Phillies Value Rule 5 Pick Inciarte's Speed, Defense

PHILADELPHIA—The Phillies love to gamble in the Rule 5 draft. Dave Hollins and Shane Victorino went from the Rule 5 draft to the World Series in Phillies uniforms. In recent seasons, the Phils got contributions from reliever David Herndon and utility man Michael Martinez.

The Phillies roll-the-dice style and their need for outfield depth led them to select Ender Inciarte from the Diamondbacks with the 15th pick of this year's major league phase.

The 22-year-old Inciarte is a lefthanded-hitting center fielder with excellent speed. He hit .307/.376/.421 with 28 doubles, 10 triples and two home runs between low Class A South Bend and high Class A Visalia. He succeeded on 46 of 58 steal attempts.

The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Inciarte intrigued Phillies scouts during the minor league season and again this winter in his home country of Venezuela, where he played for Zulia. The Phillies exited the Winter Meetings with just one everyday outfielder—trade pickup Ben Revere—so they will be open-minded about keeping Enciarte.

"Our guys 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 and pinch-runner," Phillies pro scouting director Mike Ondo said. "He's an advanced defender and still has some prospect value.

"He understands how to play. He plays a speed game. We don't know how his bat is going to play, but in terms of defense and speed, it adds an element to ourteam."

The Phillies selected lefty reliever Brendan Lafferty from the Royals in the minor league phase. Lafferty had a 4.77 ERA in 43 appearances with Double A Northwest Arkansas in 2012. He struck out 71 batters in 60 innings while holding lefthanded hitters to a .143 average. Lafferty was originally selected by the Phillies in the 47th round of the 2004 draft but opted to pitch for UCLA instead.


• The Phillies added outfielder Zach Collier to their 40-man roster. The 34th overall pick in the 2008 draft, Collier has yet to play above Class A but held his own in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .371 (23-for-62) with seven extra-base hits.

• According to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., outfielder Tyson Gillies missed time in Venezuela with hamstring issues. Gillies missed most of 2010 and 2011 with hamstring problems.