Wanted to open up a thread to talk about the draft, as the signing deadline is just about 24 hours away – 5pm EST on Friday. My impression is that the Phils had a decent draft, with their top four picks being pretty intriguing, but lacking the upside that gets one excited about a draft. If three of the four turn into serviceable big league regulars, the draft will be a success, so it’s very hard to judge at this point. Here’s the draft tracker:
Aaron Nola may see Reading yet this year, and may see Philly next summer. He seems like he’ll be a solid player, and one who could be hitting his stride in the big leagues the next time this club has any semblance of a chance to contend. Matt Imhof just got bumped up to Lakewood, and should start 2015 at Clearwater. His profile is a fast riser who might take the Adam Morgan career path if he has success, (hopefully without the injuries, of course). I’d peg his big league ETA as between mid-2016 and early 2017, but if he’s good next year, he might just contend for a rotation spot in spring training, 2016.
Aaron Brown has been pretty good for Williamsport, and I’d be surprised if he didn’t start 2015 in Clearwater, maybe as part of a five man rotation where three corner guys try their hand at first base a couple times a week and Brown or Tocci plays left or right most every day. And Chris Oliver, off-field problems aside, could turn out to be a steal in the fourth round. He could have been a 2nd to third rounder if not for a DUI not long before the draft.
I like Emmanuel Marrero. He could be a fast rising utility type if he hits a little. Damek Tomscha was crushing the ball in GCL for a little while, but he’s cooled. He could be a Lakewood candidate who never sees WIL, especially if they don’t promote Jan Hernandez because he needs too much work on his bat. Austin Davis apparently signed for just $100k, which is a little surprising. (note – I struck a comment about Scott Tommasetti – turns out he is not a high schooler, rather a junior from UNLV. Wherever I grabbed his bio info had him as a high schooler. Not cool, place that I grabbed that from). Jim Callis told me on Twitter that he “knew of” no 11-40th rounders who signed for above $100k. My quotes highlight his wiggle room.
So if none of the late round guys that signed are over $100k, it leaves the Phils with ~$111k to work with, plus the standard $100k per man, before paying the penalty. Add in the penalty number, and you have over $450k+$100k. Does $550k buy Murray out of his strong college commitment? I doubt it. Gamble? Doubt it. My take is you might see one or two of the lower-profile guys at $150k or so, or one of them around $200k. I don’t have a guess.
If they somehow manage to land Murray or Gamble, it would certainly bump up my opinion on what was otherwise a pretty pedestrian draft. Lots of college guys, hardly any prep guys. They did manage to sign their first 21 picks, which is better than they’ve done for a while. Ben Wetzler may be behind them, though I wonder how much they scouted Michael Conforto. He should have been in their sites as a college guy who could move quickly up the ranks, but OSU had said the Phils scouts weren’t invited into their facilities. Luckily, Nola seemed to be the guy they really wanted. Would be nice to be allowed into OSU, though. Hate to lose a pipeline to that kind of talent, especially in a region the Phils have seemed to work well in the recent past.