The deadline to sign draft picks is midnight on Monday night, and the Phillies have some work to do. I figured it would be good to go over what the Phillies have done so far, and what I expect them to do on Monday in terms of tying up a few more signings. As you have probably heard, MLB tries its best to deter teams from spending more than the recommended bonus amount, especially after the first 5 rounds. The Commissioner urges teams to not give more than a $150K bonus to a player after the 5th round, and all bonuses over this amount must be approved by the Commissioner’s office before it is official. Because of this, teams generally wait until the last few days to announce overslot signings, because the Commish won’t approve them. Will the Phillies make any more plays in this draft class? Past history says its a good possibility. Check below for more.
Update 9:38 PM —> According to this article (which provides no source), the Phillies signed Brian Pointer and Jonathan Musser. The article mentions “high 3rd round money” for Pointer, which would be somewhere between $350-450K.
Update –> Jim Callis mentions on Twitter that Pointer got $350K. So if the $300K on Musser is correct, that means $650K so far. Solid.
Update –> 5:08 PM According to Phillies scribe Matt Gelb, Kevin Walter has signed. This is fantastic news. You can find a scouting report on Walter in the link below.
Update –> 9:50 PM Gelb now says the Phillies won’t sign Frazier. Kind of a shame, but with the other signings announced, it makes sense I suppose.
Last season, the Phillies agreed to terms with Brody Colvin a few hours before the signing deadline, giving him $900,000 and what would be the biggest bonus for a 2009 Phillies draft pick. In 2008, they came to terms with 38th round pick Jarred Cosart just minutes before the deadline, giving him a $550,000 bonus. Going back further, the Phillies have given out overslot bonuses to later picks (Domonic Brown 20th round, Jiwan James 22nd round) and those decisions also look quite wise. Lets take a quick look at the Phillies 2009 bonuses of note.
As you can see from the chart, the Phillies did end up over their allocated slot totals, but this is somewhat deceiving because they did not have a first round pick. It is promising, though, that they made up for it by taking a borderline round 1 talent (pre-draft) and giving him a substantial bonus. The only “cheap” pick of the lot was Matt Way, who took an under slot bonus in the 5th round. The Phillies weren’t as active after the first 10 rounds, largely because of the money needed to sign Colvin. The Phillies spent $3.1M on bonuses (that were reported), and this was significantly less than 2008, when they had a ton of extra picks and broke slot on a number of occasions.
So now lets look at what they’ve done in 2010 so far
There were no “cheap” picks thus far, in terms of the recommended slot and the bonus given out. The Phillies are at approximately $2.62M in bonuses thus far. They have 2 unsigned first 10 rounds picks in Scott Frazier and Brenton Allen. They haven’t announced any substantial bonuses after the first 10 rounds, so here is the list of unsigned picks:
RD 5- 171- Frazier, Scott RHP- Upland HS, California
RD 9 – 291- Allen, Brenton OF- Gahr HS, CA
RD 13 – 411- Hinson, John 3B- Clemson
RD 19 – 591- Palka, Daniel 1B- Greer HS, South Carolina
RD 20 – 621- Walter, Kevin RHP- Legacy HS, Colorado
RD 21 – 651- Musser, Jonathan RHP- Dowling Catholic HS, Iowa
RD 22 – 681- Paquet, Jonathan RHP- Champlain St. Lawrence College
RD 24 – 741- Thompson, Chad RHP- Orange Coast College
RD 28 – 861- Pointer, Brian CF- Galena HS, Nevada
RD 29 – 891- Lala, Patrick RHP- Kirkwood Community College
RD 30 – 921- Gonzalez, Nicholas LHP- Leto HS, Florida
RD 38 – 1161- Walker, Keenyn OF- Central Arizona College
RD 39 – 1191- Cummings, Justin OF- Santa Fe Community College
RD 40 – 1221- Harvill, Jeffrey LHP- Evangel Christian Academy, LA
RD 41 – 1251- Zeutenhorst, Taylor OF- Sheldon HS, IA
RD 42 – 1281- Chadd, Timothy1B- Bishop Carroll Catholic HS, Kansas
RD 43 – 1311- Hodgskin, James LHP- Bishop Moore HS, FL
RD 44 – 1341- Meaux, Jesse RHP- UC Santa Barbara
RD 45 – 1371- Fransisco, Michael LHP- Villanova University
RD 46 – 1401- Ross, Tyler C- Baron Collier HS, FL
RD 48 – 1461- Ottoson, Kyle LHP- South Mountain Community College, CO
RD 49 – 1491- Hallock, Kyle LHP- Kent State University
RD 50 – 1521- Tomscha, Damek 3B- Sioux City North HS, IA
Now some thoughts. I have no inside information, these are just my thoughts, based on how past years have gone.
* Most of these players will not be signed. This is not unique to the Phillies, as most teams do not sign the bulk of their players taken after the 25th round, unless they are drafting 4th and 5th year seniors to fill out the numbers. The Phillies took plenty of community college and prep guys who still have tons of leverage, which drives up their asking price.
* Frazier remains the most likely target. He was considered a first 3 rounds talent, the Phillies had to know going in that he would require a significant bonus to sign, and I have a feeling the framework of the deal is worked out. The recommended slot bonus for #82 overall, the last pick of the 2nd round this year, is $436,500. My guess, and this is just a guess, is that Frazier wants at least $500,000. I think he’ll get it.
* Brenton Allen has done lots of talking on facebook and whatever else about not signing. Is it posturing? No one really knows. He doesn’t seem like a super high priority guy to me, I’d be happy if he signed, but I don’t view him as a make or break talent.
* It appears John Hinson is going to go back to school. I wonder how the Phillies front office feels about his father now, whom they presumably had negotiated a pre-draft deal with, and who presumably has told his son to go back to school now after a strong finish to his season. Good luck getting more money next year in an absolutely loaded draft class.
* Dan Palka (ranked 19th in SC by BA) is a prep 1B/OF with intriguing upside, but a tough college commitment to Georgia Tech. This article a week ago noted that the Phillies were somewhat optimistic on him. I’m not as optimistic, and I’d imagine it would take at least $400K to keep him away from college, where he would be a 2 way player.
* Kevin Walter (ranked 2nd in CO and #134 overall by BA) is the real prize remaining for me after Frazier. He has a commitment to Boston College, which isn’t a traditional baseball powerhouse, at least in comparison to programs like LSU, Long Beach State, Arizona State, etc etc. Walter has the projection the Phillies love, at 6’6/220, and already has advanced secondary pitches. If his velocity ticks up like scouts believe, he has all the makings of a front of the rotation starter. He’s not going to come cheap, but if I’m the Phillies, he’s the guy I’m devoting my late round (think Cosart-esque) bonus money to.
* Musser (3rd ranked in IA) had injury issues, and I haven’t kept tabs on his progress this summer, but he didn’t excite me too much when I did my reading right after the draft.
* Chad Thompson, who fell in the draft because he was rehabbing an injury, is likely going to cost in the $350-550K range, and he has plenty of leverage left.
* Brian Pointer (ranked 11th in NV by BA) is a really intriguing guy, and this article from a few days ago indicated the Phillies have followed him closely this summer. Pointer is a big projection guy, and Oregon State has a good rep for keeping their recruits, so he will be a tough sign.
So here is my quick summary as the deadline approaches.
* The Phillies “have” to sign either Frazier or Allen
* If they don’t, they “have” to sign Palka AND Walter
* Signing both Frazier and Walter would be excellent business
* If the Phillies spent what they spent last year, they’d have about $500K to spend, which might mean Frazier only. But they spent much more than that in 2008, which shows they are capable of spending, and the successes of Brody Colvin and Jarred Cosart may have swayed upper management to the benefits of spending in the draft.
It should be a fun deadline day. I like a lot of what the Phillies have done already in this draft, as I mentioned back in June. If they sign 2 more guys that I’ve mentioned above, this will be a very good draft, even better than it already is. Stay tuned!