Its time to put a bow on the 2009 Draft. As is the case with every draft, you won’t know how good the draft was until the smoke clears at the deadline and you see who was signed and who went to school. The Phillies, as was pretty predictable, took a lot of college seniors today and also a bunch of high school kids. The college guys are picked to make up the numbers, if any of them get a cup of coffee in the bigs in the future, then that was a success. If the Phillies sign 1 of the high school kids, its a big bonus. So lets have a look at who was taken today and then wrap up all of the selections with a game plan for getting these guys signed.
Update: According to Todd Zolecki’s Twitter, the Phillies have signed Dugan.
I’m going to be brief on a lot of these guys, so lets just jump right in
R31 – David Doss, C (South Alabama) – College senior, ranked 13th in AL by Baseball America, nothing to add.
R32 – Kevin Angelle, LHP (San Jacinto JC, TX) – BA has nothing on him, no scouting bureau video, so I won’t speculate. He’s 6’3, 195. Thats all I can tell you.
R33 – Collin Kleven, RHP (Mountain SS, Canada) – A pure projection pick. He just turned 18 in April and is already 6’5, 200 pounds, which is the definition of a projectable frame. He’s extremely raw, as Canada isn’t a baseball hotbed (though it is improving), so college seems likely. If his delivery can be tweaked slightly (lots of moving parts, throws straight over the top), he could turn into something. He was ranked 15th out of the 17 Canadian prospects BA ranked, most likely due to just how much of a project he is.
R34 – Arthur Griffin, RHP (San Diego) – Griffin is a junior, and its tough to figure out why he lasted this long. He allowed less than 1 hit per inning, walked 32 and struck out 85 in 81 innings this year. He’s not overpowering, his bureau video had him in the 87-90 range and I didn’t see a breaking ball. He wasn’t ranked in CA.
R35 – Phil Aviola, C (Wilmington) – College senior, no real clue. BA ranked 52 guys in Deleware, but not him. So yeah, I don’t know.
R36 – Matt McConnell, 2B (Metro State, CO) – College senior. Unranked. I know nothing.
R37 – Brodie Greene, 2B (Texas A&M) – Greene is a junior, so he has some leverage, and BA’s writeup of him sounds intriguing. He was converted from the OF to 2B, can switch hit and has good speed. He seems like a grinder type, not someone who will wow you. But we’re talking about the 37th round here. Looking at his scouting video, he holds his hands real high and kind of forward, which creates a loop in his swing. I have to think that will hurt him against better pitching/velocity. Nevertheless, you can’t expect much here. If the Phillies offer him $5K to sign, he’s probably better off returning for his senior season. BA had him ranked 33rd out of 110 prospects in Texas, which makes him a bit of a find this late if he signed.
R38 – Cory Wine, 1B (Penn State) – College senior, Penn State. No info on him, sorry.
R39 – Samuel Kidd, RHP (Ohio County HS, KY) – He’s 6’2/180, decent frame, but wasn’t written up or mentioned by BA’s draft preview, so I have no clue how good he is. He’s got a commitment to Kentucky, Kentucky does a good job with retention, see ya in 3 years.
R40 – Robert Amaro, 3B (Penn Charter HS, PA) – Hey, its Ruben’s nephew! He’s going to UVA. Moving on.
R41 – Jeff Gelalich, OF (Bonita HS, CA) – Gelalich was overshadowed by prep teammate Jiovanni Mier who went early, but he’s a projectable athlete, not surprising, and looks like he’s headed to UCLA. BA had him at 110 out of 150 prospects rated in CA.
R42 – Matt Laney, LHP (Miami Dade CC, FL) – Laney is a JuCo guy from Florida in his second year, and I have no other info on him. He’s committed to Coastal Carolina.
R43 – Francois Lafreniere, RHP (Ahuntsic, Canada) – Like fellow Canadian Phillies pick Collin Kleven, Lafreniere is very raw. He was taken by the Giants last year 9 rounds earlier, and he’s still all projection. I suspect he’s not signing again this year.
R44 – Brian Feekin, LHP (Iowa Western) – JuCo guy, third year in this case, and again, I have no info on him. See a pattern developing here?
R45 – Richard Bain, OF (Trinity Christian Academy, FL) – Bain is 6’3/180, and that’s the extent of my knowledge on him. I’m not aware of a college commitment from him, and he went unranked.
R46 – Jeff Ames, RHP (Skyview HS, WA) – Ames is a bit of an underachiever, didnt really put it together, and ends up way down in the 46th round. He’s tall (6’4) and obviously has some projection, but his fastball is kind of flat and his delivery has a lot of moving parts. He’s committed to Oregon State, which seems like a safe bet. The Phillies really do love Washington state, don’t they? BA had him 29th out of 33 prospects ranked in Washington.
R47 – Ryan Bollinger, 1B (Magic City HS, ND) – I’ve found no writeup on Bollinger, but he’s a big kid already at 6’6/185, so who knows what he’s going to look like when he’s done adding weight to his frame. His draft video shows him pitching, but he was drafted as a 1B, which is kind of odd. His delivery looks kind of rough and he’s clearly all projection at this point. He’s committed to Iowa Western CC, which is where they grabbed 44th round pick Brian Feekin from.
R48 – Wander Nunez, OF (Frankford, PA) – No clue here. He looks like he can run a little bit, and he fouled off two balls into the batting cage net in his draft video, that’s always entertaining when they use THOSE swings to showcase the guy’s skills. No idea if he’s committed anywhere or if he’s anything to think about. BA has nothing on him.
R49 – Chris Gosik, 3B (Malven Prep, PA) – No clue. Committed to East Carolina though, so probably not worth worrying about.
R50 – David Hissey, OF (Emory, PA) – Hissey is the older brother of Pete Hissey, a guy the Red Sox gave a huge bonus to last year to keep him away from school. He’s a senior. He’s our last pick. That’s it.
There you go. Of this entire group, the only guys I’d be even remotely intrigued by are Kleven, Greene, Gelalich, and Bollinger. I’m assuming one or two of the college seniors will sign, but I doubt that any of the prep guys are signing unless they really just don’t want to go to college and will take a tiny sum to just start playing now. Doesn’t seem like there is a real Jared Cosart type guy in here, except maybe Gelalich.
I kind of outlined all of the financial implications of this draft yesterday in my Day 2 review. The 2007 estimated budget was around $4M, the 2008 estimated budget was about $6.5M. In 2008 there were 3 extra picks that had to be signed, hence a rise in the overall budget. So now you have to start to make guesses. Does the World Series win and all that comes with it (strong ticket sales this year, merchandise, etc etc) mean that the money spent in the draft this year will stay the same or, gasp, maybe even increase? You can make a good argument that the Phillies should, at least, keep spending the same. That would mean about $6-6.5M this year.
So let’s just start going down the list.
R2 – Dugan – Rumor is that he’s pumped to sign and start his career. It seems the Phillies may have overdrafted him in the 2nd round, but did so because his magic number (will be referred to as MN$ from here on out) was right around the slot recommendation for the Phillies pick in Round 2. Slot in that area is around $500K. Let’s just say he signs there for that amount.
R3 – Hudson – The slot here is around $300K. I think its going to take more than that to get him to sign. This seems like a pick the Phillies may have normally made much later, but took him here so that when they have to go over the slot recommendation, the number is only 100% higher than slot as opposed to 500% higher, if that makes sense. It looks better to give a guy $600K when the slot recommendation is $300K than to give a guy $600K when the recommendation is less than $25K. Let’s just assume he signs for $500K just to keep things simple.
At this point we’d be at $1M for our first two picks.
I’m going to assume that Buschini and Way will sign for below slot deals. The combined slot for these two picks is about $330K, I think Buschini gets slightly less than slot, and Way a bit less than slot. Lets just say Buschimi gets $175K (slot is $200K) and Way gets $100K (slot is around $150K), so add $275K to the tally and you’re at about $1.3M.
I don’t think Inch is going to sign. Its just a hunch. But that brings us to the biggest item in the draft, Brodie Colvin. As I mentioned in yesterday’s writeup, Colvin was ranked in the 40’s overall, which makes him a sandwich round talent. The signing bonus in the comp round is somewhere between $750K-1M. I think its going to take the upper end of that number to keep Colvin away from college. He’s a power arm, there isn’t much to not like about his profile. If the team had its first round pick at 27 and took him there, then offered him the $1.2M slot recommendation, I think its a fair bet he’d have turned pro. If they offer him $1M at this point, I think he signs. And if he does, then you can essentially consider him our first round pick. Just for giggles, let’s put a $1M tag on him, assume its offered, and assume its accepted. It could take less, but lets just assume. That brings the money spent to $2.3M.
Singleton is another guy that it seems they’ll make a run at. He’s not as tough a sign, though he’ll still take much more than the $100-125K you’d normally give an 8th round pick. Let’s just assume $500K here, which is what Pettibone got last year as a supplemental 3rd round pick. That’s $2.8M spent.
Altherr seems like a good bet to head to college, and then you’ve got a bunch of college guys in Zied, Barnes, and Hernandez, so its a nominal amount of money. They’d still be close to or right under $3M spent. A bunch of folks here seem excited by the Sasaki pick, I’m indifferent because I still don’t know enough to form an opinion. Sam Houston State isn’t exactly the University of Texas in terms of college commitments, but it gives him options. Is he a $250K type guy? That would be a 3rd/4th round type bonus. I’ll be adventurous and just assume its $250K, which seems high. That would bring us to, for round numbers sake, $3.3M.
So, if we stop for a second in this theoretical exercise, lets recap. I’ve spent $3.3M of the team’s money and signed
Dugan, Hudson, Buschini, Way, Colvin, Singleton, Zied, Barnes, Hernandez and Sasaki. I’m assuming that Inch (6th round) and Altherr (9th round) are going to school. So that’s 11 of the first 13 picks signed for $3.3M, or about $700K less than the team spent on their entire 2007 draft.
Now we have Jake Stewart. Stewart is another premium talent, he’s taken in the range where the Phillies have busted slot before (Sampson was a 12th round pick), and the team was heavily linked to him prior to the draft. There have been conflicting reports on him. The latest I’ve read is that he really wants to play baseball, and that’s where his future is. So that opens the door slightly. But he’s not going to come cheap, and its going to take a mid 6 figure deal (in my opinion) to even get him thinking. Does the team spend $750K on him in the 14th round? That would bring them up to their budget spent on the 2007 draft, but still well below the total outlay last year. I won’t make a decision here yet.
Hyatt will cost pennies (or nothing) as a 5th year senior. That brings us to the last big talking point of the draft, Andrew Susac. He was ranked #112 overall in the country, so obviously he’s going to be expensive, if hes even signable. He’s committed to Oregon State, a quality program, so its going to take big money to sign him away. Does he justify a mid 6 figures bonus? We’ll come back to that in a minute.
Our remaining 33 picks are, for the most part, uneventful in my opinion. The college guys they want to sign will be cheap as they are seniors, with the exception of a guy like Brodie Greene who still has eligibility left. The JuCo guys are slightly different, they have options. Chad Poe, taken last year, got $100K late to turn pro. Are any of our JuCo guys worth that type of deal? I can’t say, but if one of them is signed, it will be in that neighborhood, but more likely less. So if you evaluate these 33 picks, you’ve got 3 interesting flier types (Kleven, Gelalich, and Bollinger), but none of them will command near the money that it will take to land Stewart or Susac.
I paused at Stewart and the money spent (theoretically) was $3.3M. If you just add $200K total spent on the college guys/JuCo guys in rounds 18-50, that brings the total to about $3.5M. Then you address Stewart, Susac and then the trio of guys taken at the end. You can hit a home run, sign both Stewart and Susac, and then grab one of the high school guys in that last trio. Or sign one of Stewart/Susac and one of the late trio. Or sign none of them.
I think, looking at everything in general terms and comparing it to the last two years, the team could afford to sign the guys mentioned, plus Stewart and Susac, plus one of the late trio, and still be under the money they spent last year. I think priority #1 is figuring out a way to get Colvin to sign, even if it means a seven figure bonus.
As picks are signed, we can check back on this thought exercise and see what things look like. I’m not going to make any firm judgments on the draft until after the deadline. If the team uses its money and signs the premium talents it took, there’s a chance for this draft to be as good as last year’s. Last year was a perfect storm, lots of picks, lots of quality talent signed, and even some of the fringe guys (Stutes) having big years this year too. Its not really fair to expect every draft to be a home run, but if the Phillies don’t sign Colvin, Stewart or Susac, then I think it has to be looked at as a big missed opportunity. If they open their wallets and the players just decide school is too much to pass up (Gerrit Cole and the Yankees last year), then there’s not much you can do. But I do think a full court press is needed here, and I hope the Phillies take full advantage of being able to tell draftees “this is a lot of money we’re offering you to one day play for the World Champions”.
Check back in on August 17th and we’ll see what happens.