The Phillies have a lot of eyes on the Rule 5 draft, and none are more exciting than this outfielder. Philadelphia Phillies Carlos De La Cruz could make it to the big leagues in the future depending on how he plays out in 2023 with the Philadelphia Phillies.
But if he does, will it be the Phillies or another team? De La Cruz is one of the Phillies’ candidates in the Rule 5 draft scheduled for Wednesday at the MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville. As of two weeks ago, the Phillies decided not to place De La Cruz on the 40-man roster, making him vulnerable to the Rule 5 Draft. De La Cruz has been in the minor leagues since 2018, so the Phillies dealt him. De La Cruz is unlikely to be picked up by a team and return to the Phillies.
However, MLB.com believes he is the Phillies’ top prospect in this draft. De La Cruz is a big model at 6’8 and very exciting. He can play all three outfield positions as well as first base, giving teams a chance to insert his strong arm into the lineup. He hit 24 home runs in 2023, but benefited from friendly obligations from Reading (Double-A), and despite some changes and mistakes, more are likely to come. Last season, he hit .259 with 25 doubles, 24 home runs and 67 RBIs.
The official numbers are his best work. Any team selecting De La Cruz means the Phillies will see what they see, a spot for him on the team’s roster. If selected, he must remain on the team’s 26-man roster and the Phillies must pay him $100,000. If he is released in 2024, he must be fully exempt and return to the Phillies for $50,000.