2007 Draft Review, Day 2

I want to make a disclaimer statement right here. I’m going to say some really harsh things about the Phillies “braintrust”, ownership group, and anyone else associated with the draft in the next 2,000 or so words. If you love Bill Giles, David Montgomery, Pat Gillick, and all of the folks associated with said people, you may want to just click away from this review and assume “he wasn’t a fan” and move on. I don’t want to lose readers because I compare Pat Gillick to a piece of petrified wood, but I have to let out some frustration, and it’s better to do it in print than to go kick a stray dog in the alley behind my apartment. So, now that you’ve been warned, let’s get to it. Also, this is going to be a really long entry, if I misspell a few words, you’ll have to deal with it, I don’t have the energy to spell check something this long!

The second day of this draft was a disaster….an unmitigated disaster. I say that right now, looking at our final haul (if you want to call it that) of draftees. If the Phillies are able to somehow sign the few legitimate guys they drafted, then I could give this an “average” stamp….but right now, knowing how the Phillies operate, this day was a failure. Oh, and I just read right now that the Phillies signed Jose Mesa. Now that I just broke the lamp on my desk, we can continue. Basically, my problem is that the Phillies have zero foresight, they are the cheapest mid market team around, and they appear much more interested in pleasing Bud Selig than running a winning organization. Before I actually discuss the picks, let me explain why I feel that way.

The baseball draft is unlike most every other professional sports draft. Teams are not allowed to trade picks, just about every player taken needs at least a year in the minor leagues before contributing, and many many more players are drafted, some teams taking more than 50 players, depending on compensation picks. In football, most guys drafted end up playing a decent amount the following season, in the NBA, same deal, and in the NHL, it’s split, with more guys ending up in the minors on some level. The Commissioner’s office, because of prodding from some owners (ie, not the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Angels, etc), has attempted to lay down the unofficial law regarding the draft by issuing “slot recommendations” for each pick in the draft. Here is an example, using the first round and my own numbers

1.1 $3.7M
1.2 $3.6M
1.3 $3.5M
1.4 $3.4M

You get the idea. As you get further down, the bonuses dwindle. For example, Michael Durant, Phillies 4th rounder in 2005, got $247,000, Brett Harker in the 5th got $165,000, et et. Once you get to the 10th, the bonuses drop into the $5,000 to $10,000 mark, and then it might be $1,000 for a player in the 15th. Here is where it gets interesting. Teams occasionally will take a guy lower in the draft and then “bust slot”, where they pay a player much more than slot money to sign him away from college. Let’s look at a 2006 example, the Boston Red Sox.

Round 9: Ryan Kalish, OF ($600,000)
Round 16: Ty Weeden, C ($420,000)
Round 17: Josh Reddick, OF ($140,000)
Round 18: Lars Anderson, 1B ($825,000)
Round 19: Richie Lentz, RHP ($150,000)

Get out your calculator. That’s $2,135,000 in bonus money paid to 5 picks from round 9 to 19. The Phillies signed 4 players in that area, Dominic Brown, Andrew Cruse, Sam Walls and Michael Dubee…they spent a total of $450,000. Here’s the thing. Not all of those guys the Red Sox picked will work out. However, the prospect game is about numbers. The more guys you take, the more you have to choose from, the better chance you get to hit a winner. Lars Anderson is hitting .300 in Low A this year, and Ty Weeden has a ton of potential. The Red Sox farm system was pretty mediocre 3 years ago, but with this type of aggressive drafting, they are now among the Top 10 systems in baseball.

So why don’t the Phillies do this? Well, it’s simple. The Commissioner’s office frowns upon teams spending more than the recommended slot. Now take note, there is NO RULE saying you have to pay a player a certain amount, it’s only a recommendation. Teams like Boston, New York (Yankees), the Angels, the Dodgers, and the Diamondbacks aren’t afraid to take a guy and pay him more (sometimes a lot more) than the recommended slot. Now, this probably won’t surprise you, but over the last five years, the Angels, Dodgers and Diamondbacks all had top 5 rated systems in baseball as far as minor league talent. You don’t add elite talent to your system without taking chances and spending money, unless you have the worst record in baseball every year and get to pick 1.1 or 1.2. But of course, as Jim Salisbury has pointed out, the Phillies owners mandate not spending a lot more than slot. Why? Well they don’t want to upset Bud Selig. As long as Bill Giles and his cronnies own this team, we’ll continue to be the doormat for the likes of Boston and Anaheim.

Now that I got that rant out of the way, lets get down to this abortion of a draft. I won’t have a lot to say about a lot of these guys, because, well, most of them won’t ever be a factor at anywhere other than Williamsport or Lakewood. If you go to the draft tracker on mlb.com, you can find videos for some of these guys, and some of them are so far off the prospect roster, you’ll just have to use your imagination.

6.19: Matt Rizzotti, 1B (Manhattan College)

Manhattan College…what a baseball hotbed.

Rizzotti burst onto the prospect landscape as a freshman at Manhattan, batting .416/.530/.694 with nine homers and 57 RBIs. He tantalized scouts with his huge raw power in batting practice in the New England Collegiate League that summer and again in the Cape Cod League in 2006, but he was inconsistent in game action. Rizzotti struggled out of the gate in 2007, when the weather seemed to hinder his timing and rhythm. But he got hot in the second half and finished the regular season with a career-high 11 homers. Rizzotti flashes 70 power (on the 20-80 scouting scale) and can hit balls out of the park from foul pole to foul pole, but he hasn’t proven he can hit quality pitching with any consistency. He has a patient approach, but some scouts would like to see him be more aggressive. He also swings and misses a lot and is vulnerable to fastballs inside. Rizzotti lacks athleticism and mobility and is just an adequate defender at first.

Anyone excited here? I’m not. The guy is already a mediocre 1B, the end of the defensive line, and he doesn’t project to hit for average. But hey, batting practice will be fun to watch.

7.19 Tyson Brummett, RHP (UCLA)

BA ranked Brummett as the No. 100 prospect in California last spring, when he was UCLA’s No. 3 starter and considered a solid if unspectacular college pitcher. He wasn’t drafted, but this year he’s had a brilliant senior season as one of the Pacific-10 Conference’s best Friday starters. In terms of stuff and competitiveness, Brummett rivals more-heralded California college righties such as Pepperdine’s Barry Enright and Cal State Fullerton’s Wes Roemer. He lacks Roemer’s putaway slider or Enright’s considerable track record, however. He’s closer to Enright in that his strong suits are throwing quality strikes down in the zone with three pitches: a fastball that often sits in the 89-91 mph range, a solid-average curveball and a good changeup he uses to attack lefthanded hitters. His fastball has gained a tick or two of velocity this season, and he has improved his slider to give him a fourth pitch. Brummett has been drafted twice before by the Giants, out of a Utah high school (2003, 35th round) and again out of Central Arizona Junior College (2004, 38th round), but figures to go about 30 rounds higher this time around.

This is actually a good pick. Brummett doesn’t have great stuff, he doesn’t have much projection, but he COULD be a major league 5th starter, or a 7th inning reliever. He’s a college senior, he has no leverage, he’ll come cheap. You’ll hear that last phrase quite a bit.

8.19 Chance Chapman, RHP (Oral Roberts)

Righthander Chance Chapman has had a pair of spectacular strikeout performances, fanning 17 against Arkansas and 19 against Centenary. The Mid-Continent Conference pitcher of the year, he entered the NCAA regionals ranked third in Division I in both ERA (1.23) and strikeouts per nine innings (12.4)–eight spots ahead of teammate Jeremy Hefner (11.6) in the latter category. Chapman’s strikeout pitch is a big league slider, and he also has an 88-91 mph fastball with life. When he commands his fastball, he’s tough to hit. Chapman’s age works against him, as he’s 23 after spending three years at Cuesta (Calif.) Junior College and missing all of 2004 with an injury.

Ummm…did we really take a 5th year senior with our 8th round pick? Hey Mr Wolever, it’s not round 29 yet. Maybe he’s a middle reliever in the majors….or maybe he never makes it past AA. Take your pick.

9.19 Chris Kissock, RHP (Lewis and Clark)

Lewis-Clark State again will be the biggest factor in the draft from the upper Rockies, even beyond Mills. Righthander Chris Kissock has been the Warriors’ ace for two seasons and has added weight the last two years, creeping from 160 pounds up to close to 200 on his 6-foot-4 frame. The added size helps him maintain his fastball velocity in the 90-92 mph range with action down in the zone. He doesn’t have a plus pitch–his slider and split-finger are fringy–but he has a feel for his craft and competes.

I actually don’t hate this pick. Video is available for Kissock via the draft tracker. He has clean mechanics, his fastball is a tad short, but he has a good slider. If they switch him to relief right away, he might be able to add a tick to his fastball and could be a decent middle reliever. But why are we drafting low ceiling college guys here? Oh that’s right, we’re trying to save money.

10.19 Joseph Rocchio, RHP (Cal State Northridge)

I know absolutely nothing about him. I searched Baseball America and got ZERO results for his name. That’s right, they’ve never written a word about him, unless they misspelled his name. Sorry, I have nothing else.

11.19 Justin DeFratus, RHP (Ventura JuCo, California)

Several junior-college righthanders not under control could go in the single-digit rounds as well, led by smallish Michael Southern, Pierce’s towering Dan Berlind and Ventura’s Justin DeFratus, who had the highest Scouting Bureau number of any California juco player for much of the spring. The 6-foot-4 DeFratus tops out at 94 mph but loses velocity early in games (at times up to 7-10 mph within three innings) and was working on a long-toss program during the season to increase his durability and arm strength. At times his slider also is a plus pitch, and he shows a feel for changing speeds.

Hey, this sounds promising. Haven’t seen him pitch, can’t speak to how he looks mechanically, but seems like he has a chance for good stuff, but he needs instruction. This pick isn’t a total loss.

12.19 Julian Sampson, RHP (Skyline High, Washington)

A high school pitcher! Wooohooo!

Sampson rivals Vancouver’s Greg Peavey as the top high school pitcher in Washington, a title Washington State signee Keaton Hayenga was on his way to securing before he tore his labrum sliding into third base. Sampson and Hayenga are much more similar to each other than to Peavey, who has a long national track record. Sampson, like Hayenga, has a projectable pro body (6-foot-5, 200 pounds) and has played high school basketball. He has shown pretty good present stuff, with a fastball that sits in the 90-92 mph range. He has easy velocity and a loose arm, making it easy to project future heat. While Sampson, a University of Washington signee, has flashed brilliance this spring, he has generally not been at his best mostly due to his choice of breaking ball. In the past, he flashed a slider with above-average tilt and velocity, a flat-out filthy pitch last summer and fall on the showcase circuit. This spring, though, he has more frequently used a slower, looping curveball that doesn’t have much potential. A team that has seen Sampson good still could pop him as high as the second round because of his velocity, athleticism and future potential.

This is an excellent pick, if, and this is a huge IF, they sign him away from Washington. Will the owners allow the Phillies to offer him 3rd or 4th round money? He has the Arbuckle Frame®, ie, tall and projectable, as he’s already 6’5, 190lbs. He has a fastball in the low 90’s, could very well sit in the 92-95 range in 2 years. Again, this is a great pick if they plan to sign him. Sampson is the second player taken from Washington by the Phillies, as they also took Travis Mattair in the 2nd round.

13.19 Luke Wertz, RHP (Nebraska)

Wertz wasn’t even in the Top 15 picks in the state of Nebraska according to BA. I know nothing about him. Moving on

14.19 Jesus Andino, SS (Porterville JuCo)

I have nothing on him. At least he isn’t a 5th year senior. You’re losing me here guys…

In fact, I’m just going to fast forward to the guys drafted who might actually amount to something. If you feel like I slighted someone who deserves a writeup, let me know.

16.19 Brian Schlitter, RHP (College of Charleston)

Teammates Oliver Marmol and Brian Schlitter are also considered eighth- to 12th-round talents. Schlitter has a power arm (he touched 93 mph this season) but he’s inconsistent, with fringy secondary stuff and a poor delivery. Marmol has good middle-infield actions but little offensive upside. He’s a plus runner and has a plus arm.

Schlitter…I hope this guy makes it to the bigs and gets his own cheering section.

18.19 Mark Adzick, LHP (William Penn Charter HS)

Another high school pitcher, woohooo!

A pair of projectable prep lefties, Mark Adzick and Bob Revesz entered their final high school seasons with a chance to pitch their way into the professional ranks, but neither pitcher performed terribly well and now they look like good bets for college. Adzick pitched poorly out of the gate then missed several starts with nagging injuries, of which an oblique strain was the most serious. He’s long and lean and gets good extension on his pitches, making him projectable. His father Scott is a noted pediatric surgeon who has performed a rare surgery on fetuses while still in their mother’s wombs. He was never expected to be a cheap sign, so now he’s all but certain to attend Wake Forest.

I’d say there’s a 97% chance he goes to Wake. But how about his dad performing surgeries on fetuses in the womb? That’s pretty cool.

19.19 Cedric Johnson, OF (Thatcher High School)

Hmmm. Johnson wasn’t to be found in BA’s top 35 prospects in Arizona, I don’t have access to PGCrosschecker stuff, so if he showed up there, maybe someone can let me know, that goes for any of the guys we drafted that I don’t have info on. Maybe the Phillies know something here.

20.19 Carlos Moncrief, OF/P (Hillcrest Christian HS)

Moncrief is a physically mature two-way player with arm strength and raw power. His game is raw and he doesn’t show much ability to make consistent hard contact, and his velocity wavered during the spring. He has bumped 94 mph with his fastball, but like Brown this year, more often pitched in the high 80s with his fastball. His delivery is unrefined. He throws across his body, has below-average command and little in the way of secondary stuff. He can overpower the ball at the plate, showing plus raw power from the left side. He also has solid-average speed and could profile as a right fielder if he refines his approach and improves his feel for hitting.

No clue how the Phillies see him, or if they plan to try and sign him.

22.19 Nathaniel James, RHP (Williston High School, Florida)

This guy wasn’t ranked among Florida prospects….anyone want to take a shot at this?

EDIT> Forgot he goes by Jiwan, now I know who he is, lol. He is going to college, no real shot at signing him I don’t think.

26.19 Nolan Mulligan, RHP (Lynn University, Florida)

Haha….they took a guy named Mulligan. That’s all I know about him.

29.19 Derek Hall, C (El Dorado High School, California)

I know nothing about him, I just think it’s fun to note when we actually do take high school players.

30.19 Jacob Diekman, LHP (Cloud County CC, Kansas)

Hey, the Phillies took someone I could find info on. Sweet.

Jacob Diekman is a projectable 6-foot-4, 190-pound lefthander who flashed low-90s velocity and a decent slider this spring. He’s still inconsistent with the quality of his stuff and his command, but he’ll be picked in 2007, and he’ll play at Nebraska next year if he doesn’t sign.

Neato…so will we make an effort to give him a few bucks and keep him away from Nebraska? Seems like he could develop into something.

31.19 Jeff Richard, RHP (Central Michigan)

Three draft-eligible sophomores had a chance to get picked in the first five rounds, but Michigan State catcher Kyle Day and Central Michigan righthanders Jeff Richard and Chris Kupillas didn’t live up to their billing this spring. All were standouts in summer leagues a year ago but suffered from draftitis in 2007. Day became too pull-conscious, muting his power, and his receiving skills regressed to the point where he wound up spending time in the outfield.

At a combined 705 pounds, Collmenter, Richard (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) and Kupillas (6-foot-6, 230 pounds) may have formed the heftiest weekend rotation in college baseball. Richard could throw only one pitch (a cutter) consistently for strikes while losing the velocity on his fastball (down to 85-87 mph) and splitter. Kupillas, who led the Great Lakes League with a 1.47 ERA last summer, made progress with his curveball but lost the command and zip on his heater, which dipped to 84-86 mph. Both Richard and Kupillas touched the mid-90s last summer.

I don’t really know what to say there. I guess Richard has relief value. Maybe. It’s better than taking a 5th year senior in the first 10 rounds.

35.19 Zach Cleveland, RHP (Golden High School, Colorado)

Cleveland was ranked 8th in the state, but nary a word written about him in the BA capsule. Maybe someone else can add something here.

36.19 Kyle Benoit, RHP (Cardinal Leger SS, Ontario)

Benoit was ranked the 10th best prospect in Canada, but like ZC above, nothing written on him. Looking at his scouting video, he has a herky jerky delivery with some arm whip and deception. His fastball has good late life, high 80’s/low 90’s, but his secondary offerings look like a work in progress. Will we sign him? Who knows.

Hey, back to back high school pitchers….the apocalypse is near!

37.19 Kyle Slate, RHP (Christian Brother’s Academy)

No clue. He’s 6’5, 200, nice frame, but I know nothing else.

38. Joseph Paylor, OF (Hillcrest High, Texas)

Another high school guy….wow.

Outfielders Ben Feltner, Joseph Paylor and Rafael Thomas are all plus-plus runners who could be decent draft picks if teams buy into their hitting ability. Feltner has improved significantly since high school, when he wasn’t good enough to start even as a senior. Paylor (committed to Rice) and Thomas (signed with Oklahoma State) both starred at wide receiver for their football teams.

Committed to Rice. Not signing in the 38th round.

40.19 John Hinson, 2B/OF (Reynolds High School, NC)

[Sergeant Shultz]I know nothing[/Sergeant Schultz]

41.19 Tyler Glider, RHP (Butte High School, Montana)

Again, just making a note that we took another high school guy.

42.19 James Mahler, RHP (Jordan High School, Utah)

Rivaling Nash and Abbott as the state’s second-best prep, righthander James Mahler is the son of ex-big leaguer Mickey and resembles his pitching style more than that of his late uncle, ex-big leaguer (and minor league pitching coach) Rick. An Arkansas signee, Mahler has pro size at 6-foot-6 and all kinds of projection. His father’s history–he threw harder later in his career and was something of a late bloomer–also factors into scouts’ evaluations of the son, whose fastball topped out at 90 mph and usually sits in the 86-88 mph range. All that projection makes it hard to imagine teams spending too much money on Mahler now, but they might have to spend more in three years.

Now this is an interesting pick. Mahler is already huge and has tons of projection. He has a scholarship to Arkansas, and I highly doubt he signs for less than 5th round money, if even that. If he goes to school and lives up to his projection, he could be picked in the first 90 picks.

43.19 Cory Vaughn, OF (Jesuit HS, California)

Ranked the 114th best prospect in California. That’s all I’ve got. He’s already 6’3, 215lbs, good frame. Oh, and this guy is his dad.

44.19 Brandon Bonner, RHP (Lakewood High School, Florida)

Bonner was ranked #68 in the state of Florida, and at 6’5, 220 already probably has a good fastball with some more room for more. Not sure of his college commitment.

45.19 Michael Morrison, 1B (Bishop Luers High School, Indiana)

Morrison is 6’1, 220 and bats/throws right handed. That’s all I know.

46.19 Damien Seguen, RHP (North Bergen HS, New Jersey)

6’2, 220lb righty. Not quite tall enough to fit the Arbuckle Frame®, but might have decent present stuff. However, probably not, since he wasn’t on the NJ map.

47. Joey Manning, OF (Bartow High School, Florida)

Fellow Vandy signee Joey Manning has more offensive upside and runs well, but has lots of holes in his swing and is considered more of a raw athlete.

Ranked #53 in Florida, he’s headed to Vanderbilt.

48.19 Cody Winiarski, RHP (Union Grove High School, Georgia)

6’3, 190lbs, a bit more in the way of projection. No idea on his stuff or college commitment.

49.19 Navarro Hall, OF (Kennesaw Mountain High School, Georgia)

There is actually a video on this guy. He looks…raw. Nothing on him from BA.

50.19 Jeremy Penn, RHP (All Saints Cathedral School, Virgin Islands)



There you have it. 45 picks today. A lot of guys with no pro future. A few guys with good projection but almost no signability. A few guys somewhere in between, and maybe a few usable parts.

Picked I liked..

Tyson Brummett
Chris Kissock
Julian Sampson
Justin DeFratus
Jacob Diekman
Kyle Benoit
James Mahler

Picks I didn’t like

The rest.

Final thoughts…

* I like the Savery pick a lot. At 19, you’re not going to get a sure fire star, there will be risk involved, but the ceiling to risk here slants into the Phillies favor. Savery has #1/2 potential, and could form the best LH LH combo in the majors with Hamels. He’s a great athlete and can hit, another plus. Kudos for thinking outside the box here, and Savery could provide help much sooner than one of the raw high school hitters.

* d’Arnaud, I still don’t love it, but if his bat is at least major league average, it’s not a bad pick. We’ll see how he hits in the GCL.

* I love the Mattair pick. I think when we look back at this draft in 5 years, he’ll be one of the biggest bright spots. Could be our 3B of the future.

* My thinking on Workman is still that they took him as high as they did because they wanted to sign him, they knew it would cost 3rd round slot money, and that’s where they popped him. Very raw, has some mechanical problems, but has huge upside.

* Marti Wolever was gushing how the draft was loaded with impact high school guys, and we end up taking tons of college guys, and tons of college seniors, in the first 20 rounds. Why?

* Rest of the first day looks uninspiring, Taylor has massive potential, but so far has not been able to tap into it. The Phillies don’t normally develop hitters, so don’t hold your breath.

* The second day is a pretty big disaster. Way too many seniors early, and a 5th year senior in the first 10 picks is almost indefensible. If we can sign 3 of the guys I listed above that I liked, I’ll give this portion of the draft a C. As it stands, it’s an F.

Keith Law liked our first day, mainly on the strength of our first 3 picks

5. Philadelphia
Call this a conditional one — if Joe Savery is really healthy, and really throwing like he did in the spring of his freshman year at Rice, then he’s a very solid pick at No. 19, even a slight bargain, since he went into that summer looking like a future top-10 guy. I think the Phillies got a minor steal in Travis d’Arnaud, who is at least a big league backup because he can catch and really throw, but who should be at least a fringe-average hitter for the position. And they got a good tools guy in the second round in Travis Mattair, who can put on a show in a workout but isn’t as impressive in games; that’s a reasonable upside gamble for the second round, but not for the first, which is where I thought he might go.

Another year, another draft in the books. I hope you guys had fun with the leadup to the draft, and then the actual draft itself. I want to thank everyone for making the last two days the two busiest days in the young history of this board. Back on May 21st, we cracked the 100,000 view mark. We logged over 12,000 hits in the last two days alone, and we’re almost half way to 200,000. Thanks again everyone, this has really been enjoyable over the last few weeks with the draft, and now we gear up for short season ball and the second half of the full season leagues. Lots of interesting prospect stuff already happening, and of course, we get to look forward to the signings of our new draftees. Should make for a fun summer.

48 thoughts on “2007 Draft Review, Day 2

  1. 10th rounder Joseph Rocchio had a 6.85 era this year- allowed 39 hits in 23 innings, struck out 13 and walked 17. Do you think its safe to say they could have waited a few more rounds before selecting him?
    One thing i’m starting to see as I look up the no-names is that many of these no-names have been playing each other- Mach, Spencer, Brummlet, Rochio, Wertz to name a few. It appears the phils took the ‘set the lawn chair up and see what comes by’ approach to scouting the later rounds.

    Nathaniel James is also known as the bit more famous ‘Jiwan James’- phils like him as a pitcher, mets liked him as a hitter. but its unlikely they’ll buy him out of his committment- needs to put on some pounds before he could start to show something at the pro level anyway I think.

    From what i can make out in the stories, Zach Cleveland sounds like he started to add velocity late in the season when it was getting into the low 90s.

  2. What most frustrates is a team that is not prepared to spend more than average on higher-round guys, and who then pick a load of high-schoolers who we’d have to throw crazy money at lower down draft. That, as they say back home, is just thick as bejayses.

    It’s been interesting to read your leadup to this draft James – it forms a much clearer picture in my head as to why the minor league system doesn’t provide us with useful fill-in pieces. Previously I assumed that it was always about the level of development or training, but its clear that arbuckle, wolever (and presumably gillick’s) strategy is high impact (sometimes signing risks) further up who can move on the Major League team , and nothing much else. There doesn’t seem to be any emphasis on maximisation. Very Galling.

  3. I think a lot of people are also under the impression that because our AA and AAA teams are so weak in terms of prospects, that drafting a bunch of college guys is a great idea. Well, these guys won’t end up in AA to start, and if they have no ceiling in terms of projection, they’ll never make it past Clearwater anyway. You get guys to AA and AAA by drafting elite talent and promoting them when you feel it’s right.

  4. Yes, drafting a lot of marginal college guys is more likely to get you a lot of guys who fade before they reach AA than to quickly strengthen the upper minors. The thing with college guys is you pretty well know their upside. They’ve had three or, in the case of too many of our picks, 4 years of quality coaching. So very hard to find an untapped raw gem. Trying to duplicate Ryan Howard may be about as likely as duplicating the lightning in a bottle of 1993. More likely, we see the sorts of college guys who made up our whole farm in the mid and late 1980s when we had a passion for drafting these college guys (although in fairnesss, we liked a lot smaller guys back then).

    I think a very cheap draft. Last year’s draft was relatively cheap (at $4,837,000 we ranked 16th, and this doesn’t include some team’s daf signings). I think despite the extra picks that we rank worse this draft. I am warming on Savery as the sort of gamble that a low spending team needs to take to have any chance of finding a real gem. But why are we so low spending? Add Barajas salary to the draft budget and you can have a really stirling draft.

    The quality of this draft comes down to Savery’s health, whether or not we can sign Sampson, and whether d’Arnaud’s bat continues to develop. I love the Mattair pick, but that is not enough to make this a good draft. We are back to the Ed Wade approach of being happy with 3 or 4 true talents and a lot of organizational filler. That is penny wise and pound foolish. There is a large fixed cost to run your scouting and player development system. If you add the couple $mill to draft budget that is needed to have a quality draft, you can easily double the number of true prospects on the farm, without coming close to doubling your player development costs. So, cost per major leaguer produced goes down by probably 40%. Plus, you have a lot more ammunition for deadline trades if you actually find yourself in contention.

  5. Not sure he deserved a write-up, but Billy Harris, 25th round, can pitch.. As a univ. of delaware grad i tried to at least pay attention to their articles in the news journal and it was clear Harris was their ace (not saying much I know)..

    He is a lefty, went 7-1, w/ 3.59 era and had 98 k’s in 87 innings.

    I have no idea if he’ll even make it to A ball, but he was a pleasant surprise in a sea of guys I could find zero information on. Speaking of, did u find anything on Michael Branham? univ. of Florida, missed 2006 w/injury but i couldnt find any stats for 2007 either, yet he got drafted.. has me puzzled.

  6. Harris (Bear, DE/Salesianum) emerged in 2007 as a legit number one college pitcher, leading the Blue Hens with a 7-1 record and 87.2 innings pitched. He ranked third on the team with a 3.59 ERA and struck out 98 batters, ranking among the conference and national leaders. Harris appeared in a Delaware record 75 games during his four years as a Blue Hen, and ranks ninth in school history with 204 strikeouts. He earned All-CAA Second Team honors in 2007 and also earned a spot on the 2007 CAA All-Tournament team. He is the first Blue Hen drafted by the Phillies since Mike Mihalik in 2004.

  7. Jeff Richard and Kupillas, both hard-throwing right-handers, have seen spot action in their first seasons at CMU. Richard is 3-5 with a 5.49 earned-run average in 22 appearances over the last two seasons, while Kupillas is 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 23 career appearances. Both were eligible for the draft by virtue of having turned 21 years old prior to the draft.

  8. Picked just one round later – with the 713th pick – Breslin was nine-for-10 in save opportunities in 2007, with a 0.00 ERA in 14.2 IP, allowing just seven hits and striking out 11. In all, he saved nine of 17 La Salle victories, picked up a win, and finished with a 2.72 ERA with 43 Ks in 39.2 innings.

  9. Picked just one round later – with the 713th pick – Breslin was nine-for-10 in save opportunities in 2007, with a 0.00 ERA in 14.2 IP, allowing just seven hits and striking out 11. In all, he saved nine of 17 La Salle victories, picked up a win, and finished with a 2.72 ERA with 43 Ks in 39.2 innings.

    He was among the nation’s leaders in saves (T-47th), and led the team with 25 games pitched and was second in strikeouts. Breslin finished his career at 20th and Olney as the all-time leader in games (108), saves (29) and strikeouts (221), tied for third in wins (13), and fifth in ERA (4.13) and innings (218.0).

    Prall was second on the team in batting average (.332), hits (64), doubles (11), RBI (27), and – as the catcher – helped La Salle’s staff to its best-ever ERA in the last 25 years at the school (4.83).

    The 1,011th pick of the draft, Prall finished his career at La Salle in the top 10 in five categories, including at bats (760 – 1st); hits (258 – 2nd); doubles (50 – 3rd); total bases (359 – 4th); and RBI (127 – 6th).

  10. ADAM SORGI (Philadelphia Phillies, 21st Round, 653rd Overall Selection)
    • Adam Sorgi Bio
    Sorgi earned All-Pac-10 honors for the first time in his career in 2007, while leading Stanford and ranking sixth in the Pac-10 in both batting average (.375) and on-base percentage (.451) when he returned to action after missing the entire 2006 campaign with a right shoulder injury. He hovered just under the .400 mark for the most of the 2007 campaign and ended up third on the club with 60 hits despite playing in just 42 of the team’s 56 games and making only 40 starts mostly due to his continued recovery from his shoulder injury. Sorgi was able to start each of the team’s final 37 games at second base after Stanford returned from its annual break for finals in March. The 37 consecutive starts allowed him to just exactly reach the minimum number of games he needed to play (75% of the team’s 56 contests) to officially qualify for the Pac-10 and NCAA stat leaders. His hottest stretch of the campaign came with a season-high 10-game hit streak from April 21 – May 6. Sorgi had an incredible .564 (22-39) batting average during the red-hot streak with multiple hits in eight of the 10 contests to raise his overall batting average at the end of the run to a season-high .407.

    Sorgi has a .324 (152-469) career collegiate batting average with five homers, 73 RBI and three stolen bases in 130 games played and 117 starts at Stanford. He has added 87 runs, 29 doubles, four triples, 57 walks, eight hit by pitches, eight sacrifice flies and four sacrifice bunts to go with a .435 slugging percentage and a .400 on-base mark. Sorgi also has 45 multiple-hit games, including 15 three-hit contests and a pair of four-hit games, in addition to 20 multiple-RBI contests with three on five occasions and four once. Sorgi is fielding at a career .940 clip with 28 errors in 261 defensive chances.

    “To be able to come back from my shoulder surgery and still have my talents on the baseball field recognized at the professional level is obviously exciting for me,” said Sorgi.

    Sorgi had also previously been selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 49th round (1445th pick overall) of the 2003 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

  11. MICHAEL TAYLOR (Philadelphia Phillies, 5th Round, 173rd Overall Selection)
    • Michael Taylor Bio
    Taylor earned All-Pac-10 honors for the first time in his career as a junior in 2007 when he had career-bests in nearly every offensive category, including home runs (12), RBI (59), batting average (.335) and hits (78). He also added career-bests with 16 doubles, 136 total bases and a .584 slugging percentage, while equaling career-highs in triples (3) and on-base percentage (.395). Taylor paced the team in RBI and doubles, while co-leading the club in homers, at bats, total bases and slugging percentage. He finished his 2007 season on a tear with a career-high 12-game hit streak and had multiple-hit games in 16 of his last 19 contests with a .429 batting average, seven homers and 31 RBI during the 19-game stretch.

    Taylor has put up solid numbers during his three seasons at Stanford with a career .316 batting average, 21 homers and 126 RBI. He has also added 124 runs scored, 217 hits, 45 doubles, eight triples, 341 total bases, 63 walks, 21 hit by pitches and 12 stolen bases to go with a .497 slugging percentage and a .385 on-base mark. Taylor has also been extremely durable during his collegiate career, playing in 174 of 176 possible games with 173 starts, including 140 in a row during one stretch that spanned all three of his Stanford seasons from 2005-07.

    Michael Taylor was selected in the fifth round of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday

    “Obviously, I’m very excited about the opportunity to play for the Phillies,” commented Taylor. “They’re an organization that I kind have earmarked coming into this process as a good situation for me. I’d love that opportunity to one day put on that uniform and play for the Phillies. I’m pretty excited about the opportunity that I’m getting.”

    “The three years at Stanford have helped me develop mentally and emotionally,” added Taylor. “I’ve been able to handle things at a different level. This isn’t exactly the real world but your parents are over 3,000 miles away. You have to be able to manage time a little bit better. You also have to be able to manage being able to play Stanford Baseball at this level, while at the same time trying to compete in the classroom against some of the elite minds in the country. From that standpoint I’ve been able to deal with lots of adversity and time commitments, and I think that will be very advantageous to me at the next level.”

  12. Michael Branham was a phenom in high school- i had read that he struck out 160 in about 75 innings- which i supposed to be his career numbers, but as it turns out I later saw his highschool career total was something like 267 ks. Long story short, he was a highschool phenom, maxed out his fastball near 95 mph- and as it turned out, blew out his arm from the abuse of his highschool days i guess. Couldn’t find out just what the injury was though.

  13. good info..

    seemed weird when i couldnt find any 2007 information on Branham, i guess maybe he still isnt back yet from the 2006 injury(?).. but if so, how did he get drafted..

  14. Enjoy the site. But I do think it takes a lot of stones for a fan to claim to know more than guys like Mike and Marti, who have decades of experience devoted solely to baseball scouting.

  15. It’s not about “having stones”, it’s about studying the history of the way the Phillies draft, and being able to look at a guy and figure out his worth. The draft is all about finding value and guys who can help your organization. When you draft a high number of college guys with poor numbers, where is the upside? Every once in a while, you find a gem, but for every 38th round guy that makes the majors, there are 100 who never make it to AA.

    I made plenty of disclaimers that my overall feeling on this draft could change. I’m looking at our picks and trying to find out where that player will have value down the road. Most of the guys we took in the 2nd day of the draft will never make it past Clearwater, and I’d venture that 10-15 of them won’t even be in the organization at the start of the 2008 minor league season.

  16. ….Mike and Marti and their bosses (more importantly the bosses) have had 13 years without sniffing the post-season. Their decades of experience in scouting doesn’t seem to be working to well.

  17. Actually they have done pretty well. Wolf, Utley, Rollins, Howard, Hamels, Myers and others all came through this partnership.

    When they draft college guys, they are looking at size, speed, general makeup, arm strength, control and other factors that translate to success in pro ball. I’m not sure they care too much about whether the player hit .248 or had a 5.85 ERA. Nor should they.

    I fail to understand why a 21-year-old college player has no upside. Mike and Marti aren’t doing this on a whim for a website. They are professionals doing this on the big stage — living it every moment of their lives. I think we need to consider the fact they may actually have reasons for making the decisions they make.

  18. while you make a good point jake, a 21 year old college pitcher being looked at solely for his size, speed, and general makeup is a huge risk to take when you could be looking at kids with similar make up at the HS level. Drafting HS players gives u about 3 more years to refine their skills as they mature. Guys 4 years into college are usually harder to look at solely on projection because they have a track record, and are already set into their technique. Judging them on the same scale means that u assume they take the same amount of time to mature. Why in the world would you rather have a 26 year old kid struggling to make the majors as opposed to a young 22 year old with time to adapt.

  19. some might sign in the next day or 2, and then hightail their butts down to clearwater, others will start to discuss things and really mull over their deals vs their scholarships, possibily delaying things until closer to august. Depends on the kids situation.

  20. Mattair Going Cross Country
    Posted Jun. 7, 2007 6:03 pm by Nathan Rode
    Filed under: Draft Day

    Traivs Mattair got popped 83rd overall by the Philadelphia Phillies. He is the highest pick ever for Coach Tim Sanders at Southridge HS in Washington. The thirdbaseman was getting a little stressed after hearing different projections, but was ecstatic when he heard the announcement. “I was sitting with my family and my girlfriend’s family,” Mattair said over the phone. “I saw my grandmother crying.”

    Mattair added that the cross country trip won’t bother him because he’s just ready to play ball.

  21. Jake: You make some good points but I think that you may misunderstand the nature of the criticism. Speaking for myself, I think that Mike and Marti are quality talent evaluators. In fact, I give them tons of credit for identifying and developing some studs- more all-stars than most teams. However, a history of the Phillies drafting shows a complete aversion to spend more money than average. We had some extra picks this year, but will fail to increase payroll. College players are significantly cheaper and significantly less projectable (most men physically mature while in college- those three years are huge). The outcome of this style of drafting is the current Phillies- forced to overspend for bench and filler players rather than being able to fill them cheaply through the farm system. We should be able to allow good but not great players to walk so that we can replace them with younger, cheaper talent giving the team payroll flexibility to use on high-end talent that can push a team over the top. That is the upside of having depth. If Garcia is out for awhile (or we find out he’s healthy and just sucks), who do we call up? We should have guys ready to be capable major leaguers in Ottawa, but we don’t because we either develop a stud like Cole (a first round pick) or nothing. Our frustration stems from the fact that we know the Phillies are cheap, but ownership is stupid as well because an extra 2 mil per year in development could save 6-8 mil per year on the Eatons and Barajas of the world at the major league level. Mike and Marti do the best that they can but are limited in their options by Monty. If they had the Red Sox development budget, I believe that Mike and Marti would have given us rings by now.

  22. To tell the truth, assessing our draft is fun and worth lots of discussion. But the real evaluations will really begin when the signing start through the August date when players not signed go back in the pool for ’08.

    So…who signs will allow further evaluations which will continue into the playing season as we watch those signed.

    Right now, it seems to me that that hit the ball out of the park w their several first dozen picks.

    Two 3rd basemen addressed our most urgent need; catcher was answered with Frenchy D’arnoud. And, we got a college lefty to go w Hamels in a couple/three years who likely will be a “steal” from our 19th position.

    Several prep pitchers with possible good upsides and a of/lhp who just might be schooled to be a lefty reliever…instead of the of.

    Taylor is their attempt to grab another Ryan Howard who himself was drafted in the 4th or 5th round after having a poor season in college.

    So on to the 2nd draft day….

    Remember that signability is a much greater factor now that the draftees must be signed by mid-august or go back in the pool for ’08.

    Teams are surely adjusting their draft choices in light of this new reality. So those MAYBE signees are likely to be drafted in later rounds after the more signable guys.

    In these circumstances, the Phils along w most other teams tried to choose the most needed/most signable at that level, which is what they did w their first several choices one or two of them being picked slighly ahead of where they may have been slotted.

    The grabbing of so many college pitchers IMO will result in 3-4=5 of them being useful as starters or relievers SINCE THE REALLY HIGH VALUE PITCHERS HAD ALREADY BEEN CHOSEN.

    We ALL know that the draft is crystal-ball gazing; only time will tell depending on who is signed.

    Without much more info right now I’d rate this Phils’ draft as a solid B…which could go up or down a tick depending on signing and 1st season performance.

  23. First, let’s dispense with the myth repeated several times above that signability is more of an issue now than prior to changes in draft, because daf is gone. That makes close to zero sense. The Phillies sign about 1 daf every other season, so it has close to zilch impact on Phillies signings. This year we signed zero daf. Actually, I think signability less of an issue than in past, because you get a makeup pick next year that is virtually the same as your unsigned first rounder from this season, instead of falling all the way to sandwich round as in years past. So far, far less risk to not sign your first rounder. Also, you get makeup picks for unsigned 2nd and 3rd rounders for the first time, so far far less risk there also.

    The accolades of Phillies minors are misplaced. We ranked in bottom third of baseball in strength of minors coming into the season, and have undoubtedly fallen with the trade of Gio and some bad performances from top prospects. Pointing to home grown talent on the big Phillies measures the years ago then strength of the draft/farm, not the current weakness.

    It doesn’t take anything approaching Wolever/Arby ability to judge the draft. You can tell how ambitious the draft is by how many high ceiling youngsters are picked early. When you see college seniors picked in first 10 rounds, you know it is a cheap draft. We can debate whether Savery is or isn’t too much of an injury risk and whether or not D’Arnaud will ever have a major league bat. Marti clearly knows more on these topics than we do. But we certainly observe the paucity of harder to sign high school players in the early rounds where the team has a chance to sign them.

    And Squires point is also valid. Given the abject failure of this organization to reach post-season since 1993, they clearly are not developing enough talent. Can’t argue with the lack of success.

  24. I don’t like being overly critical of the Phillies, but sometimes it’s just too easy. I mean, when you’re taking a 5th year senior in the first 10 rounds of the draft, clearly you’re mailing it in. We’re not the Red Sox or Yankees, I don’t have visions of taking 15 highly rated prepsters and signing 9 or 10 of them, but it would be nice to see us take 15 high ceiling guys and maybe sign 5 of them. That’s how you inject more talent into a failing farm system. And yes, our farm system is not in good shape. I like our pitching, we’ve got a lot of guys with potential, but our hitting prospects probably rival the Nationals for worst crop in all of baseball, top to bottom. The Nats have the best player of the bunch with Marrero though.

    A good indication of the strength of a draft is when you start taking college seniors, and then looking at the high school guys you take a flier on. Sampson is the only blue chip guy we took, Adzik is extremely raw and is a lot more of a project. There are some interesting guys there, but not a lot of potential blue chip talent. The problem is, even the college guys we took are very low ceiling guys. Spencer in the 3rd round? That’s really not good.

    Sure, I don’t have access to all of the info that Wolever and Arbuckle do, but as you see nearly every other day, the guys who get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to make the big decisions don’t always get them right. Heck, our GM didn’t think it was necessary to give an MRI to our prized free agent acquisition, who apparently has been pitching hurt since the end of last year. Did they know more than me? Apparently not, as I saw Garcia pitch and saw his velocity last year, and I knew something had to be wrong.

    I have no problem with people criticizing my opinions, that’s what this blog is for, but I do take exception to the angle that we should just trust Wolever, Arbuckle and others because they get paid a lot of money to make decisions. Even the best make mistakes, and some guys make a lot more mistakes than others.

  25. “I like our pitching, we’ve got a lot of guys with potential…”

    While I agree with just about everything you say in the above
    post, I don’t agree with you about our pitching. Yes, you and
    a lot of other people thought we had loads of pitching prospects
    before the season began. But look at those “prospects” now! If
    Myers stays in the pen (as I think he should) who do we have in
    the system to bring up to replace Garcia? Kendrick may be the
    closest, but he’s anything but dominating in AA. I like him, but
    I think he would get shelled at the Bank. He does not have
    powerful stuff IMO. Who else is there among our AA or AAA
    pitchers? Nobody that I can see. Maybe the closest is Bubba
    Nelson. He might have the best stuff of anyone on the active
    rosters. It is not, in short, a pretty picture–even when one
    goes down to A level (where all are “real” prospects are supposed
    to be). That’s the way it looks to me at this point in the
    season anyway.

  26. I didn’t mean in the upper minors. I readily admit our AA/AAA combination is arguably the worst in baseball, maybe ahead of only the Giants and Nationals. When I say I like our pitching, I’m speaking largely to guys in Lakewood and Clearwater. Of course, it doesn’t mean much until you get to AA.

    I actually think Kendrick has held his own at AA this year. His K rate in 2006 was 6.61/9 in High A, this year it’s 5.86 in AA. Sure, you want that number at least around 7.50, but it’s not a huge dropoff. On the flip side, his walk rate in 2006 was 2.75/9, this year it’s down to 2.00/9. In my opinion, him knocking .75 walks per 9 off his 2006 total is more important than him losing .8 K/9. Last year, he GB:FB was 1.27, this year it’s 1.57.

    Is he major league ready? No, but I think he’s actually elevated his prospect status to this point.

  27. looks like there are now two in the fold

    “Chapman, who recently wrapped up his degree in recreation administration at Oral Roberts, is set to pitch for Philadelphia’s short-season affiliate in Williamsport, Pa. ”


    “Bacsu was expecting a call from that Phillies scout either late Friday or today to let him know where he would be assigned.”


  28. I think the underlying, unspoken fact is that with two extra picks by round 3, the Phillies did not budget for the extra signing bonus money. They’re trying to wring the savings out by drafting the 5th-year seniors in rounds 5-10. I’d wager those players will be offered just enough below-slot money to make it a financial wash through the 10th round.

    When it comes to buying HS players out of scholarships, there are a couple of things to consider. First, a four-year education now costs $140,000 at an elite college, so that’s the minimum offer (unless you’re dealing with a kid who might have trouble staying academically eligible — certainly not the case with that surgeon’s son). Second, the family is going to gauge the risk/reward situation — the chance of an injury over three college seasons ending the kid’s career vs. the chance of continued improvement leading to a high-six-figure or better bonus three years down the road. This is where scouting a family comes into play; is there any evidence the Phillies are good at that?

    The other unknown factor is which Latin players are being pursued. Bonuses in Latin America keep going up; the Phillies approach there has been to round up lots of cheap arms and hope some pan out. Maybe they’re after someone of a higher caliber and want to save some bucks in El Norte. Then again, that would be a new direction, something our “brain” “trust” isn’t known for.

  29. Zach Cleveland, RHP, Golden HS

    At a glance: Fastball is best pitch, but scouts saw velocity drop from 88 to 91 mph at start of senior season to 85 to 86 mph at end of year. Decent breaking ball. Committed to Central Arizona Junior College.

  30. hey guys, lay off rizzotti. you’re gonna love the kid. and dont believe everything you read in baseball america

  31. “When it comes to buying HS players out of scholarships, there are a couple of things to consider. First, a four-year education now costs $140,000 at an elite college, so that’s the minimum offer ”

    I’m not familiar with how it works, but MLB has a scholarship program- I think the way it probably works is that the phils pay into it- but at that point i have no idea if its a yearly thing, or based on how many bonus’s they include a scholarship offer with. But it doesn’t come from the phillies as far as I know.

  32. I’m actually friends with Penn Charter P Mark Adzick, who was taken in the 18th round. He told me yesterday that he was going to Wake for sure. He said that if was drafted in the first 5 rounds and got the money he was looking for, he would have gone pro.

  33. In the next couple days, I’m going to create a page at the top next to the prospect tracker to reflect our entire draft, and then put symbols next to their name when they sign. Some guys are still playing (Savery) so they can’t sign yet, and others like Mattair have already indicated they will sign soon.

  34. That rizzotti pick is not a bad one, actually could have went a round or two higher, and last year in the Cape Cod League everyone’s averages struggled. His average wasn’t bad considering it is a perrenial pitchers league and looking at the averages of the other players. I think there were only 3 players batting above .300, 1 of which was Weiters who was the only person who hit consistently. Rizzotti still managed to finish very high to the league lead in RBI’s and OBP. He shold wind up hitting for a decent average.

  35. i have personally seen jacob diekman pitch and he pitch 19 straight hitless in and mon 9 games in a row with an era of 0.74

  36. I’ll start out by saying that as of 9:41pm and the deadling very near, all rumors disappointedly point towards WORKMAN going to TEXAS…. but after reading your summary of the draft–are you ready to “alter” your RIGHTFULLY skeptical image of the PHILLS??

    signed 27 of top 30 picks and of the players you listed as GOOD PICKS: only BENOIT & MAHLER are unsigned (i have to admit I TOO AM SHOCKED they are spending $390K on Sampson– and am even more STUNNED that they signed all these high-college bound prospects…..

    Just asking your thoughts and wondering if you’re as shocked YET pleasantly surprised as me.


  37. I must comment on the Mattair pick, I coached “Moose” Mattair for 3 years and can tell you this kid is a future star. He WILL learn and WILL be the 3rd baseman of the future for the Phills. After watchinf Wes Helms hack and miss and Nunez barely be able to reach the outfield grass with hsi version of a well hit ball you will all love Moose. The guy has the ability to take a team and carry it to a championship. Get his autograph now! I love this kid and he will never be a clown on or off the field.

  38. Nathaniel James aka Jiawn is one of the best all around players i have ever seen and i ust to go to Williston schools and anyone would be crazy not to sign him

  39. she googled his name, found this year+-old post, and assumed we meant the phillies didn’t want him??

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