2002 Draft Report Card, Part 4

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Today, we’ll look at rounds 21-30 and give them a grade. For my grading guidelines, please see Part 1. If you haven’t already, read the first three installments to figure out what I’m doing here. Lets get on with the picks.

Brett McMillian, 3B
Brad McCann, INF
Jason Fletcher, RHP
James “Whit” Bryant, LHP
Zach Minor, RHP
Erik Winegarden, C
Brad Busbin, RHP
Derek Brewster, RHP
Adam Steen, RHP
Ryan Wardinsky, SS

Ok, first things first. Of the ten picks, one was a high school player (McMillian), two were JuCo players (McCann and Fletcher), and the other 7 were all four year college guys. The Phillies failed to sign McMillian, Fletcher and McCann, the next 7 all signed. Position breakdown, they drafted three infielders, one catcher, five right handed pitchers and one left handed pitcher. All of the four year college players selected were seniors, hence, they had little choice but to sign. McMillian went to UCLA, McCann went to Clemson, and Fletcher remained at Indian River CC in 2003.

Now, the results…..it’s not good. McCann might be the only name on the list you’d recognize, and it’s for being the less talented brother of current Braves catcher Brian McCann. I’ll always remember Whit Bryant, because he went to Elon and I got to see him pitch quite a bit while I was in school. He was a warrior on the mound, but never had dynamite stuff. I was happy for him that he got picked, and even more excited he was picked by my team, though I knew the chances of him making it weren’t great. Sure enough, he went on the voluntarily retired list in the spring of 2003. Minor only lasted till the end of 2003, pitching well at Batavia, but bombing both times he was promoted to Lakewood. He ended up with Bluefield, the Orioles affiliate in the short season Appalachian League, but his 8 innings in 2005 appear to be his last.

Winegarden struggled in the GCL and at Batavia in 2002, then missed all of 2003. He was assigned to Lakewood in 2004, where he put up a .674 OPS in 185 AB, and hasn’t been seen since. Busbin pitched well in 2002 upon being drafted, posting a 1.80 ERA in 20 IP, but for some reason (that I don’t remember), he was released prior to the 2003 season. Brewster was a similar deal, pitching only 4 innings after being drafted, then released prior to the 2003 season. I can’t find any reference to Adam Steen pitching after his brief 22 inning cameo at Batavia in 2002, and he was more than likely released in 2003. Wardinsky was awful from the get-go, and his .527 OPS at Clearwater in 2003 signaled the end of his run with the Phillies, and in pro ball all together.

The good news, if you can call it good, is that we didn’t miss much in terms of players we could have drafted. Travis Ishikawa was taken by the Giants in the 21st round after we had picked, and he is the highest profile guy to sign in these 10 rounds worth of picks. Jacoby Ellsbury and Travis Buck both were drafted, but both chose college, and are now in the Boston and Oakland organizations respectively.

It’s really tough to grade anything after the first 20 rounds because teams will begin to draft guys they think slipped due to signability issues, and most of these guys never sign. Also, teams begin to take four year seniors to fill our their rosters, and as in the Phillies case, many of these guys don’t stick. You get the rare gem (Ishikawa for the Giants), but for the most part, you aren’t drafting guys who are going to impact your system in these rounds, therefore, it’s tough to really punish teams for taking guys that never amount to anything. Because the Phillies first three picks in the round didn’t sign, I’m deducting points, and because three of the guys they did sign debuted well but were released, I’m deducting minimal points. No steals in this section, no guys even in the organization anymore, and in fact, no guys even playing pro ball anymore, period. Grade: C- My first instinct was a D, but really, this is probably par for the course for most teams every year. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt because they didn’t miss much talent here, but I will penalize them for not at least drafting one guy capable of being organizational filler for 3 years.

We’ll finish the last 20 picks tomorrow. And just a heads up, it’s not going to be good.

2 thoughts on “2002 Draft Report Card, Part 4

  1. I think I would give Adam Steen a better grade than a C-, but maybe I’m biased, since he’s my brother. Check out the blogsite above if you want to see what he’s been up to.

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