I want to make a disclaimer statement right here. I’m going to say some really harsh things about the Phillies “braintrust”, ownership group, and anyone else associated with the draft in the next 2,000 or so words. If you love Bill Giles, David Montgomery, Pat Gillick, and all of the folks associated with said people, you may want to just click away from this review and assume “he wasn’t a fan” and move on. I don’t want to lose readers because I compare Pat Gillick to a piece of petrified wood, but I have to let out some frustration, and it’s better to do it in print than to go kick a stray dog in the alley behind my apartment. So, now that you’ve been warned, let’s get to it. Also, this is going to be a really long entry, if I misspell a few words, you’ll have to deal with it, I don’t have the energy to spell check something this long!
The second day of this draft was a disaster….an unmitigated disaster. I say that right now, looking at our final haul (if you want to call it that) of draftees. If the Phillies are able to somehow sign the few legitimate guys they drafted, then I could give this an “average” stamp….but right now, knowing how the Phillies operate, this day was a failure. Oh, and I just read right now that the Phillies signed Jose Mesa. Now that I just broke the lamp on my desk, we can continue. Basically, my problem is that the Phillies have zero foresight, they are the cheapest mid market team around, and they appear much more interested in pleasing Bud Selig than running a winning organization. Before I actually discuss the picks, let me explain why I feel that way.
The baseball draft is unlike most every other professional sports draft. Teams are not allowed to trade picks, just about every player taken needs at least a year in the minor leagues before contributing, and many many more players are drafted, some teams taking more than 50 players, depending on compensation picks. In football, most guys drafted end up playing a decent amount the following season, in the NBA, same deal, and in the NHL, it’s split, with more guys ending up in the minors on some level. The Commissioner’s office, because of prodding from some owners (ie, not the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Angels, etc), has attempted to lay down the unofficial law regarding the draft by issuing “slot recommendations” for each pick in the draft. Here is an example, using the first round and my own numbers
You get the idea. As you get further down, the bonuses dwindle. For example, Michael Durant, Phillies 4th rounder in 2005, got $247,000, Brett Harker in the 5th got $165,000, et et. Once you get to the 10th, the bonuses drop into the $5,000 to $10,000 mark, and then it might be $1,000 for a player in the 15th. Here is where it gets interesting. Teams occasionally will take a guy lower in the draft and then “bust slot”, where they pay a player much more than slot money to sign him away from college. Let’s look at a 2006 example, the Boston Red Sox.
Round 9: Ryan Kalish, OF ($600,000)
Round 16: Ty Weeden, C ($420,000)
Round 17: Josh Reddick, OF ($140,000)
Round 18: Lars Anderson, 1B ($825,000)
Round 19: Richie Lentz, RHP ($150,000)
Get out your calculator. That’s $2,135,000 in bonus money paid to 5 picks from round 9 to 19. The Phillies signed 4 players in that area, Dominic Brown, Andrew Cruse, Sam Walls and Michael Dubee…they spent a total of $450,000. Here’s the thing. Not all of those guys the Red Sox picked will work out. However, the prospect game is about numbers. The more guys you take, the more you have to choose from, the better chance you get to hit a winner. Lars Anderson is hitting .300 in Low A this year, and Ty Weeden has a ton of potential. The Red Sox farm system was pretty mediocre 3 years ago, but with this type of aggressive drafting, they are now among the Top 10 systems in baseball.
So why don’t the Phillies do this? Well, it’s simple. The Commissioner’s office frowns upon teams spending more than the recommended slot. Now take note, there is NO RULE saying you have to pay a player a certain amount, it’s only a recommendation. Teams like Boston, New York (Yankees), the Angels, the Dodgers, and the Diamondbacks aren’t afraid to take a guy and pay him more (sometimes a lot more) than the recommended slot. Now, this probably won’t surprise you, but over the last five years, the Angels, Dodgers and Diamondbacks all had top 5 rated systems in baseball as far as minor league talent. You don’t add elite talent to your system without taking chances and spending money, unless you have the worst record in baseball every year and get to pick 1.1 or 1.2. But of course, as Jim Salisbury has pointed out, the Phillies owners mandate not spending a lot more than slot. Why? Well they don’t want to upset Bud Selig. As long as Bill Giles and his cronnies own this team, we’ll continue to be the doormat for the likes of Boston and Anaheim.
Now that I got that rant out of the way, lets get down to this abortion of a draft. I won’t have a lot to say about a lot of these guys, because, well, most of them won’t ever be a factor at anywhere other than Williamsport or Lakewood. If you go to the draft tracker on mlb.com, you can find videos for some of these guys, and some of them are so far off the prospect roster, you’ll just have to use your imagination.
6.19: Matt Rizzotti, 1B (Manhattan College)
Manhattan College…what a baseball hotbed.
Rizzotti burst onto the prospect landscape as a freshman at Manhattan, batting .416/.530/.694 with nine homers and 57 RBIs. He tantalized scouts with his huge raw power in batting practice in the New England Collegiate League that summer and again in the Cape Cod League in 2006, but he was inconsistent in game action. Rizzotti struggled out of the gate in 2007, when the weather seemed to hinder his timing and rhythm. But he got hot in the second half and finished the regular season with a career-high 11 homers. Rizzotti flashes 70 power (on the 20-80 scouting scale) and can hit balls out of the park from foul pole to foul pole, but he hasn’t proven he can hit quality pitching with any consistency. He has a patient approach, but some scouts would like to see him be more aggressive. He also swings and misses a lot and is vulnerable to fastballs inside. Rizzotti lacks athleticism and mobility and is just an adequate defender at first.
Anyone excited here? I’m not. The guy is already a mediocre 1B, the end of the defensive line, and he doesn’t project to hit for average. But hey, batting practice will be fun to watch.
7.19 Tyson Brummett, RHP (UCLA)
BA ranked Brummett as the No. 100 prospect in California last spring, when he was UCLA’s No. 3 starter and considered a solid if unspectacular college pitcher. He wasn’t drafted, but this year he’s had a brilliant senior season as one of the Pacific-10 Conference’s best Friday starters. In terms of stuff and competitiveness, Brummett rivals more-heralded California college righties such as Pepperdine’s Barry Enright and Cal State Fullerton’s Wes Roemer. He lacks Roemer’s putaway slider or Enright’s considerable track record, however. He’s closer to Enright in that his strong suits are throwing quality strikes down in the zone with three pitches: a fastball that often sits in the 89-91 mph range, a solid-average curveball and a good changeup he uses to attack lefthanded hitters. His fastball has gained a tick or two of velocity this season, and he has improved his slider to give him a fourth pitch. Brummett has been drafted twice before by the Giants, out of a Utah high school (2003, 35th round) and again out of Central Arizona Junior College (2004, 38th round), but figures to go about 30 rounds higher this time around.
This is actually a good pick. Brummett doesn’t have great stuff, he doesn’t have much projection, but he COULD be a major league 5th starter, or a 7th inning reliever. He’s a college senior, he has no leverage, he’ll come cheap. You’ll hear that last phrase quite a bit.
8.19 Chance Chapman, RHP (Oral Roberts)
Righthander Chance Chapman has had a pair of spectacular strikeout performances, fanning 17 against Arkansas and 19 against Centenary. The Mid-Continent Conference pitcher of the year, he entered the NCAA regionals ranked third in Division I in both ERA (1.23) and strikeouts per nine innings (12.4)–eight spots ahead of teammate Jeremy Hefner (11.6) in the latter category. Chapman’s strikeout pitch is a big league slider, and he also has an 88-91 mph fastball with life. When he commands his fastball, he’s tough to hit. Chapman’s age works against him, as he’s 23 after spending three years at Cuesta (Calif.) Junior College and missing all of 2004 with an injury.
Ummm…did we really take a 5th year senior with our 8th round pick? Hey Mr Wolever, it’s not round 29 yet. Maybe he’s a middle reliever in the majors….or maybe he never makes it past AA. Take your pick.
9.19 Chris Kissock, RHP (Lewis and Clark)
Lewis-Clark State again will be the biggest factor in the draft from the upper Rockies, even beyond Mills. Righthander Chris Kissock has been the Warriors’ ace for two seasons and has added weight the last two years, creeping from 160 pounds up to close to 200 on his 6-foot-4 frame. The added size helps him maintain his fastball velocity in the 90-92 mph range with action down in the zone. He doesn’t have a plus pitch–his slider and split-finger are fringy–but he has a feel for his craft and competes.
I actually don’t hate this pick. Video is available for Kissock via the draft tracker. He has clean mechanics, his fastball is a tad short, but he has a good slider. If they switch him to relief right away, he might be able to add a tick to his fastball and could be a decent middle reliever. But why are we drafting low ceiling college guys here? Oh that’s right, we’re trying to save money.
10.19 Joseph Rocchio, RHP (Cal State Northridge)
I know absolutely nothing about him. I searched Baseball America and got ZERO results for his name. That’s right, they’ve never written a word about him, unless they misspelled his name. Sorry, I have nothing else.
11.19 Justin DeFratus, RHP (Ventura JuCo, California)
Several junior-college righthanders not under control could go in the single-digit rounds as well, led by smallish Michael Southern, Pierce’s towering Dan Berlind and Ventura’s Justin DeFratus, who had the highest Scouting Bureau number of any California juco player for much of the spring. The 6-foot-4 DeFratus tops out at 94 mph but loses velocity early in games (at times up to 7-10 mph within three innings) and was working on a long-toss program during the season to increase his durability and arm strength. At times his slider also is a plus pitch, and he shows a feel for changing speeds.
Hey, this sounds promising. Haven’t seen him pitch, can’t speak to how he looks mechanically, but seems like he has a chance for good stuff, but he needs instruction. This pick isn’t a total loss.
12.19 Julian Sampson, RHP (Skyline High, Washington)
A high school pitcher! Wooohooo!
Sampson rivals Vancouver’s Greg Peavey as the top high school pitcher in Washington, a title Washington State signee Keaton Hayenga was on his way to securing before he tore his labrum sliding into third base. Sampson and Hayenga are much more similar to each other than to Peavey, who has a long national track record. Sampson, like Hayenga, has a projectable pro body (6-foot-5, 200 pounds) and has played high school basketball. He has shown pretty good present stuff, with a fastball that sits in the 90-92 mph range. He has easy velocity and a loose arm, making it easy to project future heat. While Sampson, a University of Washington signee, has flashed brilliance this spring, he has generally not been at his best mostly due to his choice of breaking ball. In the past, he flashed a slider with above-average tilt and velocity, a flat-out filthy pitch last summer and fall on the showcase circuit. This spring, though, he has more frequently used a slower, looping curveball that doesn’t have much potential. A team that has seen Sampson good still could pop him as high as the second round because of his velocity, athleticism and future potential.
This is an excellent pick, if, and this is a huge IF, they sign him away from Washington. Will the owners allow the Phillies to offer him 3rd or 4th round money? He has the Arbuckle Frame®, ie, tall and projectable, as he’s already 6’5, 190lbs. He has a fastball in the low 90′s, could very well sit in the 92-95 range in 2 years. Again, this is a great pick if they plan to sign him. Sampson is the second player taken from Washington by the Phillies, as they also took Travis Mattair in the 2nd round.
13.19 Luke Wertz, RHP (Nebraska)
Wertz wasn’t even in the Top 15 picks in the state of Nebraska according to BA. I know nothing about him. Moving on
14.19 Jesus Andino, SS (Porterville JuCo)
I have nothing on him. At least he isn’t a 5th year senior. You’re losing me here guys…
In fact, I’m just going to fast forward to the guys drafted who might actually amount to something. If you feel like I slighted someone who deserves a writeup, let me know.
16.19 Brian Schlitter, RHP (College of Charleston)
Teammates Oliver Marmol and Brian Schlitter are also considered eighth- to 12th-round talents. Schlitter has a power arm (he touched 93 mph this season) but he’s inconsistent, with fringy secondary stuff and a poor delivery. Marmol has good middle-infield actions but little offensive upside. He’s a plus runner and has a plus arm.
Schlitter…I hope this guy makes it to the bigs and gets his own cheering section.
18.19 Mark Adzick, LHP (William Penn Charter HS)
Another high school pitcher, woohooo!
A pair of projectable prep lefties, Mark Adzick and Bob Revesz entered their final high school seasons with a chance to pitch their way into the professional ranks, but neither pitcher performed terribly well and now they look like good bets for college. Adzick pitched poorly out of the gate then missed several starts with nagging injuries, of which an oblique strain was the most serious. He’s long and lean and gets good extension on his pitches, making him projectable. His father Scott is a noted pediatric surgeon who has performed a rare surgery on fetuses while still in their mother’s wombs. He was never expected to be a cheap sign, so now he’s all but certain to attend Wake Forest.
I’d say there’s a 97% chance he goes to Wake. But how about his dad performing surgeries on fetuses in the womb? That’s pretty cool.
19.19 Cedric Johnson, OF (Thatcher High School)
Hmmm. Johnson wasn’t to be found in BA’s top 35 prospects in Arizona, I don’t have access to PGCrosschecker stuff, so if he showed up there, maybe someone can let me know, that goes for any of the guys we drafted that I don’t have info on. Maybe the Phillies know something here.
20.19 Carlos Moncrief, OF/P (Hillcrest Christian HS)
Moncrief is a physically mature two-way player with arm strength and raw power. His game is raw and he doesn’t show much ability to make consistent hard contact, and his velocity wavered during the spring. He has bumped 94 mph with his fastball, but like Brown this year, more often pitched in the high 80s with his fastball. His delivery is unrefined. He throws across his body, has below-average command and little in the way of secondary stuff. He can overpower the ball at the plate, showing plus raw power from the left side. He also has solid-average speed and could profile as a right fielder if he refines his approach and improves his feel for hitting.
No clue how the Phillies see him, or if they plan to try and sign him.
22.19 Nathaniel James, RHP (Williston High School, Florida)
This guy wasn’t ranked among Florida prospects….anyone want to take a shot at this?
EDIT> Forgot he goes by Jiwan, now I know who he is, lol. He is going to college, no real shot at signing him I don’t think.
26.19 Nolan Mulligan, RHP (Lynn University, Florida)
Haha….they took a guy named Mulligan. That’s all I know about him.
29.19 Derek Hall, C (El Dorado High School, California)
I know nothing about him, I just think it’s fun to note when we actually do take high school players.
30.19 Jacob Diekman, LHP (Cloud County CC, Kansas)
Hey, the Phillies took someone I could find info on. Sweet.
Jacob Diekman is a projectable 6-foot-4, 190-pound lefthander who flashed low-90s velocity and a decent slider this spring. He’s still inconsistent with the quality of his stuff and his command, but he’ll be picked in 2007, and he’ll play at Nebraska next year if he doesn’t sign.
Neato…so will we make an effort to give him a few bucks and keep him away from Nebraska? Seems like he could develop into something.
31.19 Jeff Richard, RHP (Central Michigan)
Three draft-eligible sophomores had a chance to get picked in the first five rounds, but Michigan State catcher Kyle Day and Central Michigan righthanders Jeff Richard and Chris Kupillas didn’t live up to their billing this spring. All were standouts in summer leagues a year ago but suffered from draftitis in 2007. Day became too pull-conscious, muting his power, and his receiving skills regressed to the point where he wound up spending time in the outfield.
At a combined 705 pounds, Collmenter, Richard (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) and Kupillas (6-foot-6, 230 pounds) may have formed the heftiest weekend rotation in college baseball. Richard could throw only one pitch (a cutter) consistently for strikes while losing the velocity on his fastball (down to 85-87 mph) and splitter. Kupillas, who led the Great Lakes League with a 1.47 ERA last summer, made progress with his curveball but lost the command and zip on his heater, which dipped to 84-86 mph. Both Richard and Kupillas touched the mid-90s last summer.
I don’t really know what to say there. I guess Richard has relief value. Maybe. It’s better than taking a 5th year senior in the first 10 rounds.
35.19 Zach Cleveland, RHP (Golden High School, Colorado)
Cleveland was ranked 8th in the state, but nary a word written about him in the BA capsule. Maybe someone else can add something here.
36.19 Kyle Benoit, RHP (Cardinal Leger SS, Ontario)
Benoit was ranked the 10th best prospect in Canada, but like ZC above, nothing written on him. Looking at his scouting video, he has a herky jerky delivery with some arm whip and deception. His fastball has good late life, high 80′s/low 90′s, but his secondary offerings look like a work in progress. Will we sign him? Who knows.
Hey, back to back high school pitchers….the apocalypse is near!
37.19 Kyle Slate, RHP (Christian Brother’s Academy)
No clue. He’s 6’5, 200, nice frame, but I know nothing else.
38. Joseph Paylor, OF (Hillcrest High, Texas)
Another high school guy….wow.
Outfielders Ben Feltner, Joseph Paylor and Rafael Thomas are all plus-plus runners who could be decent draft picks if teams buy into their hitting ability. Feltner has improved significantly since high school, when he wasn’t good enough to start even as a senior. Paylor (committed to Rice) and Thomas (signed with Oklahoma State) both starred at wide receiver for their football teams.
Committed to Rice. Not signing in the 38th round.
40.19 John Hinson, 2B/OF (Reynolds High School, NC)
[Sergeant Shultz]I know nothing[/Sergeant Schultz]
41.19 Tyler Glider, RHP (Butte High School, Montana)
Again, just making a note that we took another high school guy.
42.19 James Mahler, RHP (Jordan High School, Utah)
Rivaling Nash and Abbott as the state’s second-best prep, righthander James Mahler is the son of ex-big leaguer Mickey and resembles his pitching style more than that of his late uncle, ex-big leaguer (and minor league pitching coach) Rick. An Arkansas signee, Mahler has pro size at 6-foot-6 and all kinds of projection. His father’s history–he threw harder later in his career and was something of a late bloomer–also factors into scouts’ evaluations of the son, whose fastball topped out at 90 mph and usually sits in the 86-88 mph range. All that projection makes it hard to imagine teams spending too much money on Mahler now, but they might have to spend more in three years.
Now this is an interesting pick. Mahler is already huge and has tons of projection. He has a scholarship to Arkansas, and I highly doubt he signs for less than 5th round money, if even that. If he goes to school and lives up to his projection, he could be picked in the first 90 picks.
43.19 Cory Vaughn, OF (Jesuit HS, California)
Ranked the 114th best prospect in California. That’s all I’ve got. He’s already 6’3, 215lbs, good frame. Oh, and this guy is his dad.
44.19 Brandon Bonner, RHP (Lakewood High School, Florida)
Bonner was ranked #68 in the state of Florida, and at 6’5, 220 already probably has a good fastball with some more room for more. Not sure of his college commitment.
45.19 Michael Morrison, 1B (Bishop Luers High School, Indiana)
Morrison is 6’1, 220 and bats/throws right handed. That’s all I know.
46.19 Damien Seguen, RHP (North Bergen HS, New Jersey)
6’2, 220lb righty. Not quite tall enough to fit the Arbuckle Frame®, but might have decent present stuff. However, probably not, since he wasn’t on the NJ map.
47. Joey Manning, OF (Bartow High School, Florida)
Fellow Vandy signee Joey Manning has more offensive upside and runs well, but has lots of holes in his swing and is considered more of a raw athlete.
Ranked #53 in Florida, he’s headed to Vanderbilt.
48.19 Cody Winiarski, RHP (Union Grove High School, Georgia)
6’3, 190lbs, a bit more in the way of projection. No idea on his stuff or college commitment.
49.19 Navarro Hall, OF (Kennesaw Mountain High School, Georgia)
There is actually a video on this guy. He looks…raw. Nothing on him from BA.
50.19 Jeremy Penn, RHP (All Saints Cathedral School, Virgin Islands)
There you have it. 45 picks today. A lot of guys with no pro future. A few guys with good projection but almost no signability. A few guys somewhere in between, and maybe a few usable parts.
Picked I liked..
Picks I didn’t like
* I like the Savery pick a lot. At 19, you’re not going to get a sure fire star, there will be risk involved, but the ceiling to risk here slants into the Phillies favor. Savery has #1/2 potential, and could form the best LH LH combo in the majors with Hamels. He’s a great athlete and can hit, another plus. Kudos for thinking outside the box here, and Savery could provide help much sooner than one of the raw high school hitters.
* d’Arnaud, I still don’t love it, but if his bat is at least major league average, it’s not a bad pick. We’ll see how he hits in the GCL.
* I love the Mattair pick. I think when we look back at this draft in 5 years, he’ll be one of the biggest bright spots. Could be our 3B of the future.
* My thinking on Workman is still that they took him as high as they did because they wanted to sign him, they knew it would cost 3rd round slot money, and that’s where they popped him. Very raw, has some mechanical problems, but has huge upside.
* Marti Wolever was gushing how the draft was loaded with impact high school guys, and we end up taking tons of college guys, and tons of college seniors, in the first 20 rounds. Why?
* Rest of the first day looks uninspiring, Taylor has massive potential, but so far has not been able to tap into it. The Phillies don’t normally develop hitters, so don’t hold your breath.
* The second day is a pretty big disaster. Way too many seniors early, and a 5th year senior in the first 10 picks is almost indefensible. If we can sign 3 of the guys I listed above that I liked, I’ll give this portion of the draft a C. As it stands, it’s an F.
Keith Law liked our first day, mainly on the strength of our first 3 picks
Call this a conditional one — if Joe Savery is really healthy, and really throwing like he did in the spring of his freshman year at Rice, then he’s a very solid pick at No. 19, even a slight bargain, since he went into that summer looking like a future top-10 guy. I think the Phillies got a minor steal in Travis d’Arnaud, who is at least a big league backup because he can catch and really throw, but who should be at least a fringe-average hitter for the position. And they got a good tools guy in the second round in Travis Mattair, who can put on a show in a workout but isn’t as impressive in games; that’s a reasonable upside gamble for the second round, but not for the first, which is where I thought he might go.
Another year, another draft in the books. I hope you guys had fun with the leadup to the draft, and then the actual draft itself. I want to thank everyone for making the last two days the two busiest days in the young history of this board. Back on May 21st, we cracked the 100,000 view mark. We logged over 12,000 hits in the last two days alone, and we’re almost half way to 200,000. Thanks again everyone, this has really been enjoyable over the last few weeks with the draft, and now we gear up for short season ball and the second half of the full season leagues. Lots of interesting prospect stuff already happening, and of course, we get to look forward to the signings of our new draftees. Should make for a fun summer.