The Philadelphia Phillies selected shortstop Kyle Holder from the New York Yankees with the 13th pick in the 2020 Rule-5 Draft, the club announced Thursday.
A first-round pick of the Yankees in the 2015 MLB Draft, Holder slashed .265/.336/.405 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs in 412 at-bats at Double-A Trenton in 2019, the last minor league season. Holder is more known for his defensive prowess, as Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline named him the best defensive shortstop in minor league baseball during the 2017 season, edging out former Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford, who won a Gold Glove Award with the Seattle Mariners in 2020.
Holder is an interesting selection for the Phillies to make. It’s unclear if he has a major league bat, though his glove could be an interesting weapon off the bench. Holder will have to remain on the Phillies’ 26-man roster in 2020, or be offered back to the Yankees. Dave Hollins and Shane Victorino have been past Rule-5 selections who ended up being key cogs on iconic Phillies teams. But the draft is a crapshoot, as evidenced by how ineffective Tyler Goeddel was in 92 game for the team in 2016.
Obviously, Phillies fans are more interested in the fate of another former Yankees’ shortstop, Didi Gregorius. In 2020, Gregorius slashed .284/.339/.488 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIS, while posting an .827 OPS. It’s unclear whether the Phillies plan to seriously pursue a reunion with Gregorius in free agency.
That said, it shouldn’t be assumed that Holder is a potential fallback option should Gregorius depart in free agency. He strictly profiles as major league depth, not a starting option.
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