2011 MLB Draft Notebook, v 3.0

With today’s article by Jim Salisbury, highlighting a number of guys the Phillies have expressed interest in, I figured now was as good a time as any to post my thoughts on these guys. I’m hoping Jim has another article this weekend with some last minute thoughts on who the Phillies are narrowing in on even further, as he’s in a class by himself when it comes to draft matters as they impact the Phillies. I’ll definitely have something else up this weekend, and then we’ll tune in Monday night to see the compensation round, and then rounds 2-30 on Tuesday, which I will be providing coverage for, and rounds 31-50, which Ryan will be helping with. The draft is always one of the busiest times of the year for the site here, and I’m grateful for all of my visitors, those who care about the draft and those who don’t just the same. In case you’ve missed it, v1.0 of my notebook is here and v2.0 is here. Now, 3.0 commences below the fold.

I’m going to eliminate a few names from the list Salisbury published right off the top, because I believe there is almost zero chance they are still available at pick #39, and they are:

Austin Hedges, C
Jose Fernandez, RHP
Brandon Nimmo, OF

I believe all 3 guys will be picked in the middle-end of the first round. I guess Hedges is the most likely to slide a bit, but I don’t see him making it to #39.

I’m 50/50 on Andrew Chafin, LHP, still being on the board, and I’m not totally sure the Phillies would go that route, though I did highlight him in v2.0 as a guy who kind of fits the Phillies mold, and with their apparentl emphasis on lefthanded arms, he would fit. Since I’ve already covered him, I want to focus on the other names mentioned.

Kevin Comer, RHP (Seneca HS, NJ) – BA has him ranked #102 in the country, and he’s starting to pick up some helium at other sites. I see both the pros and cons. At 6’4/210, he passes the Phillies eye test. He’s shown good arm strength, pitching anywhere from 89-94, with a good curveball. However, he’s been very inconsistent this year and has barely pitched. The biggest issue, however, is his Vanderbuilt commitment. Vandy always seems to get their guy, or most of their recruits. If he falls to #39, and the slot recommendation is, say, $850K, I don’t know that is enough to keep him away from college, and BA seemed to intimate that maybe he just wants to go to college, hence his almost indifference toward his senior season. Maybe its some kind of ploy, maybe he’s injured, or maybe its something else, but unless the Phillies have a really great feel for the situation and some kind of inside info, it doesn’t seem a wise gamble.

Cameron Gallagher, C (Manheim Township HS, PA) – I mentioned him in passing in the comments section of one of my previous draft notebooks. BA has him ranked #64 in the nation, and that seems about the consensus. Like Comer, I see the pros and cons here. He comes from something of a baseball family, as his bro is a prospect in the Dodgers system, and he has premium power for the position, which will always turn heads. However, he’s already really big for a catcher (6’3/215) and there are questions about his ability to stay behind the plate. I’m generally kind of leery of these types, because if he has to move to another position, like LF, his bat has to be crazy good to make up for the massive drop in positional value. I’m not sure his bat is that good, and because he’s faced inferior competition in PA, its tough to know how he will make adjustments.

Here is a clip of him hitting some ping shots.

“This guy is the real deal”…..Good sir, I believe JD Durbin was the “Real Deal”

Charlie Tilson, OF (New Trier HS, IL) – BA has him ranked 80th, which puts him between our first pick of the 2nd round and our actual pick in the 2nd round. Tilson is ranked as the top prospect in Illinois, but the writeup on him is more negative than positive. He’s a good hitter with a good feel for contact and has good speed, but he’s not a pure burner like Anthony Gose, and he apparently doesn’t have much power or project for much power. He’s a good defensive CF with plus makeup, something the Phillies do place a lot of importance on, for understandable reasons. He hasn’t had a blow’em away senior season, and is projected as a 2nd/3rd rounder, so again, he’d fit with one of our 2nd round picks.

Heres a video of him taking some indoor BP

another angle

He has a pretty swing. That’s all I’ve got.

Brad Miller, SS (Clemson) – Ranked #68 in the country by BA, which seems a bit high, but I don’t really know, obviously. Like Tilson, BA kind of points out the things that are wrong with Miller, including an unconventional setup/swing (you’ll see below) and that he’s not great defensively at SS, suggesting he’ll have to move to 2B. That’s not the worst thing in the world, because we don’t really have all that many 2B prospects either. He had a monster statistical season this year, leading the ACC in many offensive categories, and his makeup is supposedly off the charts, including his work ethic. That’s good, because hard workers are better than lazy bums. I’d be more jazzed about him if he could stick at SS, and I think he’s a definite reach at 39, but at 66 or 90 he’d be okay I guess, though maybe kind of underwhelming.

His setup is like some sort of Domonic Brown/Geoff Jenkins hybrid. It works for him, so whatever. Will it work with wood bats is the question I guess, but he hit well with wood last summer, so I guess you just have to trust that he’ll be able to make adjustments, if needed. Again, the work ethic thing.

Jake Hager, SS (Sierra Vista HS, NV) – BA rank of #122. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but his makeup and work ethic are the things highlighted in his BA writeup. His tools are average to a few ticks above across the board, with power being his weakest tool. He has an Arizona State commitment, which could be problematic. If the Phillies take him in the 2nd round though, I could see him signing I guess.

Here’s a video of Shane Victorino, yes, Shane Victorino throwing him BP from Feb 2010. I guess they train at the same offseason place? Its bizarre. But hey, whatever.

I don’t see any negatives here. Though he could use a haircut. I know this was February 2010, but maybe Shane was laying the groundwork for a pre-draft deal ahead of time. (No, I’m not serious)

So there you go. While none of those guys have the “wow!” factor, all look like solid players. It does the Phillies no good to tell Salisbury or anyone else who they plan on picking, especially at #39. And I think the Phillies probably have no real idea who will be available at #39, let alone in the 2nd round, when the first 5 picks of the draft are still moving around.

Check back this weekend, I’ll have another piece up with some last minute thoughts and my wishlist for the first 3 picks.

61 thoughts on “2011 MLB Draft Notebook, v 3.0

  1. Pass on Comer that early. He did nothing his junior year either. Throws hard but never has really dominated the high school level. He was hittable the last two years. Over hyped and over rated.

  2. If Matt Purke falls because of health and signability concerns (as KLaw suggests), any chance the Phils take him at 39, or am I crazy?

    1. Zero chance.

      As a draft eligible sophomore, he still has plenty of leverage. He’s supposedly still asking for $4M or more. Shoulder injuries worry me a lot more than elbow injuries.

      He’s not signing for slot, and I don’t know that he’s a guy worth risking 3/4 or more of your draft budget on.

      1. Purke offers more upside than anyone else who will be available at that spot, and even though he has leverage as a draft eligible sophomore, the looming possibility of hard slotting in the next CBA may nudge him toward signing for less than he wants. The Phils drafting history in the sandwich round is not all that impressive. I’d rather take a high risk/high reward guy than another Anthony Castonzo or Kelly Dugan.

        1. Costanzo was a second rounder and he was part of the trade for Lidge, so not a total loss.

          1. Mike Costanzo, not Anthony Castonzo. Oops. Got my sports confused.

            Still, I’d rather take a flier on a guy with big upside. Watch him pitch over the summer and then decide whether to offer him big money — like the Sox did last year with Ranaudo (who, by the way, went 39th).

            Most of the Phils’ top prospects are gems that they picked up in the mid-late rounds anyway. Why not take a gamble on a guy with star potential in the sandwhich round?

            1. Your reasoning is fine with me, but it does not match the Phils history or style.

  3. I like Brad Miller a lot.

    Brandon Nimmo could drop due to his rawness and football ability/$, but probably won’t. If he does, you gotta think the Phillies are drooling over his tools…lets hope they can convince club management to shell out the $3 million or so it would take to sign him.

    1. I doubt they draft Nimmo even if he slips to #39. He wants overslot money. That would be not like them to take a player like that, particularly in the compensation round.

  4. This is probably the best time of the year for PP…and some others here.

    It should be interesting not only to check on their first 10-15 picks, but since we now know their penchant for signing “unsignables” that they’ve chosen with their 20s and 30s picks, then even those later picks could turn out to be significantly in play. Last season they signed 3 of those picks when Frazier didn’t sign.

    A fun time.

    More fun than squabbling Republicans.

  5. I like Brad Miller as well. According to several blurbs I have seen recently, rumors have Miller getting some lift going into the draft. His throw back baseball personality is supposedly winning alot of scouts over.

    It is kind of ironic the Phillies might be interested…maybe all those years of watching and drafting and redrafting John Hinson they finally came to the conclusion they were targeting the wrong Tiger?

    1. I kind of forgot about Hinson. Looks like he was the 5th or 6th best hitter on his team, with a fielding percentage of .867. I guess I’m glad we didn’t sign him.

  6. I want to hear from the guys who want middle-infielders or 3rd baseman. Do either of the two SS listed above look like a good strategic pick @ #39? Take the best prospects with the first couple of picks. If there’s a SS, 2B or 3B available who is at the best available level when the pick comes, then pull the trigger. Don’t over-reach.

    1. For me the good strategic pick would be a top HS talent that falls to #39 due to signability concerns…and although I think the Phillies are in desperate need of MI help, I really don’t care if they take more pitching. That would just mean that at some point they would have to trade more minor league talent for a highly paid veteran MI.

      My problem is that the Phillies top priority in recent years hasn’t been on the “good, strategic pick.” It has been on the best guy they think will sign for slot or even below slot.

      The reason I like Miller is because I think he is closer to being able to contribute at the MLB level…even as a utility infielder…and with Chase and Rollins at the twilight of their careers, this is a growing concern for me.

      But that by no means is to suggest that he would be the best pick at #39 in the purest sense.

      1. But why spend a 1 million dollar bonus on developing a good utility infielder? You can sign a free agent utility guy for that amount. They’re better off with their lottery ticket approach in the 1st round.

        1. Fair point. It all depends on the Phillies feelings about his ultimate ceiling / floor.

          I am not sure that MI’s are all that easy to find for only $1M. At least not high quality ones. And remember, that $1M isn’t annually…it would be his initial signing bonus.

          I am not arguing that Miller should be the pick, there will be better prospects on the board at #39 if the Phillies are willing to pay for them, I just find him an interesting prospect with some value based on their “we are only looking to pay slot” philosophy.

          Although as Squire said, they might surprise us this year, we’ll see.

    2. Story in the sandwich round if he is on the board. He can stay at SS. HS so it would be a long development process.

  7. This might be the year to take a guy who is talking about an above slot bonus. With protected picks and the threat of a new CBA with hard slotting coming, these guys asking for big money may be buckling a bit on August 15th.

    1. Valid point here. I’d really like to see the Phillies nab 1 or 2 over slot guys early (say supplemental and second round), and their typical 200-500k late high upside picks.

    2. ESPN is reporting that 9 teams, including the Phils, are out of compliance with debt-service rules. This adds another data point suggesting the Phils will not have a bigger budget than usual for the amateur draft.

      http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=6621842

      As an aside, I don’t believe that the debt service rule as reported in the article can be right. Nobody looks at debt to revenue, you always look at debt and the ability to make payments on the debt in relation to an organization’s cash flow.

      1. Is debt from a new stadium such a bad thing when you’re selling out the stadium? I guess it can become a bad thing fairly quickly if we stop winning and attendance drops. I would guess this effects next year’s salary budget before it effects this draft.

        1. We’re fine financially. The stadium debt (Phillies cost was originally $172 million) really isnt that bad and the team made a ton of money last year ($239 million gross revenue). The team is valued at $609 million by Forbes right now and one of the owners is a multi-billionaire. They might not be turning a huge profit year to year with costs like the current payroll and that huge new scoreboard but the franchise is very healthy and basically printing money both with CSN Philly and with CBP.

  8. For what its worth, Perfect Game now ranks Gallagher as the Top Prospect in PA, ahead of Fisher and they are saying he could be a supplemental round pick.

  9. I kind of like Miller’s swing. It appears his hands come downward to the ball quickly as if some trapdoor were opened and they fell by gravity with a lot of force and drive. Unusual, but seems to work, and intriguing technique.

    Overall I like these guys more for AFTER the #39 pick. Seems a lot of disparity between BA ranking and early draft positions of Phils. Hopefully, Phils will get a surprise guy that falls, with a little more bling, and get a couple of these guys in the next 3 to 4 picks.

    1. He also said that he is looking for guys who are “realistic about their abilities.” We all know what that is code for.

      Hint: we can exclude the option of best / most exciting prospect available.

    2. Hitters thing: Looking at what I got for the XST rosters, 15 pitchers on WPT XST and 13 for GCL XST. Need to have 15 pitchers for each, so, really if they wanted they could open the season and just add 2 pitchers. Most of those figured to be starters have been considered of good ability and talents in the past. And considering that alot of others will occupy roles of lesser participation, maybe they do draft more hitters this time.

      Seems if Nimmo falls this time, and it is possible given he wants above slot (said to be around 2 million by rumor) and some teams are not willing to go over like that, but it is not overly much. It would be unwise not to risk on this, as I figure from limited video view, he might turn out to be one of the better to come from this draft.
      Hedges strong with big school, reported high dollar request.
      Don’t see the reason for considering Brad Miller, esp. at 1st pick. Better off with HS Hager.
      Tilson looks impressive. Could be 1st round type. Said to be a big money request.

  10. Again, here is why the Purke thing makes no sense for the Phillies.

    * He was going to sign for $6M in 2009 but MLB nixed the deal due to the Rangers money woes. TEX then offered $4M, which he turned down
    * This year’s draft is very deep on college pitching, his position. If he goes in the sandwich round, the slot recommendation there will be like $1M.
    * He’s not settling for $1M. And he’s not going to want to take less than the $4M he turned down in 2009.
    * The Phillies will not give an injured pitcher a $4M bonus. Even if he pitches this summer on the Cape, the injury history is going to scare teams, which it should. Shoulder injures are much worse than elbow injuries.
    * Because hes a DE Sophomore, he has 2 years of eligibility left.
    * Even with hard slotting next year (no guarantee, of course), if he is fully healthy and bounces back next year, he’s a top 3 pick, and even with hard slotting, would be looking at a $3-4M bonus, which is more than he’ll be offered by the Phillies at #39.

    If he’s willing to sign for a lot less, I think that would be a huge indicator that he knows his shoulder is about to explode. I’d avoid that situation all together. At some point the reward outweighs the risk. In Purke’s case, its when the signing bonus drops under $1M. Which won’t happen.

  11. Dream on, dreamer. But don’t be disappointed come draft day.

    In the case of Purke, I can understand the Phillies not risking it. If he was a junior, it might be different. But he still has a lot of leverage, and I don’t think compensation picks are protected, so we can’t put that pick.

  12. I have so lowered my expectations as it relates to the Phillies and their self-imposed budget limitations on draft day its ridiculous.

    1. C’mon Squire, what’s wrong with a MLB low draft spend? Don’t you know our scouts are magic? They are so incredible, they just released a movie about them in their younger days and how they grew up to be baseball scouts. It’s called “X Men – First Class.”

  13. Sigh.

    Total draft spend is such a misleading statistic.

    Also, if we want to talk total draft spend.

    The top 5 teams in 2007

    BAL – got Wieters 5th overall for $6M, plus Arrieta in the 5th for $1M, nothing else

    WAS – Wasted $3.1M on Detwiler (6th overall) and Josh Smoker (31st overall) and an astounding $1.8M on Jack McGeary, who was a massive flop. Jordan Zimmermann (2nd round) signed for slot, $495K, is by far their best pick that year.

    NYY – Spent $3.3M on Brackman, who has underwhelemed and looks like a 7th inning reliever. Pissed away $1.4M on Brad Suttle (4th round), who looks like a tweener at best who will K 200 times a year and maybe hit 15-20 HR, if he even plays. Wasted $1M on SS Carmen Angelini in the 10th round. Their best pick looks like Austin Romine, 2nd rounder, signed for close to slot at $500K

    DET – Spent $3.5M on Porcello, which looks like money well spent. Pissed away $1.5M on 5th rounder Cale Iorg, a SS who missed time on a Mormon mission. Spent $750K on Casey Crosby, who will be good if he can stay healthy. Not much to speak of outside of Porcello and Crosby, though Furbush (4th round, signed for slot) looks like he may have some value

    TAM – Spent $5.6M on David Price at 1.1, which encompassed 78% of their total draft spend. The best pick outside of Price is Matt Moore, for $110K in the 8th round. Nick Barnese (3rd round, slot) is the next best of the bunch.

    The Phillies ranked 23rd in spending at $3.312M. That draft yielded Savery, d’Arnaud, Taylor, Rizzotti, De Fratus, and Jiwan James, who signed for $150K in the 22nd round.

    The Yankees spent more than double what the Phillies spent, including lots of big slot busting bonuses. And the Phillies ended up with a much better haul.

    Stop stressing about the money and the hype machines.

  14. Per Keith Law, Tyler Beede told area scouts don’t draft him. He is going to Vanderbilt.
    Saw one site that had the Phillies taking C James McCann with the 39th pick. Hadn’t heard his name associated with the Phillies before.

  15. Ill bet a nice chunk of change that he has a pre-draft deal in place with a team and doesn’t want to get picked. As I mentioned above, Vandy does a great job with their recruits, but this smells like pre-draft deal to me

  16. Kevin Comer is very interesting……..I know a fair amt about this kid from some inside sources. Great overall kid and super athletic. Some of things that were stated above are true. He has not pitched much this yr because of some minor injuries but nothing that was related to the arm. Even with these injuries, this kid has had every scout from every team check him out in the last 2 years as well as multiple scouts from the same organizations. (Raw Talent)….. I actually just saw him pitch yesterday in the Group 3 south jersey finals game between Senaca and Moorestown. Not a great game at all but Comer came in for the final 2 innings to close out the win for Senaca and was very impressive. The most important thing i found about Comer was watching his effortless pitching motion. His 2-seam runs up there around 91-92 and it moves too. The 4-seam was cranking up there between 92-94. He gave up 1 infield single in the 2 innings and if these would have been wood bats he would have sawed off at least 3 or 4. I know this kid really likes Vandy because of the pitching coach there. This is the same pitching coach that worked with David Price and helped Price get his motion consistent. Overall, as a phillies fan, i dont want them to overdraft on anybody but i have the feeling with some of the teams that scouted this kid that he could go pretty high. Everyone has to remember with any HS player the stats and box scores really dont mean much. Aluminum bats pad stats and make strong pitchers like Comer have mediocore box scores of weak hits.

  17. I am familiar with Comer as well and don’t get me wrong, he is certainly worth drafting, however I just feel that the money it will probably take to sign him will be too much. Tons of potential but I’d feel more comfortable seeing what he does in college, then drafting him later. I guess though you can say that about any high school kid though., so you have a good point.

    and as far as South Jersey baseball goes, Moorestown isn’t anything special. They have been shut down by lesser non draft prospect pitchers. With his stuff, he should dominate them.

  18. Just wrapped up the Minorleagueball.com fans mock draft through 3 rounds as the Phillies scouting director

    1a (39) Trevor Story, SS, Irving HS (TX)
    2 (66) Cameron Gallagher, C, Manheim Township HS (PA)
    2 (90) Brandon Martin, SS, Santiago HS (CA)
    3 (120) Jeff Ames, RHP, Lower Columbia JC (WA)

    I know 2 HS SS’s looks odd but that’s the way it broke and I don’t have a problem really addressing the system in that manner. Feel like they are all signable there.

    1. Just peaked in on the fan draft. Good picks, but if the real draft broke the same way, I would hope the Phillies take Nick Delmonico at #39 over Story, then take ss Julius Gaines, with the 66th pick.

      1. Don’t see this DelMonico thing. Saw a clip, they showed him at 1B. That’s what he looks like-1B. Organizational needs don’t match with 1B. Looks like he might get too big and unwieldy to catch and he’s just learning that in limited HS appearances, so without that- maybe 3B they say, but looks more like 1B. Supposed to be top hitting prospect, but it could be the result is another top hitter- LH hitting 1B. Or maybe some LF and situational use elsewhere, still don’t see as big priority for first pick in draft. If they could get Story at 39 for a reasonable amount that might prove more in tune with organizational needs.

      2. And furthermore, the Julius Gaines thing. That must be left over from some of the early draft rankings. Most of what I see lately , figure around in the 6th round or so. MLB draft trackers shows clips of numerous SS’s of 2nd round or above quality though.

        1. I’d have no arguments with Story as the #39. I’d just prefer the combination of Delmonico and Gaines better than Story and Gallagher.
          If the Phillies draft played out the way it did for squire, that would be great. I doubt it does though, because Shortstops like Martin don’t last that long. Also, Shortstops like Gaines, who scouts are convinced won’t have to move, get picked early.

          1. Just saw Gaines on MLB draft tracker, apparently his real name is Kenneth Gaines. They list him as 5’10 154. That’s what should be the great SS hope to supplant what they already have? He would be smaller than most of the Latin American SS’s they have, and probably more finished growing also. They don’t have a video for Gaines , but the ones they do have show quite a few SS’s that should go prior to Gaines , unless he is really something special. I doubt that, because just how much better defensively can one be than others , and have seen nothing on free websites that says is a top hitter, and if he was he would likely not even be considered to be around at #66.

            1. The other thing to consider is that it looks like Galvis may be turning the corner into a real prospect. I was one of the biggest skeptics, but he is starting to make a believer out of me, elevating his hitting by every metric that matters. I still think he is a couple years away, and still far from a sure thing, but IMO he has worked his way up to the organization top 20 and maybe the top 10 is he can sustain his offensive gains for a whole season.

              Not that that should matter for the draft, but it’s an answer for those who are saying oh my goodness, we have no middle infield prospects in the system, we need to draft some!!

            2. Yeah, I’ll go with the system not bereft of SS’s thing as well. Galvis has improved build and not as some imagine, wiry build for his size. Duran and Perdomo at A also doing all right, and not much older than alot of HS draftees will be. Also XST with Nerio Rios and Steven Malcolm, we’ll see.

              Also like to point out, not critical of Gaines , just hope for better. So, I’ll put up a candidate for SS, they should take also. I say Deion Williams, from Domonic Brown’s old HS in Georgia. Looks like a relative. In fact looks like the throws R – bats R version of Brown -6’3 190 . Must be from the Mudcat Grant line. Also the college commitment I see is Georgia State and a Junior College , so maybe he is reasonable in demands. Looks like he can play SS, and even if he outgrows it, looks like a top OF guy, from what seen on some clips.

              While on the subject, a catcher to watch is the guy from Quebec. (hypenated- Rousseau or something) Big and strong- clip looks like alot of guys. ’94 birthdate- appears he is 16 for another month or so.

            3. PG cross checker and John Sickles has Gaines listed as 6’0 tall, not sure where you got 5’10.

  19. The reason I think that they might take Cormer is because they may have made a deal with him, for his hometown team he might be willing to skip Vandy. Afew years ago I believe it was Salisbury who reported on the Phil’s interest in Hewitt (he took BP at CBP). Also that would follow the path they took with Biddle. They like to spread money around on their picks. If they have a deal they like, it lets them spend more money later on.

  20. MLB Draft Tracker on http://www.mlb.com has been up for a few days, lists some 1500 or so guys, with lots of video clips of players many have never seen or heard of. If you didn’t know.

  21. Kent State lefty Andrew Chafin is guy projected to go in the second round and he was really impressive last night in besting Taylor Jungmann.

    Fastball was up as high as 94 and his slider was slicing Texas hitters up at 81-83.

    Walked two, struck out eight and last 8.2 in near-100 degree Texas heat.

    I’m on board.

  22. I’d guess his stock takes a bump after last night. Probably not going to be there in the second round.

    Might they go college lefty at No.33?

  23. I’d be way OK with Chafin at 39 (we don’t have the 33 pick). Seems like good value and a good bet to not bust out either.

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