I’m going to start off my annual 2010 draft review with a quick note. I’m not one for self-editing. When I sit down to write something, I normally do it in one shot. I’ve written some very very long pieces in the history of this site, and off the top of my head, I think all of them were written in one sitting. Its the way I work. When I want to write something, I generally sit down and either it happens or it doesn’t. I have ideas, I want to talk about them, then I move on. But in writing this draft recap, I did a lot of self-editing. I started writing last night and ended up writing 5,500 words which I’ve since scrapped, or more accurately put, shelved until a later date. I started writing and realized my draft recap barely even talked about the 2010 draft, it was more of a philosophical writeup on the draft mechanics as a whole. Which I want to save for a later date, because I think they are still valid, but they’ll require me doing more work. And right now, all it seems anyone wants is my take on the draft. I’m going to pull a few small parts from that previous writeup, and its still going to be somewhat philosophical, but I’m going to focus more on the 2010 picks, and I’ll polish up that other piece for a rainy day while we wait for the signing deadline in August. So, for what is sure to still be a really long piece, check below…
As I mentioned, I did some self-editing, but I did want to keep one piece of that previous writeup, and that has to do with the way the draft really works, and why I think maybe my previous write-ups and critiques might have missed the mark. Some of this information won’t be new for you, so I apologize in advance if you find it repetitive or boring. For some, I think this information might actually help them understand how the process works. To start, not every MLB team is set up the same when it comes to the draft, but for the most part, all teams follow a basic template which looks like this
GM > Scouting Director > Assistant SD > National Crosschecker > Area Crosschecker > Area Scout
Scouting, like all other businesses, is a chain of command operation. Depending on the size of the scouting department, an area scout might cover just one state (common for larger states like California or Texas) or he might cover a region of states, like Washington, Oregon, Utah, Montana and Idaho. There are less legit baseball prospects in these states, thus, the scout can travel more and cover more area. When Area Scout X goes and sees a game, he writes up a report on the legitimate prospects he saw in the game. In some cases, it might be one guy, and in a baseball hotbed it might be 2-3 guys. The scout files this report, after which the regional crosschecker will read it. The regional crosschecker is normally assigned to a specific region (duh), like the west coast, the midwest, the south east, the northeast, etc etc. His job is to follow up on the positive reports and see players to, get this, crosscheck the information on the report from the area scout. The regional crosschecker will then go and see the player in person. He’ll file his report to the national crosschecker, who is in charge of evaluating talent all over the country. The national crosschecker shares his reports with the assistant director of scouting (or the scouting director directly) and then the scouting director will go see the higher priority guys. The scouting director then reports to the GM, especially when it comes to issues of signability or the overall draft budget. Depending on the level of involvement of the GM, he may go see only a few guys, or he may go check out a whole range of guys.
What this is meant to illustrate is something that often times people forget (me included)….the teams that are scouting amateur talent see these players 100x more than me, you, or the people getting paid to write for the big websites like BA, BP, ESPN, Perfect Game, and any of the other outlets out there. While those outlets might have a conversation with an area scout, or see a player play one time, teams are scouting these players extensively, and if they write a positive report on a kid and want to consider drafting this kid, they are watching him play a number of times, and in the case of guys getting consideration in the first few rounds, they are going to have multiple people in their seeing the kid multiple times. While you and I watch 30 seconds of grainy video from the MLB scouting bureau, they likely have multi page reports with 100+ pitches charted, or 20+ PA charted of a guy, with times to first speeds recorded, and tons of other measurements. This isn’t to say that MLB teams know more, so we should trust them. Its meant that they know more than you or I do on a player, they’ve seen him more, and thus, they’re not just taking guys they’ve never heard of just to screw with us fans. Some teams definitely appear to be better than others when it comes to scouting. And sometimes maybe they are just blinded by one game they see a player play, or something else, but these guys out there scouting do this for a living, and at some point, their reputation and job are on the line, so they take it seriously. It feels like sometimes that is lost a bit. We get hung up on the big names, the guys all of the prospect sites are raving about, and we lose site of the fact that while these guys may have name recognition and buzz, you have to trust (or at least hope) that your team is doing their homework and they are comfortable with the guys they like.
The other aspect that I wanted to quickly touch on is signability. This is a really common buzzword leading up to the draft, and then for 2 months after until the signing deadline arrives. Some people asked in the comments why the Phillies were taking college guys early and high school guys late. My simple reasoning for why this happens is leverage. I actually created a chart that attempts to explain why it might make sense to take college guys earlier.
This chart is meant to serve as a general template. You could bump guys up or down if you want, but I think it does the job. High school players have the most leverage, especially those committed to really good college programs. On the other side, fifth year seniors and guys in Indy Ball are beggars, and they really can’t be choosers. In between you have subtle distinctions. The big point you should take away from this is that as a guy gets older, his window for success gets shorter, and his leverage goes down. College juniors are in a tough spot. Should they decide to return for their senior season and turn down a decent signing bonus, they might improve their stock (see Matt LaPorta from 2006 to 2007), or they might get hurt or have a down season and end up taking even less money (the list of these guys is way too long). The progression should make sense, sometimes I think its easier to see it in chart form. In the Phillies case in 2010, they may have felt that if Perci Garner (as a draft eligible sophomore) slid into the 3rd/4th/5th round, the bonus they could realistically offer might not have matched up with what he wanted, and he may have chosen to go back to school. In the 2nd round, where they can offer him somewhere around half a million dollars, his decision to sign should be a bit easier.
I’ve mentioned in the past that in terms of draft success, the average draft will see about 8% of the drafted players make it to the majors for each team. This is only reaching the majors, this isn’t distinguishing levels of production. That’s like 4 guys. If a team hits on more than that, they had a nice draft. Its important to remember that when you look through the list of Phillies picks…most of these guys just aren’t going to make it.
Before I break down each individual pick, I prepared a few charts to compare how the 2010 draft looks on a raw numbers basis with the last few Phillies drafts, going back to 2007.
I can draw a number of conclusions from this, but its only a 4 year sample, so I’m not sure that it means a whole lot. In the last 2 seasons, the Phillies have gone away from the high school crop after taking a ton of high school guys in 2007 and 2008. At the same time, they’ve increased their presence in the JuCo ranks, taking 6, 5 and 8 JuCo guys in the last 3 seasons. Most guys end up at JuCo schools because they either couldn’t find playing time at their D-1 school or they didn’t like their draft spot out of high school but didn’t want to wait 3 years to get drafted again. I’ll get to this more later.
You can again draw a number of conclusions from this. The most interesting thing to me, from looking at this chart, is that the Phillies drafted only 4 HS guys in the first 15 rounds this year. In the past, the Phillies have gone heavy on high school guys. What this indicates to me is that the scouting department has their preference, but if they don’t trust the crop of players, they won’t take guys they don’t love and then feel obligated to throw them big bonuses. Lots of outlets were lamenting on what a down year 2010 was basically across the board, and that 2011 should be a stacked draft. I think we’ll know more about the Phillies draft philosophy and if its changed at all after next year’s draft.
I’m now going to go through the picks. I’ll cover the first 5 picks in detail, and then go over the picks in groups. As I mentioned above, my opinion on this draft is kind of pointless, only because I’ve seen these guys play the odd game on tv here and there, or seen brief scouting report clips, or read brief reports. My opinion is only what happens when the video I see hits my eyes. As I’ve mentioned before, my response to players’ pitching mechanics, or swing mechanics, is intuitive. Its a gut feeling of “that is going to work” or “that doesn’t look right”. I understand basic scouting principles, I kind of know what to look for, but my eye is untrained, and thus, me making any kind of determining judgment on these guys is a bit premature. Also, I’m not going to discuss a player’s college or high school statistics. The more I’ve looked at college stats, the less weight I put into them. Its just not realistic, because the amateur game is really just a different game because of the metal bat. Some guys have swings that won’t work with wood bats, some pitchers pitch differently because of the metal bat, and there isn’t a whole lot to learn from college stats. This is the area where I think scouting reports and video are the best tools to use, by a wide margin. For each pick, I’ll try and give a scouting report, then some brief thoughts. I’m also going to include the player’s rank on PNR Scouting’s Top 300 list which covers all prospects in all states, when applicable.
Round 1 – Jesse Biddle, LHP (Germantown Friends School, PA)
PNR Ranking = 57th in the country
BA Ranking = 116th
There has been a lot written about this pick already in tons of places, so I don’t have to go into great detail. Biddle is the local kid, and the Phillies aren’t really known for taking the local kid. The fact that PA isn’t exactly a baseball hotbed helps. But really, I think this was a case of the Phillies wanting to add a few LHP into the system, the draft being very thin on LHP, and the Phillies knowing Biddle wasn’t going to be there at 77. Because they couldn’t “trade down”, they just took their guy. He has an exceptional frame, already 6’4 or 6’5 and 220 pounds or so, he has a big time power frame and great arm strength. Velocity reports vary, but the consensus seems to have him sitting 91-93 and hitting the occasional 96. Because of his big frame, there might be room to add a bit of muscle and even more on his fastball. Looking at a physical comp, he may grow into a David Price type frame, or maybe even bigger. Pitching in PA, he hasn’t faced a ton of elite hitters, and his command and control at present are both below average. His secondary offerings are also rudimentary and inconsistent, but when facing guys who will likely never even play college baseball at a decent school, he didn’t need them. He’s probably going to be a bit of a project and will require time. At 27, the Phillies had lots of options, and some were disappointed with the pick. But at 27, without a surefire stud on the board, the Phillies took a gamble, just as they’ve gambled before. Biddle is going to require patience, they’ll have to tighten up his delivery and help him repeat his mechanics, and then figure out what he’s going to throw, secondary pitches wise. But if it all clicks, you’re looking at a big LHP with well above average velo in a durable frame. The range of outcomes here is huge.
Round 2 – Perci Garner, RHP (Ball State)
PNR Ranking = 178th
BA Ranking = 49th
From MLB Bonus Baby
Perci Garner is a power-armed right-handed starting pitcher from Ball State University. Garner originally attended Dover High School in Dover, Ohio, a small town about 25 miles south of Canton, home to the football hall of fame. He was actually recruited more as a football player than a baseball player, though
he ended up not getting any playing time over two years as a quarterback for the Ball State football team. He redshirted his entire 2008 season away as a result of playing football, but he gave up football entering the 2009 season, and even though he was understandably raw, he showed incredible potential. That potential has really shown itself this spring, as he’s installed himself as a starter over the last half of the year, and he’s showing true number two starter potential. His fastball is an easy plus pitch, sitting 92-94, touching 96, and his curveball also rates out as a potential plus pitch, giving him two plus pitches to work with before even getting in to any of his other pitches. His slider is a potential average pitch, as well, and when you add in a fringe-average changeup, he makes for a solid prospect package. His command is still lacking, and that’s his biggest weakness right now, but scouts are all drooling over getting him into their system. He could go as high as the supplemental first round, and he won’t get out of the third round, as he should be signable, even as an eligible sophomore.
This is an intriguing pick to me. Like I mentioned above, Garner had a bit more leverage as a DE Sophomore, and he’s relatively raw because of his football background and not concentrating on baseball full time. But you can’t really teach arm strength. Its easy to label him a future reliever based on the crudeness of his secondary offerings, but now that he’s focused full time on baseball, I’d give him a full season of starting to see what he looks like. If he doesn’t have 3 pitches going forward, that fastball will play in the pen for sure. I like the potential upside in this pick.
Round 3 – Cameron Rupp, C (Texas)
PNR = 175th
BA Ranking = 123rd
I was kind of caught off guard on this pick, I expected a prep player, but the Phillies made noise about wanting to add catching (as well as LHP) in this draft, so I suppose Rupp was their man. The reports on his defense have varied, but he looks to have tightened up his receiving skills and footwork this year, and he’s always had a cannon arm. His swing has some holes, and its unlikely he’s ever going to hit more than .260 in the majors, but he has great raw power and could conceivably hit 15 HR a season, maybe even more. The Phillies have shown that at catcher, they place a huge emphasis on defense and game calling skills. Chooch doesn’t have the best numbers when it comes to caught stealings, but he’s a very good receiver, calls a great game, and is good at blocking pitches out of the zone. The Phillies must really belief in Rupp’s defense, and he certainly has experience catching top quality arms at Texas. I expect he’ll sign for slot when his season is done.
Round 4 – Bryan Morgado, LHP (Tennessee)
PNR Ranking = 215th
From MLB Bonus Baby
Scouts believe that he’s a future setup man, and they evaluate him with that
lens on. His fastball is an easy plus to plus-plus pitch from the left side, sitting 92-95, touching 97 last
spring. He can’t command it, but if he harnesses its power, he could be dominant. He adds in a potential
plus slider and a fringe-average changeup, but he’s likely to drop the changeup. With his high ceiling,
he’s a candidate to go somewhere in the fourth to eighth round range, where he’s likely to sign as a 22
year old junior.
Again, this fits right in with the concept of taking guys who are coming off rough seasons, whether it be a mechanical issue or a health issue. Morgado has been on the radar for a while, on a good day he can look unbelievably amazing, and on a bad day he might kill someone in the 9th row. If the Phillies can help him repeat his delivery with a few small adjustments here or there, they might have something. You can’t teach mid 90′s heat, and if nothing else, he could serve as a hard throwing lefty setup guy if the rotation doesn’t work out. Because of his draft history and down season, I’d expect him to sign for slot, maybe even a tick less.
Round 5 – Scott Frazier, RHP (Upland HS, CA)
PNR Ranking = 82nd
BA Ranking = 85th
From MLB BB
Scott Frazier is a tall, lanky right-handed pitcher from Upland, California, a town roughly 35 miles east of Los Angeles. Frazier burst onto the national prospect scene with a no-hitter early in the season, and he hasn’t left there since. He features a solid pitch mix that projects him as a number two starter at the next level, though he will need some mechanical adjustments and pro instruction. Starting with his fastball, he features a plus heater that bumped up to the 92-94 range this spring, touching 95, an improvement over the 89-91 range he had been clocked at as late as the earliest portion of his senior season. His secondary pitch is a curveball that has shown above-average potential, getting a plus future rating from some sources. It usually sits in the 73-75 mph range, which is also up from previous outings, and its shape has been much better and more consistent. He still doesn’t command it at even an average level most of the time, so there’s work to be done. With a pair of potential plus pitches, some could argue that he doesn’t need a changeup, but he’s flashed an average changeup at times, giving hope that the 79-81 mph pitch could be a solid weapon for him against left-handed hitters. Mechanically, though, he’s a fairly max-effort type of pitcher, without any sort of chance to repeat his delivery every time. He’ll need a more lengthy re-work than most high-level prep pitchers, though that doesn’t dissuade many scouts from thinking of him as a second or third round prospect, where he could be signed away from Pepperdine.
The Phillies have taken one guy like Frazier in the first 10 rounds every year. A projectable RHP who they’ll take a run at, and who might command a sizable bonus. In past years, it seems like they’d wait until after the 10th round, but I think the Phillies may well have known exactly what Frazier’s number was, and they felt comfortable taking him in the 5th before another team popped him. If you like projection (the Phillies clearly do), you’ll love this guy. Already 6’6, when all is said and done he could be in the 6’7/6’8 range and 235 pounds, the ideal frame for a big, power pitcher. His delivery isn’t perfect, and the narrator mentions all the moving parts, but nothing really bad jumps out, and again, the Phillies can smooth things out a bit for him. What I do like about his delivery is his tempo, as he seems to have a nice long stride which will help him generate power with his lower half and hopefully reduce the stress on his arm. His fastball has excellent life, and he has some feel for a changeup. This is a real nice upside pick, and I expect the Phillies to get him signed.
Round 6 – Gauntlett Eldmire, OF (Ohio University)
PNR Ranking = 131st
BA Ranking = 93rd
From MLB BB
(snip) Despite his size and tools he went undrafted as a high school senior. He started immediately for the Bobcats, but he showed his rawness, offering decent offensive production but swinging and missing at almost every breaking ball thrown to him. He improved as a sophomore, but he still had a long way to go to fulfill his potential. He was poised to make a name for himself by attempting to join Team USA last summer, but instead he ended up having to deal with a stress fracture in his leg. However, he was fully healthy this spring, and an offensive explosion has helped his stock, but it hasn’t answered all the questions. His tools are at the top level for a college outfielder. He’s an average hitter with above-average to plus raw power, and that power is pole to pole. He’s also a plus runner underway, and he uses that speed well on the basepaths. However, he’s also quite slow out of the box when he takes a big hack. In the field, he’s an average defender in center due to raw routes, and his arm is fringe-average to slightly below-average, which means he’s stuck in center or left field. Though the tools are raw, and he still has big problems with breaking balls, he has as much or more potential than almost any other college outfielder in this class. He should go in the second to fourth round range, and he has the potential to be a starting center fielder in the Majors.
Prior to the draft there was plenty of buzz on him potentially being a 3rd round pick, maybe a team even popping him at the end of the 2nd round. To get him in the 6th round is pretty outstanding. As a college junior from a smaller program, I don’t foresee him going back for his senior year, and I expect him to sign for something in the $150-200K range. He has plenty of upside, and in the 6th round, its almost a no brainer pick. It will be interesting to see how his skills translate to pro ball and a wood bat.
Round 7 – David Buchanan, RHP (Georgia State)
PNR Ranking = unranked
From MLB BB
The Mets liked what they saw from him enough in 2009 to take him in the sixth round, but they waited too long to even offer him a deal, resulting in a signable player choosing not to sign. That was too bad for the Mets, but good for Georgia State, who immediately installed him as their Friday starter this spring. After a slow start, he really started developing quickly, resulting in a mild case of pitcher abuse. As a result, he hasn’t pitched since April 16, a 124-pitch outing, due to a finger injury, which greatly impacts his draft stock. When healthy, he features a 92-94 mph fastball that can touch 96, and he was making great strides with his command before he went down. It’s an above-average pitch bordering on plus, depending on how the command is rated out. His breaking ball is an above-average curveball with good depth that he started learning how to throw for strikes this spring. His changeup got average grades, and his overall control grade went from well below-average to average this spring, a big step forward. However, a potential mid-rotation starter doesn’t have much value if they can’t pitch, so the injury makes a potential top seven rounds prospect a tenth to fifteenth round prospect, and it’s likely that if it’s serious enough, teams will stay away from him until the late rounds.
This may sound familiar by now, but are you noticing the trend? Coming off an injury, stock was rising, but he slipped in the draft. With his profile, he sounds like a power reliever to me. I’ll take a hard throwing JuCo guy in the 7th over a soft tossing RHP from a weak D-1 program any day.
Round 8 – Stephen Malcolm, SS (San Joaquin Delta College, CA)
PNR Ranking = Unranked
Another JuCo guy, Malcolm has a transfer to Virginia Tech in the queue if he decides not to sign. Judging from this article, he’s going to give a strong consideration to signing. With a commit to a good college program, its going to take more than $50K to sign him, but he seems like another nice utility up the middle guy in the Buschini/Barnes mold, so it might be worth a shot. His only plus tool appears to be his raw arm strength, as he was being looked at as a pitcher too. He’s 20 and turns 21 next April, so if he signed this summer and played in the NYPL, he wouldn’t be as old as some of our past middle infield draftees, and would be somewhat ok as a 21 year old in Low A next year.
Round 9 – Brenton Allen, OF (Gahr HS, CA)
PNR Scouting = Unranked
From Perfect Game
Brenton Allen is an OF with a 6’1”, 192 lb. frame from Cerritos, CA who attends Gahr HS. Atheltic build, good present strength. Open to close hitting approach, quick hands, generates good bat speed, keeps swing short to ball, natural lift out front, can adjust to off speed, handled quality pitching well. 6.78 runner, good OF actions, clean to the ball, shows good arm strength, chance to play CF at the upper levels. Tools play, could get some serious draft interest. Good student, verbal to UCLA.
The last line is obviously the one that will require monitoring. UCLA is a top class baseball program, so it will require above slot money to get him signed, probably in the $250-400K range. Still, the tools package looks enticing.
Round 10 – Mario Hollands, LHP (UC Santa Barbara)
PNR ranking = 231st
From MLB BB
A raw pitcher out of high school, he was moderately recruited, but scouts didn’t like his delivery, which is a fact that remains to this day. He went undrafted, and he was so raw that the UCSB coaching staff decided to redshirt him for non-medical reasons as a freshman in 2007. He joined the rotation in 2008, and after a pair of moderately successful years, the Twins took a chance on him as an eligible sophomore in the twenty fourth round of the 2009 draft. They took a serious run at signing him as a follow when he was pitching on the Cape last summer, but they were unsuccessful in the end, and he returned for his redshirt junior year. He’s been moderately successful once again, but he has enough size and stuff to be seen as a number four starter and draft prospect. His fastball is a solid-average pitch, and after a run where he pitched 90-92 early in the season, he was down to 88-90 for much of the second half of the season while showing average command. He complements his fastball with an average slider and fringe-average curveball, but his best offspeed pitch is an above-average changeup that might grow to be even better. However, that’s not widely assumed, and even though he has a nice pro body, his mechanics are scary enough and his stuff is weak enough that he’s more of a fourth to seventh round arm than a true top-level pitcher. He should be signable as a 22-year-old junior.
As you get to the 10th round, you’re going to have two types of picks; organizational guys who may get a cup of coffee one day, and high school prospects who are going to be tough signs. Hollands falls into the first category, but because he has what appears to be some major funk in his delivery, he may get a shot as a lefthanded reliever at some point, if he’s able to throw strikes. Not much else to say about this pick.
Round 11 – Garett Claypool, RHP (UCLA)
PNR Ranking = unranked
From MLB BB
Though he’s still a midweek starter this year, he’s done his job with incredible success and consistency. His average fastball only sits 89-91, but he commands it well, getting above-average grades for command in general. He complements the fastball with an average breaking ball and changeup, and he looks like a potential middle reliever at the next level. He should go in the eighth to twelfth round range as a solid senior sign.
Org guy, sounds a lot like Andrew Carpenter.
Round 12 – Tyler Knigge, RHP (Lewis and Clark State)
PNR Ranking = Unranked
Tyler Knigge is a little-known right-handed starting pitcher from Lewis-Clark State in Idaho, the traditional NAIA powerhouse. Knigge came to Lewis-Clark from Lewiston High School in Lewiston, Idaho, a small town on the western Idaho border about 100 miles south of Spokane, Washington. That is also probably why you have never heard of him. Having come from a small town in a non-traditional baseball state, and having played his college baseball at an NAIA school, he’s very rarely in the conversation with good arms in this class. However, he has solid stuff that projects well as a potential fifth starter or swing man at the next level. However, some see him as a middle reliever at best because of his inconsistency between starts. At his best, he features a 90-92 mph fastball that he commands well to both sides of the plate, and he’s touched 94 in the past, which makes it an above-average offering. He adds in a solid-average curveball and a solid-average cutter, as well as an average changeup that gives him an exceptionally well-rounded arsenal for a cold-weather pitcher. Though the command of his fastball can be good, he can also waver from start in terms of what stuff comes out. He’ll need to work on strength and conditioning so that his body can put out consistent performances, but he’s a solid prospect nonetheless. He’s expected to go somewhere in the area of the twelfth to sixteenth round, and if he signs, he could be somewhat of a bargain
Not enough guys get drafted out of Idaho. I’m glad we have one. If he signs. I won’t pretend to know anything else about him. The report above sums it up fairly well.
Round 13 – John Hinson, 3B (Clemson)
PNR Ranking = Unranked
From MLB BB
John Hinson is an athletic third baseman from Clemson University. Hinson was seen as a versatile player with a chance to play the outfield or the infield, and the Phillies decided to spend a late-round flier on him. He didn’t sign, and he headed to South Carolina to play for the Tigers. He spent some of his freshman year coming off the bench, but he also started about half of the team’s games at either third base or designated hitter. He had his first bout of problems with his back then, missing part of the season, and that was a foreshadowing of things to come. He ended up hurting his back before his sophomore season in 2009 and had to undergo surgery. He missed that entire year and redshirted. He returned fully healthy this spring, and the results have been encouraging. He’s played most of the season as the team’s starting third baseman, and his solid tools mean he has upside as a potential starting third baseman or outfielder at the next level. His hit tool is solid-average, and while his power is roughly average, he’s able to put a charge into a ball from gap to gap. He’s an above-average to plus runner, which sets him apart from most corner infielders, and there’s speculation that he could handle second base as a pro. His defense is fairly good because he flashes above-average range and a solid-average arm. As a draft-eligible sophomore, he has plenty of leverage, but as a potential seventh to tenth round pick, he actually stands to take advantage of his health this year by signing a contract.
This is an interesting selection. Hinson’s dad is a scout in the Phillies organization, and they took him out of high school but obviously didn’t sign him. His bat doesn’t profile as a typical every day 3B, but because he is athletic, he might actually fit into a utility role, where he’s capable of playing 3 of the 4 infield positions, hitting for a good average, and helping you defensively. He still has some leverage, but as the scouting blurb mentions, he has plenty of incentive to sign, and because his dad is in the Phillies org, the Phillies had to have known exactly what it would take to sign him. This could actually be a fairly nice value pick in the 13th round.
Round 14 – Chase Numata, C (Pearl City HS, Hawaii)
Numata was a pitcher in high school, and the Phillies announced him as a catcher, so they obviously plan on converting him. As a pitcher, he was up to 94 mph, so he obviously has a cannon. But its probably going to be a long term project, as he’ll have to learn the nuances of the game, as well as the basics like transferring and blocking pitches in the dirt. If the Phillies are announcing him as a C after he pitched in high school, I have to think they’ve already got an idea that they’ll be able to sign him. We’ll see. According to this article he’s committed to non-powerhouse Central Arizona, so he shouldn’t command a ton of money to sign. I like conversion projects, so I hope he does sign.
Round 15 – Jake Smith, 3B (University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa)
PNR Ranking = Unranked
Jake Smith is a strong two-way senior from the University of Alabama. He struggled at the plate all year, though, but also pitched more as the Tide’ closer, so there’s some interest there. Either way, he’s a bench player or middle reliever, so there’s not a lot of upside. At the plate, he’s a below-average hitter with above-average raw power, but he’s also a below-average runner. His defense is his calling card, as he shows plus tools and a plus arm, making him one of the better-fielding third basemen in the country. On the mound, he showed an average fastball sitting 89-91, touching 93, and he also showed an average curveball, making him a pure reliever. He’s expected to go in the twelfth to eighteenth round range as a signable senior.
So I’m not really sure what the Phillies see in him, but maybe they just want a guy who will catch the ball at 3B for the young pitchers that will surely be filling out the Williamsport roster.
Round 16 – Craig Fritsch, RHP (Baylor)
PNR Ranking = Unranked
Check out the detailed report on Fritsch from a year ago here.
He was 90-92 and hit 94, along with a sweeping slider and a changeup with good fade. You can see a slo mo video of him here. He has a very low arm slot, which it seems would benefit him against RH batters and make him more hittable against lefties. He had a solid junior season, unspectacular, but solid. He might work out as a ROOGY type, but his upside appears limited. Good org guy..
Round 17 – Michael Nesseth, RHP (Nebraska)
PNR Ranking = unranked
Mike Nesseth is a hard-throwing right-handed relief pitcher from the University of Nebraska. He was so raw as a freshman that he had to redshirt, and he didn’t start showing his potential until his redshirt freshman year, when he pitched at the back-end of the Cornhusker bullpen. He was poised to be an early pick in 2009 as a redshirt sophomore, but he was bounced continually between the bullpen and the rotation, and he scuffled to a rough finish, falling to the Angels in the fifteenth round and not signing. He returned to Nebraska and was having a rough time in the bullpen when he blew out his elbow, and he had Tommy John surgery in April. Scouts still see him as a potential setup man at the Major League level, though, and they’re still interested in drafting him. When healthy, he threw a plus fastball that sat 91-93, touching as high as 97 a couple years back. He could throw it virtually by anyone when he threw it for strikes. His big frame made it deceptive, too, so controlling it was the key for him. His breaking ball was a potential average slider, and that’s what held his ceiling down. Even though he’ll be rehabbing for the next year, teams are still looking at him in the tenth to fifteenth round range, and he’s likely to sign as a 22 year old junior with a long rehab stint ahead of him.
So Nesseth is an interesting guy, and someone Marti Wolever mentioned by name on the air after the second day of the draft. He’s going to miss an entire season, and its kind of a comparable case to Colby Shreve. Shreve took a long time to come back, but is throwing the ball well. Nesseth doesn’t have the ceiling Shreve does, and is a reliever, where Shreve is going to start for a while, but he does have premium arm strength. Because he’s 22 and will miss an entire year, he really has no leverage to speak of. I’d be shocked if he didn’t sign, and shocked if his bonus was much higher than $75K. As a reliever, his upside is limited, but you can never have enough power arms. Seems a decent gamble.
Round 18 – Jeffrey Cusick, 1B (UC Irvine)
I know very little about Cusick, but if I remember reading correctly, he’s a good defensive 1B. That’s the extent of my knowledge of him. He’s a senior, he’ll sign for relatively little money, and he’ll likely be a good org soldier for a few years.
Round 19 – Daniel Palka, 1B (Greer HS, South Carolina)
PNR Ranking = #212 overall
Perfect Game = #94 overall
Daniel Palka is a power-hitting high school first baseman from Greer High School in Greer, South Carolina, which is about 10 miles outside of Greenville, South Carolina. Palka has been known as a two way player for some time, but it’s becoming clear that his bat is the more valuable commodity in the scouting community. That might not be the case for his career, as he’s still signed up to play both ways in college if he makes it that far. Scouts think he has the potential to be a Major League starter at first base, but he’s raw enough in most aspects of his game that most scouts would prefer that he take his game to college and re-emerge in three years. At the plate, he’s an average to solid-average hitter with above-average raw power, and there’s reason to think that he can add strength to his already strong frame, as he’s not physically maxed out. He’s a below-average runner, but he has enough athleticism to think he’s a solid athlete overall. Defensively, he has a chance to play left field or first base, and he’s an average first baseman with a plus arm. That’s the reason he could handle left field in the first place, but his range wouldn’t be more than average there in the long run if he stays thin. He’s expected to go somewhere in the tenth to fifteenth round range, but he’s expected to head to Georgia Tech, where his bat is good enough to start from day one depending on the available playing time.
So outside of the first 10 rounds, Palka is the first real signability pick. He sounds like a pretty intriguing guy, but Georgia Tech is a quality baseball program, which means he’s going to cost a bit of money to sign away. If his ranking around the top 200 is accurate, that makes him a 5-6th round talent, but I doubt $150K keeps him away from school. I envision the Phillies following him this summer if he plays in a summer league, and then figuring out if he’s worth what he’s asking, which I’m sure the Phillies have an idea of what that number will be. Add him to the summer follows list.
Round 20 – Kevin Walter, RHP (Legacy HS, Colorado)
PNR Ranking = Unranked
BA = 134th overall
Kevin Walter is a large right-handed high school pitcher from Legacy High School in Broomfield, Colorado, a northwest suburb of Denver. Walter has been rising up draft boards late in the spring as the onset of warmer Colorado weather has drawn more scouts to see him. He has received unfair comparisons to the better-known Colorado pitcher Kevin Gausman, and the two are very different pitchers. While Gausman is a hard-thrower with a big sinker, Walter is more about projection and the breaking balls he has. Walter is a solid prospect on his own, and while he’s going to earn natural comparisons to the only other solid prospect in the state, it’s not fair to say that they are anything alike. Scouts think Walter can be a solid number three starter at the Major League level, but that’s dependent on him adding some zip to his fastball. His fastball is currently an average pitch that sits 88-90, touching 92, and while he commands it well, it’s not an overly deceptive or moving pitch. His better pitches are both breaking balls, as he throws a potential plus curveball and above-average slider. He doesn’t have a lot of experience with a changeup, but a few have flashed average. He should go in the third to sixth round range as a signable arm with durability and advanced breaking stuff for a prep arm. Boston College isn’t going to luck out with every recruit.
So this is kind of an interesting pick, as the Phillies go with tough sign HS guys back to back. Walter was listed at 6’5/210 according to the Bonus Baby scouting report, yet his fastball is a tick below average at this point. If the Phillies envision him adding a bit of muscle and power to his frame, and figure his fastball to go from 88-91 to more of the 91-92 range, then you add in his advanced feel for his secondary stuff, and you’ve got a solid middle of the rotation arm. BC isn’t a baseball powerhouse, but its a Tier 2/3 D-1 program, so the commitment won’t be completely worthless. I don’t think he’s a top 2 rounds guy, I don’t think they’d go over $400K on him, but $400K might be a nice number. He might be a worthwhile gamble. Add him to the summer follows list.
Round 21 – Jonathan Musser, RHP (Dowling Catholic HS, Iowa)
Jonathan Musser is a projectable right-handed pitcher from Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, a town that is predictably west of Des Moines. Musser has been seen as a solid, projectable arm for some time now in the state of Iowa, and he was a steady riser on boards until he hurt his pitching shoulder in a non-pitching incident, though it’s only a sprain. That’s the extent of the information I have on the injury, but it’s clear that it’s not serious enough to really drop him down draft boards. However, teams are generally cautious with shoulder injuries, and all it takes is something small like that to drop a prospect dozens of rounds. However, he has all the pieces to be a potential number three starter, and that shouldn’t scare scouts away too much, even with the injury. His fastball is currently an average pitch, sitting 89-91, touching 92, and he has projection to sit somewhere in the 91-94 range, which would make it an above-average pitch. He complements his developing fastball with a potential above-average to plus curveball and an average changeup, giving him three pitches that make him a potential pro prospect. These pitches don’t mean much if he can’t get up on the mound, and there’s a feeling that he might slip a little, only to be drafted and followed until he can throw in a workout when he’s healthy this summer. He’s likely to go somewhere in the seventh to tenth round range as a result, and his Nebraska commitment becomes an obstacle in that range.
Musser is the third straight signability guy here, and his injury and college commitment dropped him well down draft boards. Another big guy at 6’5/205, he fits the mold of the Phillies plan of taking guys who are injured or coming off injury plagued seasons. His frame and projection are all vintage Phillies, and I’m sure he’s a guy they are going to follow over the summer. If they get a few good looks at him, then I see them making a nice late run at him, depending on the money spent elsewhere. Nebraska is a decent D-1 school, maybe a Tier 2/3 program baseball wise, so its not a given that he’ll take $100K and sign. Another summer follow.
Round 22 – Jonathan Paquet, RHP (Champlain St. Lawrence College)
The Angels took a 46th round flier on the tall Canadian last year, and he’s another of the JuCo guys the Phillies took this year. At 6’4/190, he’s got plenty of projection, and he’s a very young JuCo guy. The Phillies went north of the border for Stephen Inch last year, and it seems they found another off the radar guy in Paquet. I know nothing else, so I’m moving on.
Round 23 – Jacob Borup, RHP (Arizona State)
Jake Borup is one of the five oldest players in this Draft Notebook, and he’s easily the oldest sophomore. Originally out of Mountain View High School in Mesa, Arizona, Borup was a lightly-recruited righthanded pitcher that has taken a long route to be where he is today. After redshirting his freshman year at Arizona State, he decided to head off on a Mormon mission, being assigned to a Spanish-speaking ministry in Charleston, West Virginia. After two years away, he returned to find a spot still available for him on the ASU roster, though he contributed very little as a 21 year old redshirt freshman in 2009. He went understandably undrafted, returning to be a Sun Devil once more. With an injury tabling teammate Josh Spence, Borup has succeeding in raising his draft stock more than anyone on his team. Sliding into the starting spot vacated by Spence, he has found great success, using above-average command of two pitches to get college hitters in a major conference out. His fastball is an average pitch as it stands right now, usually sitting 88-90, touching 91-92 at times. He commands it quite well, especially considering his lack of experience over the last few years. His slider is a potential above average pitch, and that’s also a pitch he commands quite well. He doesn’t usually throw any sort of changeup, relying on his two best pitches all game long, and that has worked well for him. However, that limits him to middle reliever status as a pro. Since he’s already 23, his status as an eligible sophomore shouldn’t cloud his signability, but stranger things have happened. He could go in the
seventh to twelfth round range and sign quickly.
Seems like a smart kid. He’s old. He should sign. He has a very quiet delivery, not many moving parts, which bodes well for future command. His stuff is average or a tick below, so he’s a 6th inning guy if it all works out. Good org guy.
Round 24 – Chad Thompson, RHP (Orange Coast College)
Chad Thompson is a tall, projectable junior college right-handed pitcher from Orange Coast Junior
College in California. Thompson originally came to Orange Coast from El Toro High School in El Toro, California, a town near Mission Viejo is Southern California. Thompson was teammates with 2009 second round pick Nolan Arenado, and he was supposed to be an equally-impressive talent out of high school the same year. However, he went down with an elbow injury in April 2009, and he ended up undergoing Tommy John surgery the next month. That caused his draft stock to plummet, and the Yankees made a run at signing him after picking him in the seventeenth round of the draft last June. They were unsuccessful, and he’s been rehabbing over the last 13 months, throwing bullpens for scouts late in the spring. His stuff before the injury was projected out to a third starter at the Major League level, but it’s hard to tell where he is now. His fastball was a solid-average pitch, sitting 89-91, touching 93, and he projected for as much as 3 miles an hour more. He also threw a potential above-average curveball and solid-average changeup, and both pitches looked to be adequate for a Major League starter.
Thompson is one of the most interesting picks in the first 30 rounds for me. Prior to his injury, he might have gone in the first 2 or 3 rounds of the 2009 draft. Then he gets hurt, he’s been out a year, and his status is really kind of unknown. This article, written last spring, has him comparing relatively favorably to Tyler Skaggs, who was a comp round pick of the Angels. He’s listed at a whopping 6’8/205, which means he’s incredibly tall and skinny. If he fills out his body with another 30-40 pounds of muscle, he’s basically Josh Johnson of the Marlins. How’s that sound? Then again, he’s already gotten his arm zippered, so you have no idea if he’s going to bounce back. The most intriguing thing is, I have no idea if he has a commitment to a D-1 program or not. If he does, his price tag goes up. If he doesn’t, well, he might not cost as much as you’d think he might. If I’m the Phillies, I’m following him all summer, and if hes throwing well and 100% healthy, I’m offering him at least $300K.
Round 25 – Matt Hutchinson, RHP (University of Nevada Las Vegas)
All I know is that he has decent size (6’4/210) and bounced between the bullpen and the rotation. College senior, org arm, not much to see.
Round 26 – Chris Duffy, OF (University of Central Florida)
Chris Duffy is a powerful outfielder from the University of Central Florida. Duffy originally attended Cypress Creek High School in Orlando, where he was a star player. He got enough scouting attention his senior year to warrant a ninth round selection by the White Sox, but he proved to be unsignable, instead choosing to head to UCF and play for his hometown collegiate team. Until now, however, he’s never reestablished the value that he created back in high school, instead staying stagnant over three years of average production for a college outfielder. He struck out too much, and his long swing kept scouts away, as he ended up going undrafted a year ago after his junior year of play. A high makeup player, he decided to bear down for his senior year with teammate Shane Brown, and they’ve turned out to be a pair of high-level performers as seniors. Duffy features solid pro tools with the bat, as he has an average hit tool, but plus-plus raw power. His frame testifies to that fact. He’s a below-average runner, and though he’s not a baseclogger, he’ll need to watch that he doesn’t become one. His fielding is slightly below-average, but his arm is solid-average, making him good enough to handle left field or first base at the next level. He profiles best as a powerful bench bat without much defensive value, but he should go in the seventh to tenth round range as a signable senior option for teams on a budget.
Duffy is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award given to the top college performer for the season. His tools don’t match his numbers in terms of translating to the pro game, but he might grind his way to the majors in a reserve role. It was kind of odd that he slipped this far, and if nothing else, he should put up decent numbers in the minors even if he only ever gets a cup of coffee in the bigs.
Round 27 – Matthew Payton, 2B (Western Kentucky University)
Payton is a grinder and another senior sign. He sounds like a poor man’s Adam Buschini/Jeremy Barnes, and is likely just a guy to fill out the numbers. Seems like a good kid.
Round 28 – Brian Pointer, OF- Galena HS, Nevada
Brian Pointer is an athletic outfielder from Galena High School in Reno, Nevada. Pointer is the type of prospect that has never been seen as a premier prospect, but he fits the mold of the player that has the ability to sneak up on scouts after three years of college. Pointer has enough tools to consider him a possible future starting center fielder in the big league game one day, though he’s not likely to start down that path this summer. At the plate, he’s an average hitter with average raw power, and there’s a lot to like about the strength in his compact frame. He squares up balls quite well, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he became a very good hitter at the college level. He’s an above-average runner, so adding that in makes him the total package. Defensively, he’s a solid-average center fielder with an average arm, and he should be able to hold that position down, as he’s not expected to grow much more from where he is right now. Scouts like his tools, but they would generally prefer he take his game to Oregon State, which will happen if he’s picked in the eighth to fifteenth round range he’s predicted to go in.
So, athletic, good tools, but very raw and would probably benefit from 3 years at college. He comes from an athletic family, and would definitely be an interesting guy, but it seems like the locals think his college commit is pretty strong.
Round 29 – Patrick Lala, Patrick RHP (Kirkwood Community College)
Patrick Lala is a developing right-handed relief pitcher from Kirkwood Community College in Iowa. He played third base at Kirkwood during his freshman year in addition to pitching, but in the year since he’s given up playing a position, he’s seen his velocity creep up, and he’s become a live testament to how the arm of a pitcher can feel the effects of playing a position. He moved into the closer role for Kirkwood this spring, and the effect has been great because teams now view him as a potential middle reliever at the next level. He starts off his arsenal with an above-average fastball that sits 91-93, touching 95, and his control and command of it are fringe average. Since he’s so new to full-time pitching, some scouts give him a bit of a pass, but he’ll need to firm up his command in pro ball. He complements his fastball with a solid-average curveball, an average slider, and a fringe-average changeup, and he might be able to drop as many as two of those pitches to concentrate on one breaking ball out of the bullpen. He doesn’t have the frame to go the other way and start, so it should be all about developing the second pitch. Though he’s still a bit under-scouted this spring, he’s expected to go somewhere in the eighth to fifteenth round range, and for average money he should be to be signed away from his Iowa commitment.
Iowa is a decent program, he wont come for $25K, but he’s an interesting guy. At 6’2/190, I don’t think his frame screams “reliever”, and it will be interesting to see if the Phillies view him as a fast track reliever or will let him start should he sign. Phillies love the JuCo guys this year.
Round 30 – Nicholas Gonzalez, LHP (Leto HS, Florida)
I know less than nothing about him. Really nothing. So I’m not going to make anything up. He’s 6’4/190, and committed to USF, so there’s that. Summer follow at best, probably going to college.
I’m going to speed things up a bit now.
Round 31 – James Klocke, C (Southeast Missouri State)
Ranked #16 in Missouri by BA
Jim Klocke is a solid senior catcher from Southeast Missouri State University. Klocke is a solid college catcher and should be a solid minor league player in his own right. The difference between making the Majors and not for him will be his bat because he currently profiles to be a solid backup catcher at his peak. At the plate, he’s an average hitter with below-average raw power, but he’s learned how to get into balls with the metal bat for some power numbers. His best attributes at the plate include patience and plus contact ability, and he should be fine offensively as long as he continues to put almost everything in play. Defensively, he’s a solid average defender with an above-average arm. He’s solidly built, and he looks like he’s able to endure long seasons. When all of this is put together in the same package, he’s almost a prototypical backup catcher and what a lot of teams are looking for in a backup catcher, which also includes his ability to work the count and handle pitchers. He should go somewhere in the twelfth to eighteenth round range based on his body of work and his signability as a senior.
Sounds like a backup catcher. Ok.
Round 32 – Carlos Alonso, 3B (Delaware University)
Big time college numbers. Org guy.
Round 33 – Robert Stumpo, C (West Chester University)
I love the picks after round 30. Because you start to get guys like “Stumpo” being drafted. Seriously. Stumpo. Might be one of my fav prospects if he signs.
Round 34 – Pat Murray,1B (Lewis and Clark State)
Phillies took Murray in the 45th round in 2006. They probably made his day back then. And probably made his day again taking him in the 34th round. And did we really take two guys from Lewis and Clark State in the same draft? You know who came from Lewis and Clark State? This guy. And Keith Foulke.
Round 35 – Eric Pettis, RHP (UC Irvine)
Pettis was an interesting guy as Irvine’s closer, then was shuttled back to the rotation. Senior sign, marginally interesting, but nothing to get excited about.
Round 36 – Neal Davis, LHP (Virgina University)
SR LHP Neal Davis (2010) goes into his senior season as Virginia’s top lefthanded relief pitcher, a player able to skillfully mix and match fastballs, sliders, and changeups to get hitters out. His most recent season was arguably his least successful – certainly his least dominating – so he heads into 2010 with plenty to prove. His big league frame (6-6, 210) and past success in a highly competitive conference (he struck out nearly a batter an inning [39 in 40] while only allowing 7 earned runs in 40 relief innings [1.58 ERA] in 2008) combined with intriguing stuff (sits in the high-80s to low-90s with the fastball and has an above-average mid-70s slider) make him another second half of the draft option for a team looking for a warm A-ball body on the cheap. I know I do this a lot, but I’d be remiss to write this much about Davis without mentioning the possibility that his stuff and frame would actually play well as a starting pitcher professionally.
Maybe Schwim can give us a report on him.
Round 37 – Marshall Shuler, RHP (Colorado School of the Mines)
Ranked #7 in Colorado by BA
I just want to point out that we drafted someone from the Colorado School of MINES. Because when I was trying to follow the draft on my phone, I thought it said Colorado School of MIMES. And I was extremely excited. Then I was kind of depressed. But then I thought about it, and Colorado School of Mines is still pretty freaking amazing. If only Stumpo had come from a School of Mines. Oh, Schuler. Yeah I know nothing about him other that he was ranked #7 in Colorado by BA and unlike most of the other Phillies picks, he’s not an oversized basketball player, he’s actually only 6’0. Phillies have been in Colorado quite a bit in the last 2 years, relatively speaking.
Round 38 – Keenyn Walker, OF (Central Arizona College)
All I have is an old scouting report on him from Perfect Game in 2008
“Keenyn Walker is a 2009 OF/P with a 6’1”, 185 lb. frame from Salt Lake City, UT who attends Judge Memorial. Keenyn is a lean well put together very athletic player with fluid actions in the outfield. His throws carry well in the outfield with arm strenth. He is a switch hitter at the plate with a line drive swing plane. He showed a bit better from the left side and has good extension in his swing. He stays inside the baseball and uses all fields. He projects very large with added strength and is a very good, 6.53 sixty. Walker is extremely athletic and he could skyrocket up the charts by next year”
Round 39 – Justin Cummings, OF (Santa Fe Community College)
A brief blurb from Perfect Game in 2009
“Justin Cummings is a 2009 OF/P with a 6’2”, 175 lb. frame from Lawtey, FL who attends P K Yonge. Justin has a very athletic build, long easy strides in the outfield with some arm strength. Outstanding speed, switch hits at the plate, showed some bat speed, gets down line very well, interesting as bat continues to develop.”
Again, who knows.
Round 40 – Jeffrey Harvill, LHP (Evangel Christian Academy, LA)
From Perfect Game in 2009
Jeff Harvill is a 2010 LHP/OF with a 6’2”, 180 lb. frame from Keithville, LA who attends Evangel Christian HS. Nice athletic build, projects. Big leg raise delivery, H 3/4′s release, good plane, FB 86-88, cuts FB at times with nasty late movement, CB sharp at times, tight spin, flat at other times. Advanced change up for age. Best rhythm when mixing pitches, tends to overthrow on FB counts. Quality athlete, very good defensive OF tools, some bat speed, sub 7.0 runner. Good student.”
Fairly compact delivery in the video, and check out some of the swings those guys are taking against them. But I think that might say more about them than him. He’s committed to Arkansas, a fairly decent program, so he won’t come cheaply. As someone pointed out in the draft post, he has a picture of Hamels on his MySpace page. Maybe Cole should give him a call and we can get a discount.
Round 41 – Taylor Zeutenhorst, OF (Sheldon HS, IA)
From Perfect Game
Taylor Zeutenhorst is a 2010 OF/IF,RHP with a 6’4”, 205 lb. frame from Sheldon, IA who attends Sheldon HS. Excellent athletic body, very good strength potential. Spread open to closed hitting approach, rotational upper half hitting style, has quick hands, shows big power potential when pulling, hitting tools to develop with repetitions. Good runner for size, very good arm strength, compact arm action, extra steps in release, shows some potential as third baseman, arm strength plays well in IF with release. Also pitched, FB to 88 mph from cross body release, good running life, threw strikes. High ceiling athlete. Signed with University of Iowa.
According to this article, the Phillies like TZ as a catcher. Interesting, another conversion project. I like conversion projects. He was a 4 sport start, playing baseball, basketball, football and running track. Athletes are good. Phillies love athletes. A commitment to Iowa is quasi-decent, so he’ll require a bit of dough to sign.
Round 42 – Timothy Chadd, 1B (Bishop Carroll Catholic HS, Kansas)
Chadd’s uncle David is the Tigers scouting director. If Tim had plans on turning pro, I have a feeling the Tigers might have drafted him.
Round 43 – James Hodgskin, LHP (Bishop Moore HS, FL)
PNR Ranking = #116 overall
Jimmy Hodgskin is a relatively polished left-handed pitcher from Bishop Moore High School in Orlando, the same school that produced 2006 first round pick Max Sapp. Hodgskin is one of the more polished left-handed prep arms in the entire draft class, but a lack of big projection and a good breaking has left some people doubting just how good he can be as a pro. However, he’s lucky in that he’s in a draft class that lacks left-handed pitching depth, especially on the prep side. Having been thoroughly scouted this spring, he’s a candidate to go higher than expected to a team that values his ability to throw strikes. He’s a number three starter at best in the future, and until he learns to spin a breaking ball better, that projection is more of a number four starter. His fastball has matured over the last year, and it’s now a solid 89-91 mph pitch that has touched 94. He has above-average command of it, and he does a nice job of pitching off of it rather than pitching backwards. His breaking ball is a potential average curveball, but some scouts rate it lower while others like its potential. In either case, it’s clearly his third pitch behind his fastball and an above-average to plus changeup. His fastball-changeup combo is intriguing enough to be seen as a candidate for the third round, but he fits better in the fourth to sixth round. However, if he goes in that range, his signability becomes a question because of his desire to play at Troy.
Also from Perfect Game
A lanky lefty who lives in the mid-high-80s with a big league change-up, Hodgskin will be a force as a freshman if he ends up at Troy University because his pitchability is so advanced. With an easy arm-action and projectable body, Hodgskin has a chance to develop into an average big league velo guy as well. His curve is in the developmental stage. Hodgskin’s delivery is unique in that he swivels his head, sort of like Fernando Valenzuela short of looking to the sky. Despite the head movement, Hodgskin hits the target with his pitches and displays some of the best command in the country.
So the college commitment is the big issue here. You’re kind of hoping he moves into the 90-92 range with his fastball, because he has excellent command and a great changeup. BA reported he was in this velo range, but he dropped off and wasn’t consistently there. If it doesn’t improve, he still could get by in the crafty lefty/JA Happ mold. But signability seems to be an issue. Troy isn’t a baseball powerhouse, but if he really wants to go to college, sometimes it doesn’t really matter.
Round 44 – Jesse Meaux, RHP (UC Santa Barbara)
Meaux is a junior out of UC Santa Barbara. His college numbers are ugly, and he wasn’t a big strikeout guy, so I have no clue about his stuff. He’ll play summer ball this year, so the Phillies will get a few more looks at him, but I don’t really see a lot of upside or reason to spend a bunch of money on him.
Round 45 – Michael Fransisco, LHP (Villanova University)
I know nothing about him. He went to Villanova. He’s 6’5/230 and lefthanded, which is something. He’s a junior, so he has some leverage. Your guess is as good as mine.
Round 46 – Tyler Ross, C (Baron Collier HS, FL)
PNR Ranking = #233 overall
Ranked #52 in Florida by Perfect Game
Tyler Ross is a raw high school catcher from Barron Collier High School in Naples, Florida, the same school that produced fellow Draft Notebook prospect Jeff Schaus, now at Clemson. Ross has been a name on the edge of prospect lists for some time, but scouts have generally been waiting for him to put it all together. He still hasn’t done so, but there’s still enough potential in his game to think he’s worth following. Scouts think he has all the necessary ingredients to one day be a potential starting Major League catcher, but there’s enough rawness in his game that he probably projects better for college out of this draft than for the pro game. At the plate, he’s a fringe-average hitter with good power projection, getting above-average raw power grades. He needs to learn how to hit quality pitching on a consistent basis, though, and there’s no guarantee that will ever happen. He’s a below-average runner, but he’s not slow enough to qualify as a baseclogger. Behind the plate, he has solid tools, and his best attribute is an above-average to plus arm. He also has solid-average receiving skills, and he looks like a solid-average defender in all. Despite these nice tools, he has a ways to go to fulfill the potential in there. He needs to work on his contact skills at the plate and his total package defensively, and he’s only projected to go in the sixteenth to twenty-fifth round, where he’s likely to turn an offer down in favor of heading to LSU, where he’d battle to replace Micah Gibbs.
and from Perfect Game
Tyler Ross is a 2010 C with a 6’3”, 210 lb. frame from Naples, FL who attends Barron Collier HS. Very strong, mature build, has maintained his looseness well. Still start hitting, quiet approach, good balance, strong swing with plus bat speed, very good extension out front, should hit with power, easy and tension free swing. Stays compact defensively for his size, good arm strength, consistent clean game release, receives ball easily, slight pause in release keeps pop time up a bit. Quality all around tools. Very good student. Signed with Louisiana State.
An LSU commitment is normally a dealbreaker, but they lost a number of guys last year, including Brody Colvin. I expect Ross would need a solid 6 figure bonus, probably somewhere between $350K and $500K to sign. He seems exceedingly raw, and with catchers, that level of rawness carries a lot of risk. I’m sure they’ll negotiate with him this summer, but I wouldn’t hold out much hope.
Round 47 – Ethan Stewart, LHP (New Mexico Junior College)
Canadian lefthander Ethan Stewart has a projectable body at 6-foot-6 with a clean arm action. Early in the year he worked at 81-83 mph, but he was up to 87-89 later in the year and has been clocked as high as 91 mph. He also has experience pitching against international competition as a member of Canada’s junior national team. As a freshman, Stewart could be a tough sign.
Sounds pretty interesting. I don’t know if he has a D-1 commitment for next season, but he sounds like a guy you might want to take a run at. At 6’5/210 and coming from the left side, I’m interested. He set up a youtube channel with lots of pitching clips, so you can check that out. Add him to the summer follow list.
Round 48 – Kyle Ottoson, LHP (South Mountain Community College, CO)
Ottoson has a transfer to Arizona State lined up, which means he’s not going to sign for $50 and a bunch of TGI Friday’s gift certificates. He’s going to pitch for the Phillies a few times this summer, I’m sure he knows what he wants, money wise, to sign, and maybe he works something out. I’d bet he’s ASU bound though.
Round 49 – Kyle Hallock, LHP (Kent State University)
Hallock is one of the few juniors the Phillies drafted, and this article basically sums up Hallock’s situation. The Phillies considered him earlier, probably in the 15-20 range, and probably offered him like $100K. He probably said he wasn’t sure, so they waited a lot longer to draft him. They called him again, told him they’d follow him in summer ball, and then speak again. My guess is they’ll see how he throws this summer, if he throws the ball well, they’ll offer him $125K-150K to sign.
Round 50 – Damek Tomscha, 3B (Sioux City North HS, IA)
The Phillies drafted a ton of Iowa guys this year. Maybe Rube owed the area scout a few favors. I know nothing about him. He’s a 3B, he’s 6’2/200. That’s it.
There are your 50 picks.
Now, you want my analysis, right? You’d like me to grade the draft? Can’t do it. Won’t do it this year. I’ll give you some general thoughts though
* As I mentioned above, I like the Phillies plan to take guys who may be coming off injuries or bad seasons, but who showed previous runs of success. I’m of the believer that once you show a skill, whether it be hitting 97 mph, or hitting a ton of home runs, or posting a season of high average, you own that skill. You may be inconsistent, you might get hurt, but you had that skill once, and maybe you can get it back. Its easier to believe in a guy like that than it is to see a guy who has only ever thrown 87-89 and hope that he’ll be throwing 93-94 in 3 years. You need to take some of those guys too, but I like the rebound/flawed/injury guys, I think it represents a nice gamble.
* Despite some of the griping, the Phillies still ended up with a number of high upside guys they can follow this summer. I’d consider the following guys in that group
Frazier, Allen, Palka, Walter, Musser, Harvill, Hodgskin, and Ross.
All of these guys are potential 2nd-6th round talents in 3 years, which makes all of them interesting guys to add to the system. They’ll require different amounts of money, but I’d take any and all of them.
* Even when the Phillies went the college route, the guys they took are upside players. Garner, Morgado, Eldmire and Thompson in particular jump out as guys who might end up outperforming their draft slot if things break in the right direction.
* This year, I feel like we actually drafted a number of interesting college seniors, whether they be hard throwing guys coming off bad seasons or guys who might have the versatility to be good utility guys. You don’t really love any of these guys, but you hope you maybe get a backup big leaguer out of the group.
The Phillies didn’t have a super draft last year. They were handicapped by not having a first round pick, though they kind of compensated for that by signing Brody Colvin for near first round money. Singleton looks like a huge bargain right now, and you’ve got raw guys like Dugan and Hudson who may yet make it. Last year they took guys who had 2nd/3rd round talent in Susac and Jake Stewart, but neither guy lit the world on fire this year in college. They may still regret not signing both guys. Or maybe they won’t. The same might happen this year, or it might not. While everyone wants the Phillies to be like the Red Sox and take 30 signability guys and spend $10M on the draft, we’re not there yet. But the Phillies have shown the ability to do a decent job in the draft and grab a few value guys, especially after the first few rounds. I see enough guys in our crop of picks to get excited about, and enough guys to make me interested in following the summer leagues this year to see how the guys produce.
Biddle already signed. Garner is going to sign, if he hasn’t already. Rupp and Morgado will sign. Frazier might be a tougher sign, but I don’t think he’d have gone in the 5th if they didn’t know they could meet his demands. Eldmire will sign. Those 6 guys are all really interesting to me, and I’ll go as far as saying I actually really like all 6 of them. They sign all 6 of those guys, and then sign 2 out of the Allen, Palka, Walter, Musser, Harvill, Hodgskin, and Ross group and I’m a really happy camper, even if none of the other interesting guys sign. I have a feeling this draft could produce a number of big leaguers, and I’m more excited about this crop of picks than I was about last year’s draft.
The Phillies don’t seem to have bought into the idea of exploiting the draft in terms of spending $7-8M a year and really blowing out the slotting system. But they aren’t alone in that respect. Maybe this year they surprise us and sign all of their ceiling guys. Maybe they don’t. But I see enough to like in the first 10 rounds where I won’t be upset if we don’t end up with a huge haul in the late rounds.
So much for self editing. This piece was still a monster. Anyway, I’m going to add a bunch of the information in this writeup to the Draft Picks page, but its going to take time. I’ll also try and create a section for the summer leagues so we can follow some of our guys. Look for all of this over the next few days/weeks. Give yourself a pat on the back if you made it all the way through this post.
Also, a big credit goes to MLB Bonus Baby for the scouting reports, and a big thanks to everyone here who helped update the draft picks list, who posted articles and links, and everything else related to the draft.