2011 Draft Recap, my final thoughts

Well, another year and another draft in the books. This year’s draft sparked a few of the busiest days in the history of the site, including signing day, and I’m grateful all of you showed up and hit refresh all day while we waited for announcements to be made. I’m going to give a few final thoughts on the Phillies picks, as well as give a few more general comments, and then we’ll wait and see what happens this winter with the rumored changes to the draft process. The Phillies have done well in the draft over the last decade, some years better than others, but even recently they began to be slightly more aggressive, and the result has been a number of excellent prospects, usually at a bargain. This year was no different, so lets get started.

First, I’m not going to go over every single draft pick. All of the links and information can be found on the 2011 draft page. I included the most update to date signing matrix, as well as a link to the deadline day discussion topic for future reading. I will also post the signing matrix here.

(click here if it doesn’t display properly in your browser)

Lets summarize:

* Signed 30 of their 51 draft picks
* Signed 9 of their first 11 draft picks
* I estimated the signing bonuses for JDT and Knight, as both probably received at least $100K
* The Phillies spent an estimated $4.6M, maybe a bit more, when factoring in the small unreported bonuses to guys like Knight, Rios, and Murray.
* Without a first round pick, the total slot estimates for the Phillies picks was right around $2.8M, if you estimate $100K for post 5th round picks.
* The Phillies bonus outlay was more than 60% above the slot recommendations, boosted largely by the massive bonus for Mitchell Walding, who received $800K in the 5th round

So, how did this draft turn out? I think it turned out pretty well. In recent drafts, the Phillies took their share of pitchers and seemed to shy away from big outlays on middle infielders and pure power prospects. In this draft, they were able to grab the prep player with arguably the best raw power in the class (Larry Greene Jr), and they also added two potential elite shortstops (Greene, Walding) and one potential above average 3B in Harold Martinez. They also plucked two college lefties in Adam Morgan and Austin Wright. They also grabbed three raw arms in Kenny Giles, Braden Shull and Jesen Dygestile-Therrien. Roman Quinn is a bit of a wildcard, as he may be a CF, or he may be another middle infielder. What we do know is that he was possibly the fastest player in the draft.

I’m not doing draft grades. It will be really hard to know what we have in these guys for 2-3 years. We had a bunch of raw guys, we have a few more polished guys. One only has to look at the 2008 draft to understand the need for patience. Zach Collier missed a ton of time through injury, but looks to be back on track. Mike Stutes, who was a blip on the radar when he was drafted, has developed into a solid middle reliever with the big league club this year, even after struggling with his control all last season and appearing to be a ways away. Likewise, it could take years before we really know what we have in these draft picks. The Phillies scouts have done a fantastic job in the draft, especially outside of the first round, over the last 4-5 years. The Phillies have their lists, they have their guys, and they’ve hit on a number of guys that were largely ignored/underhyped by the media outlets. This year’s guy may be Mitchell Walding, who BA didn’t seem to give much attention to, but the Phillies obviously loved, giving him the 2nd biggest bonus for their 2011 picks.

As a whole, I like this crop of guys. I’m interested to see Larry Greene’s power in play, I’m interested to see Quinn’s game changing speed, and I’m most interested in seeing how the H-Mart, Walding, Quinn, and Greene group play out next season. The Phillies spent money this year, relative to the slot recommendations, and they signed a bunch of really interesting bats. I’m excited to see where things go and hear the reports from the Florida Instructional League. Until next year…

49 thoughts on “2011 Draft Recap, my final thoughts

  1. Nice summary. I’m also pleased with this draft. Garvey and one of the HS catchers would have knocked my socks off, but you don’t always get the sundae with an extra sauce and a cherry on top. Knight slid into the spot we’d hoped for for Garvey. Who knows, a raw guy like him could develop and be a better player in the long run. Plus we have a few toolsy outfielders left in James, Alther, Collier, Hudson, and 1 or 2 of them might pan out. Johnathan seems like a very good athlete, good kid, great family, and will dedicate himself to developing more body strength and bat speed, right Justafan? He could beat the odds.

    Not getting a HS catcher hurts more. We had a chance to sign one of four (RMoore, Tomassetti, Olson, or AKnight). Maybe they were all asking for such a high dollar and Phils felt it was way too much risk for their profile, at this point in their development. Also, maybe they were the type happy to be drafted, but really set on going to college.

    So we got a delicious sundae, with lots of stuff on it, just no butterscotch sauce or cherry on top. But some chocolate sauce and walnuts, etc. Tastes great.

    Good job Phils. And to PP for providing the venue to follow closely and get the earliest possible breaking news.

    1. I agree with DD. Nice draft, glad they got most kids signed, but wish they landed a couple more catchers.

    2. I agree that inking Riley Moore would have given this delicious sundae a beautiful maraschino on top given that the system could use another talented HS catcher to develop. But the Phils must have known it would take 1-2 round $(or something like it) to buy him out of his college commitment since they took a flyer him in the 21st round and were probably hoping he could be lured toward sanity and start his pro career early. Another high school arm would have been nice too, but overall I’m VERY pleased with what we did considering where we picked in adding guys with potential at positions of need–infield and always, always, always pitching. 27 of first 33 picks signed is a WIN by any measure!

    3. Thanks DD!! Yes we are hoping he beats the odds, he has had to overcome alot to get where he is now. He will be in the instructional league when it starts at the end of September, so we are hoping then he will get tons of work and development and puton some of that 20lbs they want on him 🙂 We are just excited at the opportunity and we know he will make us proud no matter how far he goes. He has already proved to us to not count him out. So keep an eye on him, he likes being the underdog :).
      He was at the BP that is talked about later in the comments he was hitting with the 2 of them as well. He said Greene was killing the ball.

  2. I think it will end up being a very good draft – 2008 was a bit of a bellweather year, especially when you consider that it has already year three major leaguers (two of whom are making significant contributions) and has at least three players (Gose, Knapp, Cosart) that have been centerpieces is trades. I like their philosophy this year, and it’s nice to see a bunch of the guys getting regular reps. I guess my only (slight) thumbs down would be that I would liked L.Greene and possibly Quinn to have been signed earlier so they could’ve gotten a reasonable amount of pro at-bats. I’m hoping that their deadline day signing do get some GCL time

    – Jeff

  3. James,

    Do you think the Phillies might have spent a little more on certain players in this class as a hedge against future changes in the draft. For instance, slotting may significantly reduce the amount of talent a 90+ win MLB club can select.

    1. BrJohnson……Exactly what changes do you foresee occuring that would put a 90+ team at a disadvantage? I thought the one major change was what Bud Selig’s was pushing earlier in the year—-a consolidated draft with the international (Latin market) incorporated in the North American venue—-more prospects will be available for selection in his proposal. Personally, I would prefer two separate drafts—the regular in June and in July an international (Latin) draft with only two rounds (60 total selections). Then the rest of the international field be open to free agency.

      1. I agree that there should be an international draft. There are just too many players to try and negotiate with. I would hope that it lasts more than two rounds, but it shouldn’t exceed five or six. I would also open it beyond just the Latin American players.

      2. Hard slotting has been talked about frequently and may severely limit the types of talents available outside of the first couple rounds.

        An international draft isn’t going to happen, at least not this time around. Nobody has sat down to even think about how that could possibly work. What we’ll probably see if some sort of panel put together to explore how to do it.

        1. This is what I have heard as well, a hard slotting system I think will negatively affect the talent available in the draft. Both in later rounds and over all. For kids thinking about going to baseball or other sports, it will be a big factor in their decision if they arent first round talent.

          1. But hard-slotting is cost effective for MLB clubs—over slotting for HS prsopects in out-rounds is just too risky an investment—evidently the return on investment is not favorable since the clubs are pushing for the hard-slotting. As for the kids going to other sports, IMO that would be neglible since football offers less future financial security and more bodily damage, however going the college route is the other option and I believe that MLB clubs want this in the long run for player development and further player evaluation.

            1. The problem with slotting in baseball is the other sport argument. Baseball actually offers much less financial security than other sports. 5+ years in the minors for a low round pick is not going to happen if they have choices.

              Baseball wants slotting to save money plain and simple. The players might go for it if major league salaries go up. But it does NOT make it a good decision for the sport. Penny wise and pound foolish IMO.

            2. If it were so risky to pay those bonuses to high schoolers, then how come the teams keep doing it and have increased that practice over the past few years? Slotting only serves to save the teams from themselves and reduce each team’s total draft spend.

  4. I really will be following walding. that far overslot for him, when he was rated that high is interesting to me. lets see who is right the phillies or ba??

  5. It looks like they chose/signed an entire infield. Asche’s play so far is mediocre; his best tool is his bat they say but he is either tired or needs some good instruction in Instructional ball after this season. Should he get his hitting groove back, it looks like he is aimed at 2nd base …but a criticism said that his lateral movement was questionable for 3rd base. That would be a problem at 2nd base. I believe hew is being tested for that position now; if not adequate in the field, the mention of his being tried at catcher could come into play. His loss to the infield would be acceptable since we’ve just signed several guys to play inf. including 2nd base. Greene at SS looks good but he is a large-tall guy guy whose power potential could also play at 3rd base to challenge H-Mart.

    They will and should try Quinn at SS; a switch-hitting ,fast-quick guy at SS would be an ideal player to fill J-Roll’s spot. The tools are similar and 3 years or more in the minors should polish him for the position. If his fielding doesn’t qualify, then the CF option would be tried. His oba would hopefully exceed J-Roll’s. No loss of speed on the bases.

    L.Greene can’t help but ending up at 1st base. Another lefty power guy for 35-45 HRs ultimately…and when the present occupant has had enough and retires to his little island purchased in the South Pacific. We won’t need a LFer then with all the OFers in the system going to yield at least two.

    Walding should be slated for 2nd base or SS. As a lefty hitter he could be visualized as Utley’s replacement…in several years. The Phils love the guy and were willing to pay him an outlandish sum as a late top ten choice…$800,000 to sign. Their scouts must see something very special in him. I’d take their word until learning otherwise.
    The LARGE pitchers including several intriguing lefty pitchers will likely yield several guys for a rotation and pen. Both college lefties have done very well in their shortened trial in low minors so far. Small sample size…

    Next year the Phils will once again (as in 2008) concentrate on pitchers…and add in catchers. Glad that Rupp was not chosen by the Astros.

    I AM A FAN…but there is reason, when looking at the signatories to think that this might be their best draft, ever.

    1. I don’t think the size of Walding’s bonus is a direct indicator of what the Phillies think of his talent relative to the other draftees. I think his bonus is a result of his leverage. Dealing with a California kid, with a major college commitment costs more. Walding was probably the Phillies 4th or 5th best talent signed, but buying out a California kid costs more.

      1. I actually read Woelver saying that the team put Walding through a workout and they concluded that he was more than a 5th round talent.

    2. You are way ahead of yourself here.

      There’s definitely no guarantee that two of the Phillies current OF prospects will pan out. Quinn and Walding’s positions will not be determined by sharing characteristics with players they may or may not end up replacing. There is no way of knowing whether Greene will be able to keep the athleticism required to be a college linebacker and stay in the outfield.

      It’s ok to be excited. Just realize that a lot of things happen in 3-5 years and it’s far more likely that most of these players do not make it to the bigs.

  6. Gotta love this draft. They went out and picked some guys they really liked and then went and actually got them signed. This won’t be 2008 again, but on paper it’s better than the last two years by a good margin. The kids still have to go out and perform, but I like how they went out and got it done with the signings.

    Thanks PP and others for providing the forum and conversation these last couple of months. Feel a bit like a kid on a good Christmas. Every year there’s a big build up, but only some years deliver on expectations. This is one of them.

  7. I think reading the comment about not sizing up a draft until a few years down the road and the comment about Stutes made me think-someone making and contributing to the Major League team, that’s a really big deal. Yeah, okay, Lindberg landed, but still, the percentages are not with you to contribute for the Major League team, its really something when someone from a lower round breaks through…

  8. One of the players, at a position of need, that will be joining the minor league ranks next spring wasn’t even involved in the draft. For some reason, I am really looking forward to what Liam Bedford will do. I’m really hoping that he impresses enough to get assigned to be Lakewood’s primary catcher. Most likely, he’ll just stay in extended spring training until June and join up with Williamsport.

    1. You caught me off guard (no pun intended). I had to search for a Liam Bedford. Another Aussie catcher I see. The Phillies liked Joel Naughton but he can’t seem to stay on the field.

      1. Naughton was released, I believe. Hard to stay on the field when you’re not in the organization.

    2. Most likely scenario will be GCL next year. We are talking an 18-year-old Aussie catcher with zero North American experience. GCL in 2012, Williamsport in 2013, and Lakewood in 2014 would be a normal progression for Bradford.

      No clue whether he is a real prospect as there are so many variables involved with rating Australian talent without seeing them play against decent competition.

  9. Looks like a quality draft. For the first time in years, infielders were the focus. The good part about drafting ss type players is they can be moved to other positions as they shake out. You don’t see of guys get moved to ss. This gives the club some flexibility in the event there becomes the good problem that too many of these guys step up. Some nice arms to work with as well.
    Add in a number of guys who were drafted last year who have not surfaced yet fully in Garner, Eldemire, etc., next year has the potential to mirror this year on the farm. Numerous guys have the tools to step up and become prospects.

  10. Very nice flexibility in the guys they selected. Depending on how they profile after some coaching and playing–and physical development–they can each be assigned to multiple positions.

    Walding and TGreene: SS, 3B, 2B
    Quinn: SS, 2B, CF
    LGreene: LF, 1B

    It’ll be fun seeing where the slot on the field. For example, if Walding shows he can really hit, is a sure-handed IF, but decent but not great range, he can go to 2B and take over for Utley. If he has a gun for an arm, maybe 3B. Or he could be a slightly lesser hitter and be a really good SS and stay there. Similar evaluations will take place for the others. A very good situation. Smart drafting by Phils. Hey, if two guys turn out to be potential all-stars at SS, look what Hanley Ramirez got Boston.

    1. I recall reading that Walding has a funky throwing motion, that will need to be refined. I would think that Walding is the least likely of the three to stick at SS, but due to his power potential, it won’t be a problem moving to a different position.

  11. People!
    T Greene is the SS, Quinn will be a CF and L Greene will be a LF. Walding will have to beat out H Martinez or C Asche for 2nd or 3rd.. and don’t like his chances to do that! He is the overpaid player of the draft.. Must have a Good Agent!!

    1. L Greene will eventually play first base—he will not lose weight from his 235 lbs now—probably bolster up to 245/250 lb range in 3/4 years, hopefully with muscle. And, IMO, as the heir replacement for Howard he has 3/4 years to get there.

    2. I love how people have all of these guys as eventual starters in the major leagues. If two of them become starters it is a very good draft. If more than that it will be an amazingly outstanding draft. I don’t know who will stick at which positions but I don’t think we need to slot all of them to separate positions just yet.

  12. L Greene/Quinn Update: On Saturday morning, 8/20, supplemental first round draft pick, Larry Greene Jr., dressed and took part in baseball activities as a Phillie for the very first time. Along with second round draft choice Roman Quinn, Greene took batting practice in Clearwater at the Gulf Coast Phillies facility. The two youngsters are sharing schedules for practice, trainer sessions and more. Reports from multiple pitchers who were present at BP stated that Greene was driving balls for great distance during his first day on a pro diamond. Australian right-hander Josh Warner claimed that Greene nearly hit one over the light tower beyond the outfield fence.
    At this stage, it is unclear when Greene or Quinn will see game action with the GCL Phillies, but both players look forward to the opportunity to face suitable competition. Both players could be expected to take part in instructional ball from mid-September through mid-October in order to play more and to be evaluated further.

    1. Seen them both on the field with T Greene at the East Coast Pro. Haven’t seen Quinn get a hit and and L Greene is all pull with no opo power. Hope the Scouting dept knew what all of you hope they do. T Greene .. on the other hand was money!

      1. Why do you have to denigrate Larry Greene and Roman Quinn in order to prop up Tyler Greene. They’re all on the same team. We get it. You like Tyler Greene.

    2. Hey RON! Are you the Agent?? The kids are in the Philly system now. Please don’t try to get on here and BS us about playing the game. The Stats will tell us how they do! They have alot of catching up to do.. and we expect it.. when you hold out to the deadline!!

  13. Larry Greene being all pull is complete bullshit. Do you understand the physics of hitting a baseball? I almost decided to post a recap of what makes up the distance which a ball travels, but Ron, I don’t think you deserve it. So read the damn article yourself. http://www.kettering.edu/physics/drussell/bats-new/batw8.html

    Bottom line, if you’re arguing that greens bat speed earlier in his swing (as you make contact with the ball earlier hitting to the opposite field) is lower then later in his swing I could believe what you’ve said… assuming that a pull swing, would only generate a fly ball that barely clears the fence (as ultimate bat speed is dependant on early swing speed… aka it’s linear). The problem with your statement is he hits 450 foot home runs when pulling, which even if you subtract 30 feet from a ball hit to the opposite field, he’d be just fine… unless of course you’re operating in some alternate universe where the corner spots have 420 foot polls….

      1. So did I buddy, for 13 years… and I still ace’d my physics classes throughout college… Doesn’t change the facts… fail.

        1. So SuperDuper Professor Physics……so you are a nerd in understanding how the universe behaves……wonderful, go for it……stick to your expertise.
          Evidently reading comprehension was not a top strength on your list of academia accomplishments. For, if you read the above thread about, one Larry Greene, you would have realized that the report was based upon reports from GCL teammates and respective pitchers–ala Josh Warden.

          1. In what kind of sample size?! The kid just signed, and I’m not in physics, I’m in private equity, but that’s besides the point. You’re jumping to a ridiculous conclusion, in saying someone could have presigious power but only to one field. However, I like your post on the werth/Mayberry comment so I’m moving on.

  14. Not sure if this was mentioned…we talk about how the Phils don’t normally spend in the draft, I thought they did well this yr, or they don’t sign top international players. Well looks like they are close to signing a good OF from Venezuela, Carlos Tocci for $750K, who is only 16. They said good speed and good hitter (right handed).

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