Phillies Take Infielder In Rule 5 Draft
The Phillies lost Jayson Werth when he signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Washington Nationals.
They struck back this morning.
“We figured with this Rule 5 Draft we would get back at the Nationals,” Ruben Amaro Jr. joked. “They got Werth. We’ll take (Michael) Martinez and call it even.”
The Phillies selected Martinez from Triple-A Syracuse, which is Washington’s affiliate. He is a 28-year-old infielder that can play multiple positions. Martinez must open the season on the 25-man roster and remain there the entire 2011 season or be offered back to the Nationals.
The Phillies lost no players in the draft.
“One thing we see in Martinez is the versatility,” Phillies director of professional scouting Mike Ondo said. “We like his versatility, his athleticism, his quickness. He’s a guy who has played shortstop and second base. We’ve seen him play center field.”
Martinez, who once played professional basketball in the Dominican Republic, also is a switch-hitter. He hit a combined .272 with 21 doubles, six triples, 11 home runs, 56 RBIs, 23 stolen bases (caught 12 times), a .312 on-base percentage and a .408 slugging percentage in 522 plate appearances with Double-A Harrisburg and Syracuse.
“With the way we set up right now, this is a guy who can come in and maybe compete to fill a need,” Ondo said.
Martinez is not a fast runner, but Ondo said his quickness defensively at all positions is his strength. Losing Werth gives the Phillies a little less depth in center field, so Martinez’s ability to play there is a plus.
The Phillies also selected outfielder Chris Frey from Colorado’s organization and right-hander Justin Friend from Oakland’s organization in the Minor League phase of the draft. Frey, 27, hit .288 with 20 doubles, four triples, one home run and 25 RBIs in 328 plate appearances with Triple-A Colorado Springs. Friend, 24, went 3-3 with a 3.70 ERA in 36 appearances (one start) with Double-A Midland.