In 2015 the Philadelphia Phillies got a strong return from Rule 5 draft pick Odubel Herrera. They went back to the same talent pipeline again for 2016, plucking outfielder Tyler Goeddel out of the Tampa Bay Rays system under Rule 5. Can Goeddel stick all year and contribute as Herrera did? Let's take a look.
First, from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
Tyler Goeddel, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-4 WT: 180 DOB: October 20, 1992
2012: Grade B-; 2013: Grade B-; 2014: Grade C; 2015: Grade C
The Rays drafted Tyler Goeddel in the supplemental first round in 2011 from high school in California. His 2012, 2013, and 2014 seasons were all seen as somewhat disappointing. His 2015 campaign was better, the batsman setting career-best marks in most categories including wRC+ (122), OBP, and SLG. This wasn’t enough to completely restore his lost stock and the Rays left him unprotected for the Rule 5 draft. The Phillies snatched him up. The tools that made Goeddel a first round pick are still here, notably above-average speed, a strong throwing arm, and average raw power. His plate discipline isn’t terrible but until last year he had trouble tapping into his strength consistently. Previously an error-prone third baseman, he moved to the outfield last year and showed intriguing arm strength and range though he needs more experience. I’m not sure if he can stick on the roster but Goeddel is an interesting wild card. Grade C+.
Goeddel didn't have a spectacular spring, hitting .250/.323/.339 with four walks and 12 strikeouts in 56 at-bats. This was still enough for him to make the club and he'll split outfield playing time with fellow rookie Cedric Hunter (who we will profile tomorrow).
As noted in the comment, Goeddel has some physical tools, particularly a very good throwing arm. Physically he is strong enough to hit for power but his swing is tailored for line drives and gap shots. He set a career-high in homers last year but we're still talking just 12 as part of a .279/.350/.433 line in Double-A. He makes better use of his speed, averaging 25 steals per season in the minors. The speed and throwing arm should make him a very good outfielder.
The various sabermetric prediction systems mark him as a .250/.300/.360ish hitter at present, so the spring training numbers are right in line with expectations. From a fantasy point of view, Goeddel doesn't have a lot of attraction at present; his main contribution would be a few steals, perhaps of interest in a very deep league, or as a long-term flyer if your league has a robust farm structure. The real-life Phillies, in rebuilding mode, have every reason to let Goeddel play and see if he can improve his power production to go with his other skills.