If you’ve been following along with Part 1 and Part 2, you know the rules already. For those who haven’t read the previous parts (you should), basically, I’m just looking back on the 2002 draft and grading all of the Phillies picks. I gave more detailed write-ups on the first 10 picks, but I’m going to group picks together from here on out. My grading scale can be found in Part 1. Now that we got the formalities out of the way, let’s continue on.
Here are the Phillies 11th-20th picks. Just click their names for their stats.
11.17: TJ Beam, RHP
12.17: Trent Pratt, C
13.17: Brian Manfred, C
14.17: Darin Naatjes, RHP
15.17: Victor Menocal, SS/RHP:
16.17: Leslie (Omar) Bramasco, SS:
17.17: Scott Mathieson, RHP:
18.17: Chad Oliva, C/OF:
19.17: Robert Korecky, RHP:
20.17: Karl Nonemaker, OF:
Let’s just do a quick summary first. Beam was the only pick out of this group to not sign a contract. He was later drafted by the Yankees and ended up getting a cup of coffee at the big league level in 2006. He’s a decent middle reliever going forward. You’d have liked to see them take a chance on him in the middle of this group, not at 11. All of these guys, except Mathieson, were college level players, so it seems like the organization was trying to fill out the rosters of the minor league affiliates here. They took 2 catchers (3 if you count Oliva) 5 righthanded pitchers (if you count Menocal) and 2 outfielders.
Pratt put up big numbers in college, but completely fell on his face in pro ball. He was last seen in Reading circa 2005, where he put up a .564 OPS. Manfred won the “Team MVP” award at San Diego State in 2001 for being “a good team player and his positive attitude”. Maybe that was a sign of things to come, because he sure couldn’t hit, racking up 15 total hits in 93 AB’s after being drafted. He hasn’t been seen since that brief cameo at Lakewood in 2002. Naatjes was the typical Phillies draft pick, he was 6’7, 245 lbs and oozing tools. He was very baseball-raw for a college pitcher, but the Phillies thought they could teach him to be a pitcher, not a thrower. Unfortunately, he’s spent more time on the disabled list than on the mound, missing parts of 2003, all of 2004, most of 2005 (only 2 innings at GCL), and all of 2006. His career looks finished.
Menocal was a great athlete at Georgia Tech, playing mostly SS but also pitching a bit in 2002, and the Phillies liked his chances in both areas, but drafted him as a shortstop. He spent all of 2003 and 2004 pitching, and he didn’t do very well, striking out less than 5 per 9 and walking over 4 per 9. He vanished after the 2004 season. On Leslie Bramasco, Scouting Director Marti Wolever said that “He’s got a chance to hit a little bit”, which I guess is what you say about a guy who only hit .287 in college his sophomore year. Well, he hit a little bit, .234 to be exact, in his 2.5 seasons with the Phillies, making it as high as Reading before being released and turning up in the Independent League.
Then we get to Scott Mathieson, and he get’s an entire paragraph in this writeup. In high school, Mathieson threw in the mid 80’s (touching 90 with a tailwind) and being from British Columbia, he obviously wasn’t getting a ton of attention. He had a scholarship to a junior college in El Paso, but the Phillies were able to sign him. He was your typical Phillies pick in a way, as he was already 6’4, 195lbs and the Phillies felt he offered a lot in the way or projection. They were right, as he added a good 8-10 mph of velocity, getting his fastball up into the 93-94 range, topping out around 97 and even being able to dial it up to 99 mph. Mathieson was still very raw in the GCL in 2003, but he was starting to piece things together. In 2004, he started at Lakewood, and though the numbers don’t look great, his stuff was starting to come around. He notched 112 K’s in 131 innings and was starting to refine his curve/slider and changeup a bit more. He was sent to Clearwater in 2005, and again showed signs of improvement across the board. In 121 innings, he allowed only 111 hits, struck out 118 and walked only 34. He started to gain attention with a strong Arizona Fall League stint, ranking 9th overall among AFL prospects, the top rated pitcher. He had settled on a slider as his main breaking ball, and his changeup was now an average pitch.
2006 was Mathieson’s banner year and also his undoing, all in one swoop. He’d finally seen the tools become results, mowing through AA Reading with 99 K’s in 92 innings, harnessing his command (only 29 walks) and limiting good swings against him allowing only 73 hits. He made a brief cameo at the big league level (not so good, 5.48 ERA in 4 appearances) and then went to Scranton. He proved even more unhittable at AAA, allowing only 26 hits in 34 innings, striking out 36 and walking 10. He was called back up to the bigs in August after the trade of Cory Lidle and made 5 starts, giving up 18 runs in 16 innings. In what proved to be his final start of the season, Mathieson had to leave the game in the first inning after feeling a sharp pain in his pitching arm. It was later announced he would need Tommy John surgery and miss all of 2007. The good news is, he is still just 22 (23 in February), so in 2008 when (hopefully) he is healthy, he’ll only be 24 and still on track in his development. This pick was an obvious home run in the middle of a bunch of double plays.
Rounding out the selections. Chad Oliva was a masher in college, holding the school record at Jacksonville in both home runs and rbi’s. Unfortunately, it didn’t translate in the pro game once he got passed Batavia, as he put up a .680 OPS at Lakewood in 2003 and then disappeared. Korecky was a four year senior from Michigan. He had a bad freshman year, good sophomore and junior years, then a mediocre senior year (4.35 ERA), but he wasn’t a strikeout pitcher (only 168 K in 294 IP), but he harnessed his control after his freshman year and didn’t give up many home runs. His pro debut actually surpassed his college career, as he put up ERA’s of 2.31 and 3.00 at Batavia and Lakewood in 2002, and then 2.26 at Clearwater in 2003 as a reliever. He had an 86:18 K to BB ratio with the Phillies in 121.2 innings, but he was traded to Minnesota at the end of 2003 as part of the Eric Milton deal. He made it to AAA in 2006, posting a decent 3.33 ERA in 51 innings. Nonemaker was a 4th year senior, had decent tools, but limited projection. After a good debut in the GCL, he floundered with a .548 OPS at Lakewood and a .370 OPS in limited time at Reading. He voluntarily retired in 2004.
The Phillies didn’t miss many guys in these rounds. Prospects like Paul McAnulty, Jeff Clement, Mike Pelfrey, Anthony Reyes and Dustin Nippert were taken in rounds 11-15, but all went to college. Daniel Haigwood, who was acquired in the Jim Thome deal, then dealt for Fabio Castro, was picked in the 16th round, exactly one pick after the Phillies selected Bramasco. Brandon McCarthy, the former White Sox farmhand who was recently traded for fellow prospect John Danks, was taken immediately after the Phillies took Mathieson, and Dodgers catcher Russell Martin was taken with the very next pick. A few interesting guys like Boone Logan (LHP), George Kotteras (C), Kameron Loe (RHP) and Braves starter Chuck James were 20th round picks. All in all, they didn’t miss too many superstars in this part of the draft, and they nabbed Mathieson.
So, it’s grade time. Drafting and not signing Beam is a D- move, Naatjes was a great pick at the time, but he couldn’t stay healthy. They get a C- for taking a bunch of filler with low ceilings in the middle of these rounds, they get an A for getting Mathieson as late as they did, and they only lose minimum points for not grabbing Russell Martin, who could have been a cornerstone type player, but was drafted as a 3B and converted to catcher. Final Grade: B. I’ll weigh this one 5 times in their overall GPA, since these rounds are tough to handicap, based on what is available, and really, looking at guys they could have picked is the ultimate exercise in hindsight.
Rounds 1-10: 1.93 GPA
Rounds 11-20: 3.00 GPA
Things are certainly looking up.