had to make a decision about him.
It’s possible that De La Cruz isn’t selected by any teams and he returns to the Phillies. But, MLB.com believes that he is the most intriguing Phillies prospect in the draft:
De La Cruz is a huge specimen, at 6-foot-8, and surprisingly athletic. He can play all three outfield spots, as well as first base, which could give a team options to get his developing power bat into the lineup should he get taken. He hit 24 homers in 2023, though he took advantage of the friendly confines at (Double-A) Reading, and there could be more to come, albeit with some swing-and-miss.
Last season he batted .259 with 25 doubles, 24 home runs and 67 RBI with Double-A Reading. The power numbers were the best of his career.
If a team selects De La Cruz, it means they see what the Phillies see and have a place for him on their roster. If he’s picked, he must be put on that team’s 26-man roster immediately and that team must pay the Phillies $100,000.
If at any point in 2024 he is release, he must be put on outright waivers and offered back to the Phillies for $50,000.