2009 Draft Recap

I think at this writing its safe to assume there are no more announcements coming. The Phillies big move of the day was, as previously discussed, signing RHP Brody Colvin, the team’s 7th round pick, and this turned out to be the only move of the day. The Phillies ended up signing 34 of their 49 picks, and based on the calculations I discussed earlier, they spent about $2.745M on their reported bonuses. Colvin’s bonus, $900K, was the largest bonus the team gave out, and was one of the more sizable bonuses given by any team after the 5th round. Check below for more…

As I documented earlier, the Phillies spent about $3.6M in 2007, about $6.5M in 2008, and now about $2.75M in 2009. One of the big storylines going into this draft was going to be how the Phillies would approach the draft under Amaro, as most of the draft figureheads (sans Arbuckle) were still in the fold. The Phillies seemed to continue the trend of targeting raw athletes and mixing that in with college seniors who could step in and help fill the organizational depth charts. They targeted pure athletes and projectable pitchers, and things basically played out in similar fashion. Last year represented an extremely aggressive draft in terms of dollars spent and players targeted, this year they appeared to back off a bit, but at first glance, this draft is better than the 2007 draft was. I say this when thinking about how I felt the day after the signing deadline in 2007, as to how I felt at this time last year, and how I feel today. Last year we got the big Cosart surprise, this year we got the Colvin signing, which to be honest, didn’t look all that promising earlier today. The Phillies didn’t really go “cheap” in the first 10 rounds this year. Dugan and Buschini basically signed for slot, Hudson signed for $475K, which was $175K more than the recommended bonus. Way was a big under slot deal, saving the team about $115K, but they immediately gave it back with the Inch pick, signing him for $300K, double the recommended slot and 3 times more than your “average” 6th-10th round pick is normally going to receive. Colvin’s $900K bonus was 6 times the max recommendation of $150K after the 5th round, Singleton got $50K more than the max recommendation, and Altherr signed for the number exactly, both bonuses were more than the $100K estimated average. Zeid, a senior sign, came very cheaply in the 10th round, but that’s hardly a misstep considering everything else.

This draft class, as a whole, wasn’t very deep. My gut reaction to the first set of guys (Dugan, Hudson, Buschini and Way) was muted at best. I warmed up to them slightly, but I still think more could have been done here. I loved the Colvin pick at the time, I love it just as much now, and he’s obviously the centerpiece of this draft right now. Singleton has hit well in the GCL, that looks promising. Inch, well, he’s going to be a project, so give him time. And really give all of these guys at least a year before you jump to conclusions one way or the other. Almost everyone hated the Hewitt pick last year, and so far, you can kind of see why people were down on the pick. But even he’s got plenty of time to figure it out. The Phillies ended up with 6 high school guys in their first 9 picks. With prepsters, you really don’t know. Look at Trevor May from last year. I was more excited about May than just about anyone else, his signing didn’t get a ton of publicity or excite a lot of folks, but he’s tearing up Lakewood and looks worth the investment.

My takeaway from this draft is pretty simple. The Phillies aren’t going to just draft college seniors anymore and spend nothing on the draft. They’re going to continue to draft premium athletes and focus on guys who are big projects going forward. And they’re likely going to bust slot selectively, grab the guys they like, try and work out deals with others, and if they can get guys for a reasonable return, they’ll spend the money. They won’t emulate the Red Sox, Yankees and Tigers by completely dominating a draft and grabbing 6 or 7 elite talents, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be successful.

I’m planning on writing a longer piece focusing on the value of draft picks, why bonuses are merited for “unproven amateurs”, and why the decisions on these concepts are really much more difficult than people make it seem. Today (the 17th) was the busiest day in the site’s history, cracking 25,000 hits for the first time ever. Thank you to everyone who found this place for the first time, I hope you’ll come back. Thanks also to the regulars for continuing to come back, and thanks to those of you who tracked down info and posted articles/tidbits as they became available.

I was thinking about one more thing too. I’ve read a lot of stuff recently in a lot of places bashing Scott Boras. I’d just like to say, I think that’s completely misguided. Boras has one job; get the best deal for his client. Amateur players use agents as “advisors” until they officially turn pro, then the advisor becomes the agent. At the end of the day, the person being advised can simply choose to do what he wants. In the case of Strasburg, if it was 11:57 (and this is all just hypotheticals) and Boras was still saying that he wanted $20M, and the Nats said the final offer is $15.5M, Scott Boras can’t stop Strasburg from taking that deal. If you look at his client list, you see a lot of really well paid athletes. The Boras haters will scream “look at Matt Harrington!”, and they have a point, until you realize that Matt Harrington is an adult, and he could have easily canned Boras and signed the first time he was drafted, the second time, or the third time. He didn’t sign, and that’s ultimately his call. If I was a pro baseball player with elite ability, I’d take Boras as my advisor from Day One. When it came time to make a decision, I’d take his advice on one hand, look at my offer on the other hand, and then make my decision. But just as you wouldn’t enter a gun fight with a knife, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not trying to have the best representation possible. Boras represents the players’ interest in this game of cat and mouse. I’m more likely to side with the players than cloak and dagger ownership groups, ownership groups that have a legal monopoly which has basically allowed them to print money over the last 10-15 years.

Anyway, that was just something else I wanted to comment on. Discuss the Phillies 2009 draft here. I already can’t wait for the 2010 draft.

76 thoughts on “2009 Draft Recap

  1. Love this site. I need a day off after todays adventure with this site. My mouse clicking finger needs a break after hitting refresh a record number of times. Great team work on different people finding info and bringing to us as we waiting to be fed with info.

  2. To bolster your point, it is worth noting that Tommy Tanzer was Harrington’s original agent, not Boras.

  3. Just to state it again: GREAT SITE!!

    I really enjoyed all the ‘insiders’ that posted on the draft signings over the last few days. Even with all of those facts/rumors, we all had to wait for the final statement from the Phillies’ Management to know for sure.

    I am all for the Phillies signing all their draft picks just to have more talent in the system. But as you pointed out, there has to be some appropriate value placed on each pick making some not worth the cost or roster space. I like the general ‘plan’ to have ‘backup’ picks in the late rounds just in case a higher round guy changes his demands.

    Applying my opinion to the 2009 Phillies Draft I am still surprised they chose and signed so many OF. I am okay with leaving Stewart despite his obvious talent. I really wanted Susac due to his position premium. Even if he becomes a below average hitter his plus defense could still make him a backup major league Catcher. I really wanted Brodie Greene today out of the lower round guys as a middle infielder but maybe he was just insurance against Buschini. Mattair and Hewitt remain our best hope at 3B, yuck.

    Colvin was critical being the only ‘top tier’ talent. Very happy with Singleton, since a power 1B who can hit for decent avg is non-existent in the system. I think Hudson is redundant to other toolsy OF (esp. Gose) and not real high on Dugan or Altherr either. Some of the early signed pitchers in top 15 look good (Way, Zeid, Hyatt) but against younger competition. Inch and Sasaski are the projection pitchers.

    Without Stewart and Susac only 3 top 200 BA players? That is well below average considering we did have 6 picks in top 200. I guess Mitchell is Susac’s ‘back-up’ and we got Hudson so no need for Stewart. Since I have no really reference personally to rank this draft compared to other Phillies or the league in general, I would just say I think it probably falls below average: Colvin becomes our 1st round pick but then not much excitement from the lower rounds.

  4. Great work as always, James. It seems like every important date — the draft, a big midseason trade, deadline day — you’re setting new records for site hits. It’s well-deserved.

    Overall, I’m happy with this year’s haul. I do think that the organization scaled it back a bit this year in part because of the major league payroll, but the seemingly large gulf between last year’s $6.5 million and this year’s $2.75 million can also be chalked up in large part to the sheer number of picks we had in last year’s draft — as you had in your chart from today’s initial post, slot money for our Top 10 round picks last year amounted to $5.3 million, while this year it only amounted to $1.6 million. The end result is the same: the organization still spent just over a million more than slot.

    The big picture takeaway is, as you said, positive: it looks like there will be no more 2007’s, and even “conservative” years like this one will still see the organization bust slot selectively for worthy guys, the Cosarts, Shreves, and Colvins of the world.

  5. I can’t stand Scott Boras but I will be the first to admit its because he’s so bloody good at his job. I can’t blame a player trying to cash in on as much as he can during his career as they honestly don’t know if they’ll ever have another big payday.

    I’m happy we signed Colvin but disappointed we didn’t get Susac or Stewart.

  6. Awesome job as always, James. And I was discussing Boras with a coworker yesterday (I’m not a fan) – that is an excellent write-up on him.

    While I would say that this year was a nice draft, I think it reinforces just how good last year’s draft was on every level – not only did the team really buck up, but they got some premium talent that has already paid some huge dividends.

    – Jeff

  7. I know much less about the draft and the players than others do (although I’m learning). The comments on the site are sounding to me like the grade for this draft is around a C+ or B-. PP, Friar, what do you think?

  8. I’ll always take the pitcher with upside over all else. Colvin was the guy they really needed to sign and they signed him. Stewart was always just a shot in the dark as was Susac. My sense was that the two of them always wanted more than any team felt they were worth at this point. Colvin however was about agreeing on an amount and the kid probably got an extra $100k from his stalling anf going to LSU. I hope he pitches as well….

  9. I’m as happy as the next guy about signing Colvin, but I think the highest this draft could be rated is a B. Not a lot of high-ceiling talent. Definitely some intriguing guys (my favorites are Hudson and Singleton), but the Phils had opportunities to do more. They could have drafted more high-ceiling guys but chose to draft off-the-radar guys instead. For the high-ceiling guys they did draft, they decided not to pay up for two of the three.

    In addition, I was not pleased with their selections in that they signed only 4 MIs and zero 3Bs, and none of the MIs were projectable high schoolers. Someone is going to have to play short and second at the GCL next year…I guess some DSL guys?

    Regarding Colvin, some people were talking about him as a power pitcher and the best young pitcher in our system. I do not think he profiles as a power pitcher since he throws in the low 90s. Also, since he has not been pitching for all that long, he needs some polish. I definitely think Trevor May is our best young pitcher, and I would currently put Pettibone ahead of Colvin just because he’s had some success at W’port. I hope Colvin proves that he can start at Lakewood next year – perhaps he’ll take the same route as Trevor May? But he’ll be competing with Cosart and Shreve for innings, so Lakewood is not a given in my mind.

    Finally, to second PP’s point about Angelle, he did not have very good results in college, and it’s not like he was pitching in the Pac-10. He basically had one really good game in college where he put it all together and sold the Phils’ scout on him. Maybe he’ll develop more consistency, but one would think he could have done that already.

  10. It sounds to me like people think that Colvin can, with refinement, develop into a true power pitcher. We’ll soon see if that’s true.

  11. if you take a step back, it really looks like the phillies believed what most scouts said, that overall, 2009 was not a good draft year, talent wise. which is why they didn’t invest much. probably a smart move. they cherry picked a few guys, but weren’t willing to pay crazy prices to land average talent. i think that susac is a good example. if you read wolver’s quote, it looks like they didn’t see susac as a talent similar to d’arnoud, while that was the price he wanted.

    my guess is, in 3-4 years we will probably look at this year as a thin year. 1, maybe 2 guys might rise to the occasion. but it won’t carry our big club. maybe there is an international signing out there that they are eying. or maybe they want to save up for 2010, which i have heard looks to be a stronger draft class. who knows?

    in reality, this draft is all about colvin. whether he wanted the pressure or not, he’s got it. if he becomes a true #2 or #3 pitcher, then it will have been a successful, if not economical draft in a lean year…Let’s go Brody!!! we are all rooting for you.

  12. Boston Phan – My impression is that if you thrown in the low 90’s in high school with limited pitching/mechanics tutelage, especially when you are 6’3″ & 195 lbs and can grow into the frame, then you project as a power pitcher.

  13. Doesn’t Colvin project to throw in the 93-95 range? Wouldn’t that make him a power pitcher?

    From PP:
    Colvin has a lightning fast arm and a very projectable frame. He’s already got present low 90’s heat and could sit in the 93-95 range when he’s done maturing physically.

    Seems like a lot asking Colvin to get to Lakewood in 2010 – it’s doubtful he’ll pitch in any GCL games this year, right? May was at least able to get into 5 GCL games last season.

    Still, age-wise May is almost exactly a year older than Colvin, so I guess it’s possible.

  14. Great info as always PP.
    My thought on Boras is that an agent can do well for the client without being unethical, which I believe he is many times. I also agree that the final say is with the athlete, and I have less respect for any player that has Boras as his agent. I believe Boras influences his clients to act in a slimy way (ie Manny Ramirez). Are a lot of the owners slime…sure. But Boras will always rub me the wrong way, just like the LA Clippers owner or other jerks, owner or agent disgust me.

  15. Boston a little off topic but you to me would be the one to answer this question. Do you remember the scouting report on the marlins pitcher johnson, he is really good just wondering about him coming into the draft, thanks

  16. I would hope Colvin can get to Lakewood next year though I also would not mind if they took the same route as with May. 6 weeks in extended spring and then the last 60% of the season at Lakewood. We probably want him throwing 100-120 innings max next year, so a mid-May debut would do that.

  17. Let’s also keep in mind that there are two ways of judging a draft. As everyone pretty much agrees here, the draft can be judged today on a number of factors, including money spent, number of highly ranked prospects taken vs. other teams and the many other criteria mentioned here.

    Agree this draft is maybe B- or whatev in that area. Not stellar. And that getting Stewart would have made it maybe B+, etc. etc. as discussed.

    But there is always the chance the second grade is better or worse than the first. That is the results grade. In five years who is making an impact or poised to make an impact on the big club. Over time, that will correlate pretty well with the signing dealine results. But year to year it can vary.

    So if Colvin, Singleton, May, Dugan and Hudson hit the Phils with standout performance (for rookies) in 2013-2015, then the result grade is great. However, there are so many iffy guys in that group, (esp. Hudson and Dugan), that it could also go the other way. What if Colving is the only one that helps and he is another Brandon Duckworth? Good curve and FB, but inconsistent results? Then the results grade is bad.

    Critique today on the draft spending and strategy, but hope to maximize the upside of the draft every year. You need the balanced mindset.

  18. Talking about Boras. If reports are accurate Strasberg get 7.5 signing bonus, and then the balance over 5 years ,question how much would you think is boras paid as his rep. does he get a piece of the whole 15.5 million or only the bonus. and if you know what percentage.

  19. Here are the picks I’m excited about at this point in some sort of preliminary order, with comments:

    1. (7) Brody Colvin-high upside HS pitcher who already throws in the low 90s with a good curveball. Needs some minor mechanical adjustments.
    2. (5) Matt Way-relatively young college senior draftee who has dominated as a pro, already to Lakewood, hopes to make it to REading next year.
    3. (8) Jonathan Singleton-HS 1B has hit for a average, shown patience, and flashed power in a brief GCL stint
    4. (2) Kelly Dugan-switch-hitting 6’3″ HS OF is being hurt statistically by complete ineffectiveness as a righty.
    5. (6) Steven Inch-6’4″ rail-thin projectable Canadian HS pitcher has yet to appear in a pro game due to late signing
    6. (4) Adam Buschini-red-shirt junior draftee coming off of TJ surgery has exploded in the NYPL over the last week, hitting .611
    7. (47) Ryan Bollinger-6’6″ rail-thin HS 1B has yet to get a hit in 5 GCL ABs, could move to OF or pitch
    8. (12) Nick Hernandez-college junior-draftee 6’4″ lefty has pitched quite well at WMPT though his K totals are a bit low
    9. (3) Kyrell Hudson-another very raw, toolsy OF who can’t hit. Lottery ticket.
    10. (11) Jeremy Barnes-5’10” IF might not be able to stay at SS, but it looks like he can hit. Must move quickly. The RH is killing righty pitching (.910 OPS).
    11. (33) Colin Kleven-6’5″ Canadian righty is a projectable arm who right now is only in the mid-80s.
    12. (9) Aaron Altherr-6’5″ toolsy OF is currently being dominated in the GCL. Has time to learn.
    13. (10) Josh Zeid-6’5″ lefty is pitching exceptionally well in the NYPL. Needs to move fast and maintain BABIP rate.
    14. (15) Austin Hyatt-6’2″ righty is a strikeout machine in the NYPL. Probably profiles as a reliever with a 94 mph FB and a plus-plus changeup.
    15. (13) Ryan Sasaki-6’5″ Texas lefty has a low K-rate in the GCL.

  20. way, and barnes are my favorites so far. i think barnes will be a legimate ss by 2010. and if colvin has as much potential as everyone says it,ll be a very good draft. btw when was heyitt drafted? last year. dugan looks promising too. just a note if anyone wants to see lhv. highlights find channel 69 on your t.v. on mine its channel 55. comcast. from 10-11 lehigh valley news.

  21. I can never quite decide what I think about Scott Boras.

    My initial view, largely informed by the J.D. Drew fiasco a dozen years ago, was that this was a guy on a crusade to inflict maximum damage to major league baseball, living out a revenge fantasy for what he perceived as slights to him from his playing days. In the process, I thought, he was exacerbating the already-wide competitive gulf between well-resourced teams and teams on tight budgets.

    I still think the latter part is true (though it’s clearer now than in the late ’90s that well-run teams can win with moderate payrolls; they just have less margin for error and smaller windows of opportunity). But I’ve come to realize that Boras does something useful too: he points out, and pushes back against, the gross unfairness of how amateur American ballplayers are treated compared to major league free agents and foreign-born talent. Yeah, $15-20 million for Strasburg sounds like a lot… but not when you think about what the Red Sox paid for Daisuke Matsuzaka. Hell, the Yankees I believe paid Kei Igawa $20 million, ultimately to pitch for Scranton.

    I’d like to see a more equitable system that might reduce the need for Boras’s extreme and disruptive tactics. And I still think he’s a jerk–that A-Rod press announcement during Game Four of the 2007 World Series was an all-time d*ck move. But in addition to being mostly very good at his job–again, the A-Rod situation is evidence in the other direction–he adds something in highlighting the unfairness and irrationality of the system.

  22. The comments on the site are sounding to me like the grade for this draft is around a C+ or B-. PP, Friar, what do you think?

    I’m certainly no expert either, but I think B- is probably a fair grade. Despite not having a supplemental pick, we got a supplemental round type talent in Colvin, and we went over slot for some additional intriguing guys (Singleton, Inch, even Hudson). And — here’s what separates 2009 from 2007 — even some of the senior signs we took are intruiging — I like the early returns from Way, Hyatt, Barnes, Ruf, Zeid, et al. I like phillychuck’s rundown; I don’t necessarily agree with the placement of everyone, but I think he’s done a nice job highlighting a fairly solid draft haul.

  23. mikemike, I can’t help you on Josh Johnson. He was drafted in 2002 and I wasn’t paying attention back then.

    I hope Colvin can crank it up into the mid-90s, but I’m often skeptical about projecting velocity increases. I feel like guys just as often lose velocity as gain it. Anyway, low 90s and a solid breaking ball is a great start as far as I’m concerned. Go Brody!

    Phillychuck, I think you’re underrating Hudson. Just a gut feel, but I think he has more baseball skill than you give him credit for.

  24. not to rain on anyone’s parade, but i think grading this draft above a C at this point is wishful thinking that is contrary to what the Phillies themselves feel about it. they invested about $900k less in this draft than in the 2007 draft. hard to rate the 2007 draft more than a C at this point. of course the counter argument is the Michael Taylors, but those are very, very rare and certainly not something that you can give the benefit of the doubt to in a draft grade. i don’t want to be negative, but i do think that we should have realistic expectations. last year was a home run for the franchise. hopefully next year will be similar to 2008.

  25. I have to respectfully disagree, PP Fan. The total outlay for the 2007 draft was more than 2009 because the team held a 1st round pick and a supplemental pick that year, and it gave slot money (over $2.2 million total) to Savery and d’Arnaud. But look at the charts phuturephillies put together and you’ll see a couple of key differences between 2007 and 2009:

    2007 did not see a slot buster as big as Colvin ($900K)
    There were several significantly above slot deals in 2009 in addition to Colvin (Hudson by $175K, Inch by $200K, Singleton by $100K); 2007 saw only late rounders Sampson ($290K above slot) and James ($50K above slot)
    While 2009 saw a couple of senior signs (Way in Round 5, Zeid in Round 10), 2007 saw a string of low-ceiling future relievers on which the organization really skimped on the budget (Brummett, Chapman, Kissock, and Rocchio signed for a combinedc $105K)

    This draft didn’t blow anyone out of the water, but as far as philosophy goes, it’s more comparable with 2008 than 2007. I think a B- range grade is fair in that context.

  26. Okay, stupid question…Is Travis’ last name spelled “d’Arnaud” or “D’Arnaud”? I’ve seen it both ways repeatedly without any consistency. I’ve been using d’Arnaud but I have no idea which is correct.

  27. PhillyFriar – i always respect your posts and i guess here we just disagree. but i think that you aren’t looking at it objectively. you don’t grade a draft relative to the picks. you grade a draft relative to the impact it has on the system. the fact that they didn’t have a first round pick isn’t a reason to hold the results to lower standards. and the over slot guys you mentioned resulted in an extra investment of a few hundred grand. nothing significant really. on the contrary, there were several guys taken after the second round that went for first or second round money. boston signed a few guys. the tigers and the rays invested as well. put in perspective, the rays spend $500k more on 2 few players and didn’t even sign their first or second round guys. so if the phillies believed in the talent this year and wanted to spend the same as last year or even the same as 2007, they could have had more high ceiling guys.

  28. Well, now that it is all said and done, I’ll give the draft a C+/B-. Colvin is far and way the most talented player. A supposed scout on Phillies.com message board likes him more then Drabek. He’s also a pretty good shortstop just like Drabek was out of HS.

    Singleton probably could have gotten 500-600K if he didn’t have such a bad year. In BA’s chat today they said he was a steal.

    Hudson, Dugan, Inch, Way, Buschini, and Altherr are all worthwhile picks. Dugan, Inch and Way should all make the majors, with Dugan and Inch having pretty high ceilings. I think Hudson might develop very well once he gets in to a good program. It seems like a personal tutor could make or break him.

    I would have really liked Stewart and Susac. At least they tried on Stewart. I wonder how much he wanted.

    I wish the Phillies would have taken Luke Bailey. He’s way better then Andrew Susac, although he had TJ in the spring, I would have gladly payed him $750,000. In fact I would have spent well over a million.

    Pretty cheap draft overall and I am really hoping they roll that money in to next year and spend 6-8 mil or so as next year looks to be a great one. So much more talent that the Phillies should love.

  29. One aspect of the draft which puzzles me is the drafting of players who end up not signing. I am thinking of Workman, Coy, Stewart, and to a lesser extent Susac. It seems the Phillies follow a player , gauge
    signability (are aware of price/college commitment dual sport interest ) and then draft and don’t sign thereby wasting a pick.
    For example let’s use Jacob Stewart who was linked to the Phillies predraft.
    They are aware of his college opportunities and aware of his asking price (at least a million) and then draft him knowing he will need to be signed well above slot and probably close to his asking price .doing this all the while with a preset budget. At that point why do the
    negotiations break down? Is it over a few thousand dollars? Shouldn’t there be a little wiggle room in the budget ? I am not suggesting that the Phillies overpay but that they should understand the market for talent like Stewart who has significant options and if not willing to pay close to asking price draft in a different direction. More succinctly, more predraft due diligence.

  30. Teenagers often change their minds many times in the same day. A friend of mine in high school had a full ride to Arizona State when they were “the program” but signed with the Twins for way less than he could have because he so smitten with their approach to him.
    The parents also have never been so cozied up to in most cases. In reverse some college recruiters paint kids into a corner and call on terms like honor to get what they want. Lots of pressure both ways.

  31. I would rate this draft about average. I’m not sure how to justify much more then that at this point. Someday it might be great or it might be horrible, but today it is average.

    That doesn’t mean I am necessarily disappointed. I just think this is the minimum baseline of what the Phillies need to do each year. And let’s be honest…they barely managed an average draft with a last minute signing of Colvin.

    As another poster already pointed out (PhxPhilly), the Phillies had 6 or 7 chances to draft guys ranked in the Top 200, but only took 3 players ranked in the Top 200 with those picks. And 2 of those 3 barely cracked the Top 200 rankings at that. They made up for it later with the Stewart and Susac picks…but then didn’t get them signed. It just feels like while the Phillies did a good job signing the guys they drafted, they really didn’t go out on a limb and take any risks beyond the big 3 (Colvin, Stewart, and Susac)…of which they signed only one. That doesn’t seem better then average to me.

    So while I like some of the lottery tickets they invested in high risk / high ceiling guys (Hudson, Inch, Altherr, Kleven, Bollinger)…this still feels like a very “safe” draft to me from a signability standpoint. Most of the HS kids with upside potential they drafted and signed weren’t Top 200 players, so they mostly drafted lottery tickets they knew they would be able to sign.

    2008 felt different. Yeah I know they had more early picks…but they also seemed to use those early picks on guys ranked in the general areas they were drafted. It felt like they used those picks on more blue chip players still sitting on the board. This year they spent most of their early picks on guys that pre-draft were projecting as 4th thru 8th round talents.

    ** Also one minor quibble I have with them is that they spent so much of their draft resources on outfielders. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that at draft time they never knew for sure that they would make it thru the summer without having to trade D. Brown or M. Taylor…but still the system appears to be glutted with OF prospects but still light on MI and 3B. And another Catcher like Susac wouldn’t have hurt.

  32. Teams losing one player out of their top 10-15 picks isn’t that uncommon. The fact that the first unsigned pick the Phils had was Stewart in round 14 is impressive.

    Here’s a list of notable teams who lost players and what round they were in Yankees (10th), Red Sox (6th), Tigers (8th), Mets (5th & 6th), Rays (1st, 2nd, & 10th), Blue Jays (1st Sup, 2nd, 3rd), Rangers (1st, 9th, 10th), Braves (6th), Angels (3rd), A’s (10th).

    These are some big market teams and big money teams who aren’t getting guys signed. It’s not as simple as you may think when it comes to drafting these kids.

  33. I think on some level some of us are giving this draft more street cred than a lot of the experts is we’ve come to trust the group making the decisions far more than we ever did.

    It’s kind of like a college football coach that has a program at the top and he never seems to sign the five stars. On some level you end up conceding that he knows what he’s looking for when he continues to take lesser talent on paper and turn them into high-level NFL guys.

    Gary Patterson at TCU is like that. When I hear he likes some small town kid with a great frame and nothing elser, I give him the doubt that his projections and weight program direction will change his the profile of a prospect/player.

  34. The more I think of this draft, the more I tend to grade it as simply average. While we did not have as many picks this year, we also did not sign as many top tier talents as we could have. With Colvin we compensated a little for the lack of a number one and/or sandwich pick. We did not compensate a great deal, however.

    Except for the top 10 picks, the draft is a lot of acquiring talent. Look at what the Royals did without signing their number 1 yet (Crow). Their 3rd and 4th round picks were both first round caliber talents (Myers and Dwyer). They cost almost $3.5 million combined to sign.

    The Phillies draft is still dollar limited if our entire signing budget was less than $3 million. We chose to be moderately agressive with our slot busting. Moderately aggressive gets us to about an average draft, nothing more. When it comes down to it, how many top 100 and 200 talents did we sign. Colvin is the only top 100. Talents in the second 100 might include Dugan, Hudson, and Singleton. Guys like Way and Inch were not ranked in the top 200. Dugan was not by most, though I will concede he looks like he should have been.

    While we can be happy about Colvin and some college guys like Zeid and Hyatt that might be looking better than expected, it is hard to rate this a good draft. Better than the Phillies a few years ago, but they still took the cheap way out.

  35. Nobody, the Phillies always overdraft kids. While Knapp/Gose etc. may have been top 200 they were overdrafts for where the Phils took them.

  36. B,

    I appreciate that the Phils overdraft kids. I won’t really argue that strategy after seeing so many years of watching boring college senior only drafts. I wouldn’t have minded this year if they had in fact signed the guys that were underdrafted (Stewart and Susac).

    Again, I am not trying to make this personally about Stewart and Susac…but rather what they represent (top 100 level talent that wasn’t signed).

    Why didn’t the Phillies have many un-signed picks this year? Because they didn’t draft many blue chip guys that were a serious challenge to sign. They drafted a bunch of guys that were probably thrilled they got drafted three or four rounds early.

  37. Stewart was considered a sandwich round guy, Susac a 2nd or 3rd round guy. Both guys dropped to where they did because of really strong college commitments.

    The Phillies (and every other team in baseball) takes guys like this as a hedge. Colvin was obviously target #1. But if he balked at 11PM last night for $900K, then I think its almost a lock that Stewart would have signed. The Phillies haven’t reached the point of spending wrecklessly on the draft. 2008 proved they could spend the dough when they felt it was appropriate. This year, they appeared to say (by their actions) that they didn’t like the 2009 crop as a whole. They drafted 3 guys they liked in Colvin, Susac and Stewart, they got one done, the other two priced themselves out, even at the deadline. That happens to most teams.

    I cant fault the Phillies too much. I’d have taken different guys in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, I’d have not taken Way and Zeid, and instead drafted guys with more upside who might have cost $300-500K. But that’s easy, its not my money to spend.

    Give the guys taken who on one is excited about a full season next year before writing any of them off as busts or worthless/sub par picks. Callis called Singleton a steal in his chat today. If he rakes at Lakewood next year, that pick will look like a bargain. The Phillies have done their homework recently. Remember this is the team that did a ton of research on Kyle Drabek and got him signed, and the same team that did plenty of research on Domonic Brown and knew he’d sign for only $200K.

    Give it a year and see what happens.

  38. As for Singleton as a steal, he had an encouraging day to support this. 2-4 with a HR and although a small sample size, he’s at .329/.407/.514/.922!

  39. I would make the arguement that the difference between the 2007 draft spend, and the 2009 draft spend, should be invested in Latin American and international signings.

    The big club pay roll should not impact investment in the minor leagues. It would be the equivalent of a company cutting back on R&D spend because profits fell. The best way to create new profit/revenue sources is through investment in R&D/New Products. The best way to decrease club payroll is to have MORE home grown cost controled talent.

    Have to tip my hat to the Phillies scouts. We’re a large market team, but really don’t spend like it in the draft (or internationally), but we still have a loaded system. Good job fellas!

  40. I been saying some of the things pp stated. I read a lot prior to the draft and most thought it was a weak draft for top hitting talent. Had some pitching talent but not like other years. They even in one article stated they didn’t think there were many if any top infield talent coming out .

  41. PP(or anyone who may have it)..are there any scouting videos on Singleton?im really excited about him, and would love to get a look at his swing, size, approach etc..thanks in advance

  42. 14 of the Crosscutters were 09 draft picks. Two of the draft picks Hyatt and Barnes are playing in the All Star game tonight. Right now Williamsport is a half game out of the wild card for the playoffs; lead the league in OPS and 5th in ERA. The 09 drafted starters Zeid, Hernandez, and now Hyatt have been impressive, Way dominated and is now starting with Lakewood and Massingham has been effective out of the backend of the Cutter pen. Using the 09 drafted players for Williamsport as a measure they have played well for the most part when compared to the rest of the teams in the NY-Penn.

  43. One of the reasons we have a good team at Williamsport is that we drafted lots of college seniors. These players are a year older than the juniors who are often the better prospects in the NY-Penn league. They compile great stats but are often lesser prospects. This is why they need to get to Clearwater in a hurry by next year while still excelling to be considered prospects. It is great that they are playing well, and some like Hyatt and Zeid are exceeding expectations, but it really has only marginal bearing on whether this was a good draft. Colvin, Hudson, Singleton, Way and Dugan are likely the guys that will determine whether this is a good draft.

  44. Yes, you don’t draw any conclusions until guys get past Lakewood. Our man Michael Schwimer is a great example. Good numbers last year, but you had to wait, and his peripherals this year have been great, so he’s a legit prospect. Tyler Mach lit it up in short season ball, then retired that winter.

    JE, curious to hear your thoughts on the draft.

  45. Typing this on a phone, so bear with me…
    I need to hear what happened with Jake Stewart before I form an opinion on this draft class. I really thought they should have gotten at least 2 of the big 3, so ending up with only 1, albeit cleary the best of the 3, still stings. I’m satisfied with the players they did sign, but right now I feel a bit uneasy about the ones they left on the board. I felt the same way last year about Coy, though there were some odd circumstances surrounding those negotiations.

  46. Maybe…just maybe this means the Phills will nab a nice Latin American signing……maybe not.

  47. Good question Ketch. I wonder how many of BA’s top 200 did sign? Another question I have is how many guys outside of first 4 rounds got bonuses over $300K?

  48. stevemc the reason I can’t get excited over Singeleton is D”myers he looked like a stud in lower ball and now can’t hit a lit, I now wait for reading to start getting excited about these kids, Kennelly was killing the ball. now at Reading and isn’t hitting hopefully its just a adjustment period same with Susdorf. by the was the phillies draft choice they traded to oakland is ripping at midland in the texas league. He was named player of the week last week Matt Spencer who I though wasn’t that good of a choice, so how little I know.

  49. anonymous – no doubt there isn’t a need to get too excited over guys until they progress through the levels. If draft prognosticators say we got a steal in Singleton and he’s performing right off the bat AND we’re discussing the merits of this draft class, then I think it’s appropriate to highlight.

  50. I agree with all the folks who say that you can’t too excited or too negative right now on the players drafted individually. As many have pointed out…and PP has articulated so well in previous posts…we just won’t know for at least a year…and up to maybe even 4 years…on most of these guys.

    However, I still think this draft can be immediately judged based on opportunities available vs. opportunities missed. The Phillies made the decision to not draft many Top 200 players. They didn’t draft their first Top 100 player until the 7th round and then added two more in Rounds 14 and 16.

    I am really happy they got Colvin…especially after losing Knapp. However I would be so much more impressed with this draft is they got Stewart and Susac signed. I wish they would approach the draft like the Pirates and Yankees do. But I also realize that is a fantasy wish.

    If Stewart (14th Rd) and Susac (Rd 16) signed this is what the net effect on the draft would be (as in the way it would feel and the way I would have viewed it)…

    Rd 1 – Colvin (Top 100 type player)
    Rd 2 – Stewart (Top 100 type player)
    Rd 3 – Susac (Top 100 type player)
    Rd 4 – Hudson (Top 200 type player)
    Rd 5 – Dugan (might be close to a Top 200 player)
    Rd 6 – Jonathan Singleton (Top 200 type player)
    Rd 7 – Matt Way
    Rd 8 – Adam Buschini
    Rd 9 – Steven Inch
    Rd 10 – Aaron S Altherr

    That would be an impressive Top 10 don’t you think? That would have represented a draft of opportunities realized and would have resulted in me feeling like the Phillies would have had an A+ draft.

    Since they didn’t do that, they get a C+. Not a bad job…but maybe not as good as they could have done.

  51. The article on the Phils/Stewart negotiations is now up on coloradoan.com and the kid says what I wanted him hear him say. The Phils made a strong run, but the kid really wanted to go to Stanford. If Marti hadn’t made it a difficult decision for him, I would have been disappointed, but that wasn’t the case. I don’t like to give out grades, but in a down year talent-wise and without a first round pick, Marti did a pretty good job bringing in some exciting talent. I think this is going to be a fun draft class to watch develop.

  52. Approach the draft like the pirates do? How bad is that francise, and they took a kid in the first round who a lot of people feel was a reach. They spend very little with the big club they stinks and this year, they unload about 9 players, so tell me all the great talent they have drafted. and how many times have they had a winning season since the early 70. yankees and boston are on a different planet, they have a way bigger market its hard to compete with them. But the phillies could have went for better talent in the second round and third in my opinion. But this wasn’t a strong draft .Most scouts really downgraded this draft after Strasburg and the kid from North Carolina.

  53. Mikemike, I think “Nobody” is referring to the Pirates’s new GM and President who spent $10m on the draft last year (4th most) and $8m this year (6th most). They also have been linked to the most expensive Latin American signing this year.

  54. The hilarious part of the “approach the draft like the pirates do” is they took a huge overdraft with their first pick because he was a safe signing (which people complain about the Phillies overdrafting)

    Secondly all they did was allocate money from their big league salary to their $$ for signings. They traded off everyone and anyone for whatever they could get which by replacing those guys with rookies they saved tons of money and used that money to sign the players.

    Not to mention they overpaid big time for Dodson & Cain (neither one of them were top 200 prospects). It just shows they were so desperate they gave in to any and everything these kids were asking for.

    There’s so much wrong with making a statement, “draft like the Pirates do”. If you want to make a statement like that say the Red Sox or even the Orioles (who I thought had an awesome draft).

  55. Mikemike,

    Boston Phan is right. I was referring to the “new” Pirates approach to the draft. They have decided to spend more money on the draft each year.

    And while it is true they overdrafted at #4, the guy agree to a slot deal and the Pirates then used that money to go after talent in Rd 2 and beyond and pay overslot by a large number. The ZVR and Cain signings are a prime example.

  56. Guys, I think the Pirates have done a very good job the last 2 years. And that is why my remarks are restricted to. The last 2 years. If I was a Pirates fan I would feel much better about the future then I did previously because the big club is finally investing in the future in a serious way.

    But if you want to use the Red Sox or Orioles or Yankees as a better touchstone no problems. My point was that in principle I think that with salaries the way they are in MLB where absolute stiffs can get paid $8M to $10M annually guaranteed…why not reallocate that money to the farm?

    The Phillies are way better at this now then they were 15 years ago. They have made huge strides. But I would like to see them go a bit farther. I would like to see them spend at least $5M annually (on an average draft). I don’t think that is going to break them.

  57. I’ll say it again, I don’t have a problem with the Pirates overdraft at #4. First of all they drafted a Catcher…a position I don’t mind overdrafts at. And second, they didn’t pocket the savings. They used it to pay way over slot on the later picks.

    And just as an aside, their #4 pick is tearing it up in the minors so far.

  58. Okay so now the pirates are the new boston. except they fired sale major league players to draft players they cant keep even with a new stadium, sorry but they are nothing to get excited about, And a kid tearing up the low minors is like d’myers and others wait until the move up and see better pitching.

  59. Mikemike,

    You completely missed the point. I am not wishing the Phillies were the Pirates in anything except for how much money they are spending on the draft. It is that simple.

    The Pirates have fire-saled their major leaguers for the last 15 years. That is nothing new. Barry Bond, Bobby Bonilla, Andy Van Slyke, etc…you name them the Pirates traded them in their prime because they couldn’t pay them.

    The big difference in the Pirates of the last 2 years is that they are changing up what they spend in the draft. They used to go cheap at the MLB level and cheap at the MiLB level too. Now they have adopted the strategy of trying to fill the farm system up with as many talented players as possible so that when one walks at the major league level, another is ready to fill his place at the minor league level. Kansas City has embarked on a similar strategy recently.

    Quite frankly, this is a new development, and I am very interested to see how it works out for them. The overall implications for the MLB draft could be significant.

  60. The Pirates GM mentioned their draft budget for the next 3 seasons is around $25-30 million (total)…they’ve definitely changed their strategy. I wonder if it will pay off for them.

  61. I wonder if the phillies were competing with Boston ,because the kid drafted right after brody got 975. 000. Maybe the agent for brody got wind of how high boston would go for younginger and decide to up the ante, just wondering.

  62. NEPP Says:
    August 19, 2009 at 6:45 PM
    The Pirates GM mentioned their draft budget for the next 3 seasons is around $25-30 million (total)…they’ve definitely changed their strategy. I wonder if it will pay off for them.

    nice..just about what they will spend on their big club team(TOTAL) during that time..im happy tho hopefully when they dump these kids in 4 years(like they always do) we can get our hands on some of them for second tier prospects

  63. NEPP Says:
    August 19, 2009 at 6:45 PM
    The Pirates GM mentioned their draft budget for the next 3 seasons is around $25-30 million (total)…they’ve definitely changed their strategy. I wonder if it will pay off for them.


    Exactly. If it does work for them we will see other small market teams try to copy that model. Not all…but some. The MLB draft is where teams like the Pirates and Royals can better compete with the Red Sox and Yankees.

  64. Did anyone else notice PSU recruit Renny Parthemore signed with the Red Sox for 150K? I Would have loved to have gotten him for that.

  65. Yea I had him pegged for over 500K. Going as late as he did I thought his price would be pretty high. He could develop two pitches relatively easy. 6’5, touching 93-94 with an average curve, with plus potential sounds great. BA said he could be a first rounder after college. I would have much rather gotten him then Marlon Mitchell and Ryan Saski.

    Parthemore and Singleton right now seem to be the biggest steals. Admittedly I haven’t looked at everyone’s draft, but both stick out in my mind.

    I was also hoping he would go to PSU, as I would really like to see them become competitive.

  66. Ryan, don’t step to Marlon. I like the upside with him.

    Also, on my other favorite draftee Kyrell Hudson, I didn’t realize Keith Law had him in his Top 100. That’s pretty impressive: (requires insider) http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/draft2009/insider/news/story?id=4245128. He rates him as a legit CF with power, but trouble making contact and recognizing off-speed pitches. Sounds like his ceiling is Mike Cameron, I would take that!

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