Thursday, December 11, 2014

Phillies take two in Rule 5 draft

             Infielder/outfielder Odubel Herrera was selected by the Phillies in the major league portion of baseball’s annual Rule 5 Draft.

                 Herrera, 22, was the Phillies’ lone selection in the first round (9th overall) of the major league portion from the Texas Rangers organization. Originally signed by Texas as an amateur free agent on July 3, 2008, Herrera split last season between single-A Myrtle Beach and double-A Frisco. He combined to bat .315 and posted a .383 on-base percentage with 19 doubles, five triples, 52 walks and 21 stolen bases in 125 games between the two levels. Herrera was named the best defensive second baseman in the Texas League last season by Baseball America and also made appearances in left field and center field.

                A native of Zulia, Venezuela, Herrera is currently playing for La Guaira in the Venezuelan Winter League where he is batting .374 with 12 doubles, two triples, four home runs and a .986 OPS in 42 games.

The Phillies also selected left-handed pitcher Andrew Oliver of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second round of today’s draft. 

Oliver, 27, went 3-4 with 13 saves and a 2.53 ERA in 48 games last season for triple-A Indianapolis. Originally selected by the Detroit Tigers in the second round of the June 2009 draft out of Oklahoma State University, Oliver averaged 11.95 strikeouts per 9.0 innings (85 SO, 64.0 IP) while holding opposing batters to a .157 average (35-223) in 2014. The 6-foot-3 lefty appeared in seven major league games with Detroit in 2010-11, going 0-5 with a 7.11 ERA. 

Three players from the Phillies minor league system were claimed by other clubs in the minor league portion of today’s draft. 

Right-handed pitcher Delvi Francisco, who went 3-3 with a 7.44 ERA in 30 games between single-A Lakewood and single-A Williamsport, was claimed by the Cleveland Indians. Outfielder Peter Lavin, who batted .287 in 128 games with Reading and single-A Clearwater, was claimed by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Right-hander Kyle Simon, who went 5-4 with a 3.93 ERA in 46 games last season split between double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley, was claimed by the Colorado Rockies.

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