With today’s article by Jim Salisbury, highlighting a number of guys the Phillies have expressed interest in, I figured now was as good a time as any to post my thoughts on these guys. I’m hoping Jim has another article this weekend with some last minute thoughts on who the Phillies are narrowing in on even further, as he’s in a class by himself when it comes to draft matters as they impact the Phillies. I’ll definitely have something else up this weekend, and then we’ll tune in Monday night to see the compensation round, and then rounds 2-30 on Tuesday, which I will be providing coverage for, and rounds 31-50, which Ryan will be helping with. The draft is always one of the busiest times of the year for the site here, and I’m grateful for all of my visitors, those who care about the draft and those who don’t just the same. In case you’ve missed it, v1.0 of my notebook is here and v2.0 is here. Now, 3.0 commences below the fold.
I’m going to eliminate a few names from the list Salisbury published right off the top, because I believe there is almost zero chance they are still available at pick #39, and they are:
Austin Hedges, C
Jose Fernandez, RHP
Brandon Nimmo, OF
I believe all 3 guys will be picked in the middle-end of the first round. I guess Hedges is the most likely to slide a bit, but I don’t see him making it to #39.
I’m 50/50 on Andrew Chafin, LHP, still being on the board, and I’m not totally sure the Phillies would go that route, though I did highlight him in v2.0 as a guy who kind of fits the Phillies mold, and with their apparentl emphasis on lefthanded arms, he would fit. Since I’ve already covered him, I want to focus on the other names mentioned.
Kevin Comer, RHP (Seneca HS, NJ) – BA has him ranked #102 in the country, and he’s starting to pick up some helium at other sites. I see both the pros and cons. At 6’4/210, he passes the Phillies eye test. He’s shown good arm strength, pitching anywhere from 89-94, with a good curveball. However, he’s been very inconsistent this year and has barely pitched. The biggest issue, however, is his Vanderbuilt commitment. Vandy always seems to get their guy, or most of their recruits. If he falls to #39, and the slot recommendation is, say, $850K, I don’t know that is enough to keep him away from college, and BA seemed to intimate that maybe he just wants to go to college, hence his almost indifference toward his senior season. Maybe its some kind of ploy, maybe he’s injured, or maybe its something else, but unless the Phillies have a really great feel for the situation and some kind of inside info, it doesn’t seem a wise gamble.
Cameron Gallagher, C (Manheim Township HS, PA) – I mentioned him in passing in the comments section of one of my previous draft notebooks. BA has him ranked #64 in the nation, and that seems about the consensus. Like Comer, I see the pros and cons here. He comes from something of a baseball family, as his bro is a prospect in the Dodgers system, and he has premium power for the position, which will always turn heads. However, he’s already really big for a catcher (6’3/215) and there are questions about his ability to stay behind the plate. I’m generally kind of leery of these types, because if he has to move to another position, like LF, his bat has to be crazy good to make up for the massive drop in positional value. I’m not sure his bat is that good, and because he’s faced inferior competition in PA, its tough to know how he will make adjustments.
Here is a clip of him hitting some ping shots.
“This guy is the real deal”…..Good sir, I believe JD Durbin was the “Real Deal”
Charlie Tilson, OF (New Trier HS, IL) – BA has him ranked 80th, which puts him between our first pick of the 2nd round and our actual pick in the 2nd round. Tilson is ranked as the top prospect in Illinois, but the writeup on him is more negative than positive. He’s a good hitter with a good feel for contact and has good speed, but he’s not a pure burner like Anthony Gose, and he apparently doesn’t have much power or project for much power. He’s a good defensive CF with plus makeup, something the Phillies do place a lot of importance on, for understandable reasons. He hasn’t had a blow’em away senior season, and is projected as a 2nd/3rd rounder, so again, he’d fit with one of our 2nd round picks.
Heres a video of him taking some indoor BP
He has a pretty swing. That’s all I’ve got.
Brad Miller, SS (Clemson) – Ranked #68 in the country by BA, which seems a bit high, but I don’t really know, obviously. Like Tilson, BA kind of points out the things that are wrong with Miller, including an unconventional setup/swing (you’ll see below) and that he’s not great defensively at SS, suggesting he’ll have to move to 2B. That’s not the worst thing in the world, because we don’t really have all that many 2B prospects either. He had a monster statistical season this year, leading the ACC in many offensive categories, and his makeup is supposedly off the charts, including his work ethic. That’s good, because hard workers are better than lazy bums. I’d be more jazzed about him if he could stick at SS, and I think he’s a definite reach at 39, but at 66 or 90 he’d be okay I guess, though maybe kind of underwhelming.
His setup is like some sort of Domonic Brown/Geoff Jenkins hybrid. It works for him, so whatever. Will it work with wood bats is the question I guess, but he hit well with wood last summer, so I guess you just have to trust that he’ll be able to make adjustments, if needed. Again, the work ethic thing.
Jake Hager, SS (Sierra Vista HS, NV) – BA rank of #122. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but his makeup and work ethic are the things highlighted in his BA writeup. His tools are average to a few ticks above across the board, with power being his weakest tool. He has an Arizona State commitment, which could be problematic. If the Phillies take him in the 2nd round though, I could see him signing I guess.
Here’s a video of Shane Victorino, yes, Shane Victorino throwing him BP from Feb 2010. I guess they train at the same offseason place? Its bizarre. But hey, whatever.
I don’t see any negatives here. Though he could use a haircut. I know this was February 2010, but maybe Shane was laying the groundwork for a pre-draft deal ahead of time. (No, I’m not serious)
So there you go. While none of those guys have the “wow!” factor, all look like solid players. It does the Phillies no good to tell Salisbury or anyone else who they plan on picking, especially at #39. And I think the Phillies probably have no real idea who will be available at #39, let alone in the 2nd round, when the first 5 picks of the draft are still moving around.
Check back this weekend, I’ll have another piece up with some last minute thoughts and my wishlist for the first 3 picks.