Today I wanted to very briefly discuss the three young starters in the system I think have the highest upside. That’s two 2012 draftees, Mitch Gueller and Shane Watson, and recent international signing Franklyn Vargas.
The Phillies have always liked drafting projectable right handed pitchers with prototypical power pitcher builds. The strategy has had mixed success but it leaves the low minors full of arms with plenty of potential but years and years of development in front of them. In 2012 the Phillies added two more arms with plenty of pedigree with their two supplemental first round picks. If a pitcher has more than a fastball he is ahead of the curve for the most part, and for many pitchers they are far away from their final arm strength and velocity.
I have kept these players separate from the more polished arms because they are at a very different part of their developmental process where they are transitioning from raw arms to pitchers. Many of them will not make it past Lakewood, others are destined for the bullpen, and just maybe there are some solid starters in this group which will emerge.
Shane Watson (19) – Watson was the Phillies first pick in the 2012 draft. Watson made a brief debut in the GCL, but his season was cut off by by a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes. Watson’s fastball sits in the low-90s but he has run it up as high as 96 in high school. Watson’s best pitch is a plus curveball that has tight sharp movement. Watson has shown a changeup but it is still developing at this point and he has tinkered with a cutter. As with most high school pitchers Watson’s command could use some fine-tuning. Watson is advanced enough that he could handle a promotion to a full year at Lakewood. Continue reading
Today Baseball America released their Draft Report card for the 2012 draft (article can be read here http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/draft/news/2012/2614213.html). BA has put out some awards with a short blip, I have added some more information to each profile:
BA’s Quick Take:
Despite forfeiting their first-round pick by signing Jonathan Papelbon, the Phillies added a pair of promising high school pitchers with supplemental picks they got for losing Raul Ibanez and Ryan Madson.
Best Pure Hitter:
Andrew Pullin (OF/2B) – Pullin was the Phillies 5th round pick, an outfielder in high school the Phillies are moving him to second base. Pullin’s hitting style is unorthodox but he keeps his hands in the zone and has the ability to spray line drives all over the field.
Cameron Perkins (1B/3B/OF) – Perkins drafted out of Purdue in the 6th round. Perkins has a good feel for hitting and a fast bat, he proved throughout his college career that he can make good contact.