The Draft

With the draft upcoming beginning on June 4th, and the many changes facing the scouting department of every MLB organization, it seems time to throw around what has changed and what effect it could have on the Phillies. The Phils are without a first round pick this year because of the signing of Jonathan Papelbon, however sit with both the 40th and the 54th pick in the Supplemental Round (broadcast live on June 4 by MLB Network). The first notable change is the fact that the length of the draft has changed from 50 rounds in prior years, to 40 rounds this year.  Rounds 2-40 will be streamed live on

Secondly, the signing deadline has been moved up from Mid August to Mid July.  Specifically this year, the signing deadline is July 13th at 5pm which will lead to more action quickly, and the possibility of seeing more than a few players signed in June in the lower level leagues this season. Next, as opposed to the informal slotting system under the old CBA, the new CBA assigns a bonus pool dollar figure to each of a teams draft picks in the first 10 rounds.  If a team fails to sign a player in rounds 1-10, that value is removed from the dollar pool.

The big league contracts that a slew of signees received over the past several years have now been forbidden, pursuant to the new CBA.  As opposed to getting a dirty look from Bud Selig as the penalty for going “over slot” in the old CBA, there is now a defined structure to penalize those that go outside the box.  Perhaps more importantly then the financial penalty, is the potential loss of draft picks if/when a team goes even as little as 5% over slot.  Hypothetically, if a team went 15% or more over the assigned bonus pool, that team would suffer a 100% tax plus the loss of two future first round picks.  Any penalties are redistributed to teams that didn’t exceed their bonus pool.

Protecting teams is a new provision that allows for picks in next years draft if a draftee from within the first three rounds does not sign.  When that circumstance occurs, teams will receive a pick in the following years draft that is one selection lower than the player that did not sign.

Now…with all that being said, the Phillies have 12 picks in the first 10 rounds of the draft.  Their bonus pool for those rounds is a combined $4,916,900. The first pick (#40) is allocated up to $1,291,300.  Their second pick (#54) is allocated $940,200. Pick three (#77) goes for $659,800 and their 4th pick (#95) is at the $500,000 figure.  It goes on from there. One other note is that bonuses for players signed after the first 10 rounds do not count against their overall budget unless the bonus exceeds $100K.

Look for live draft coverage on Monday evening, the 4th.

80 thoughts on “The Draft

  1. Im hoping for less toolsy high school guys from less competitive areas i.e. Georgia, Washington and some actual solid baseball players that play in areas with high competition i.e. Florida, California, Texas. The system can’t afford another draft rolling the dice on players like this. We took Larry Greene one pick before Jackie Bradley Jr!

      1. Bradley isn’t a star yet, but he’s showing amazing contact rates, a good eye, and excellent defense. He will be a very good CF for Boston

    1. Yeah, that was a terrible pick. What’s Bradley hitting in Boston again?

      (People counting their prospect eggs before they hatch, then berating GMs for their lack of foresight, is my biggest pet peeve about following the minor leagues. Seriously, you feel the need to judge last year’s draft before the next even comes? What if Greene goes to Lakewood next month and hits like Singleton did two years ago? Will you still be against the pick then? I like Crashburn Alley as much as the next stat-minded guy, but I think they’re way off base criticizing a 2011 draft choice at this juncture.)

        1. This. And those are potential, not actualized grades.

          But let’s say he actualizes on all those tools, and is just above average everywhere, as an everyday outfielder. What’s a comp for that, like Mark Kotsay? Kotsay hit free agency in 2004, where he signed with the A’s for around eight million bucks a year. A good player, sure, but one that you can find in most free agent classes for a non-budget busting price. Now imagine–and yeah, it’s a longer shot–Greene actualizes *his* tools, which probably means a first basemen who slugs 40 home runs a year. How much are those worth again?

            1. Victorino isn’t a comp for 55’s across the board…his hit and power, yes, but everything else is a tick or two above.

              But let’s just say Shane Victorino is his uppermost ceiling and he has a 5-15% chance of reaching that. What’s the big deal on passing that up?

      1. I get what you’re saying, but the chances of that happening are nil since LGJR will be older in rookie league than Singleton was in Low A. I’ll take Larry Greene Jr hitting like Singleton did in Low A in rookie and call it a success. I

    1. Who’d you hear that from ? The guy who knows who the first 39 picks are going to be?
      Or is this guy so lightly regarded It’s a guarantee he won’t be taken higher than 40?

      I suppose they need a GCL OF to team with Tocci and Herlis Rodriguez and maybe go ahead of J. Knight and Delvi Francisco if you project it out, but hope they don’t again pile so many promising young players at one position they should be playing at one level, that none of them get adequate playing time. As with the Catchers a couple of years back.

      1. And, may I add. They should not draft this Mitch Gueller, OF, based on name alone. Reminds me of Mitch Gaylord, wouldn’t be a surprise if he was named after him. For those who don’t know, Mitch Gaylord was a Gymnast around Olympic level that brought out a Coffee-Table style book featuring himself prancing around in full frontal nudity in various poses and such. The last pose in the book featured him sitting side-saddle on a Merry-Go-Round style Unicorn.I know cause I looked it over in the Harrisburg Library several times. Don’t know how something like that made it into the Library. You know, I complained about it. So I’d be irked if they drafted that guy based on name alone.

        1. And JA, I don’t recall seeing much output from you on here before. Don’t know how someone who has such a high level of interest and opinions on the Rule 4 draft could not have posted on here on a more regular basis, at least around draft time, at previous times. So, I suspect you might be a clone or a pseudonym of someone who issued opinions on a more regular basis. I have no idea who that might be, however, as you are like NOBODY who has ever posted here before.

          1. I read very single article on here. Just because I don’t commen a tremendous amount doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m talking about. Who are you to say anything at all like that anyway? All I said from a good source like Keith Law thatte Phil’s are in on him. You are not looked at as an authoritative source on anything here, you’re a punch line. Come back with something useful.

            1. I suppose that implies you are an authoritative source then,.On what? the MLB rule 4 draft? I see people who fancy themselves NFL draft experts who can project out the entire draft and publish it as such. If you don’t want to type all that much, then glean out the Phillies picks from said draft and publish them beforehand, just like said experts of NFL draft do. If you want to claim it is unfair because NFL “experts” only have a 7 Round draft, then only do picks through the first 7 rounds. The percentage of picks you get right will determine your average as an “authoritative expert”. It will be just as valid as the percentages others use to determine the future of everything on here. I would almost be willing to bet that the percentage would be zero. Let’s see zero- batting zero-.000- no average- 0-fer- nobody- see how it all kind of cosmically fits together.

            2. Funny…the Phillies picked Mitch Gueller. Would be nice to see marfis apologize, however unlikely that is.

            3. Thanks for bumping this, Greg. I totally missed this exchange and needed a laugh 🙂

  2. These are the guys I’m really interested in for the first two picks:
    Tanner Rahier
    Trey Williams 
    Duane Underwood
    Avery Romero 
    Ty Hensley 
    Corey Seager- If he even drops that far
    Nick Travieso
    I really like Tanner Rahier and Duane Underwood

      1. He most likely will be taken before the Phillies pick but if he fell to the Phillies I’d really like them to take him

    1. Saw Trey Williams play this year. Specifically the game vs Max Fried. He abused Fried. Showed great bat speed and soft hands in the field. Should be an above average 3b. However… strong however here. He was completely lost against the right handers breaking ball. Very concerning as it wasnt a very good curveball anyway.

    1. Yes, off the top of my head there’s Jeff Gelalich from UCLA, Jake Stewart from Stanford, I believe Ryan Garvey is draft eligible as he dropped out of USC, and Patrick Lala from Iowa. And Damek Tomscha!!!

  3. that is a good explanation. So players drafted after round 10 won’t get bonuses above 100K without the team getting penalized. That means all the high school guys not picked early will probably go to college. The only real bonus money is in the first couple rounds. I think this will weaken the talent that signs and now makes International signings more important since there is no limit. A team might have to over pay for international talent but it looks like a lot of college seniors getting drafted and signing. Am I interpreting this correctly? Example, I think is was Cosart or Colvin that was first round talent that they drafted late in the draft and kept them away from college with big signing bonus money. That can’t happen anymore, right.

    1. It sounds like u could take money from an under slot signing in the first 10 rds and use the unused portion after rd 10. Ie. Rd 1 max is 1.2million and player signs for $1.0 mil, you have $200k left to use after rd 10. Not sure, but that looked like one way to give over the 100k number for post rd 10 draftees.

        1. I got a different idea of how it works when I read everything I could find on the new draft rules on the days after the draft. Hope I don’t have to go back and read it all again. I believe a team will only pay the tax and lose draft picks if they exceed the total money spent for the entire pool. If a player picked in the first ten rounds does not sign at all that money disappears from the entire draft pool. If, on the other hand, a player signs for less that the allotted amount, that money carries over . I believe that if a team still has allotted money left after signing the 1st ten rounds that money will be available for signing picks after round 10. We’ll see if was accurately transcribed, if it was interpreted correctly by me, and what the actual implementation and application of it is at some future date, probably in the middle of next season.

    2. I agree with your conclusions. This new draft will result in fewer Brian Pointers / Kevin Walters and more Tyler Machs. It is like a full employment act for college seniors.

      My concern is that the Phils have in recent years done their best work in the 200k to 500k range for HS players overlooked by other scouts (e.g. Singleton) or guys with big upside but some warts (e.g. Savery). The new structure appears to obviate those types of signings. Would Pointer have skipped college for $100k? Would Brown have passed on football for $100k?

      My other concern is that I do not trust our current front office to creatively navigate a new structure, especially one that requires a new way of operating. Their decision making in the past couple of years does not build confidence that they think deeply and analytically about the moves they make (at least not to me).

      1. Ha, Savery is not a good example considering how much he signed for. I meant someone like Nesseth or Shreve, though Savery is the same idea.

      2. I agree with this and that was what all of the prospect gurus were bemoaning at the start of this New CBA collaboration. Imagine guys like Matt Kemp not being in baseball chase bigger money in basketball or football. This will slowly rob baseball of its athletes. Selig somehow thinks there will be a very minimal effect. All he did was hurt teams who spend big in the draft because that’s where they can best be competitive. KC spent more money on it’s first two pics last year than they have entire allotments for this year’s draft…Incredibly stupid if you ask me. IMO teams should not be told how much money they should or should not put into their farm system.

      3. Yes, as I read the CBA to work it seems to hurt the Phillies in the way they’ve drafted the past few years. I agree with your post 100%.

        1. I actually think this is going to significantly help the Phillies. The Phillies have been at the bottom of draft spending for a while. Anything that limits what the other teams can do is bringing the big spenders back to the pack. With (more) even pools of money, I’ll take our scouts against theirs.

    3. This is a short sighted plan. If you increase the number of pitchers going to college, the chances of those players ever making the majors declines due to the abuse many college coaches heap on players(especially star players). Less pitchers means higher salaries for major league pitchers.

      1. I don’t know. There are some obviously abusive coaches like Augie Garrido. But do college programs have a higher attrition rate than minor league systems? Serious question, I’d want to see some data. But if pitchers are flaming out in college rather than the minors, that doesn’t seem to make a difference to the majors.

        I agree with your larger point though. These rules are all an effort to restrict bonuses to amateur players, to save money for owners.

        1. Less college & high school players means they can pick up more imported players for nothing.The american Pass Time won’t have any American players.

    4. Hey now young american player can take up residence in the Haiti and avoid the draft.

  4. I don’t have a problem with the new system, the only thing I have a problem with is that it lets teams continue to draft players, have player reject team, and then go to college and get re-drafted.

    I want an NHL type system where the team retains the rights of a draftee when they go to college.

    1. Well that’s a horrifyingly logical solution. It would also give a giant middle finger to all the JD Drews of the world. And, as we all know, people like that deserve every middle finger they get.

  5. Why would you care about how the teams screw prospects? Do always cry at night for billionaires? One thing guys like Darvish prove is the real worth of players. On the other hand if you think the Phillies and MLB are hurting for cash, just forget it.

    1. Yes, I usually cry for the poor guys like Darvish instead. I mean, the guy might get $100M but damn it, he still not as rich at that billionaire owner. I have little sympathy for either side when it comes to professional sports.

      In the end, everyone makes out quite well but your continual hostility towards ownership & management continues to amuse.

      1. Why do you twist everything. Make a point or shut up. It isn’t about Darvish but real value of a player. You are predictable ,boring and illogical.

        1. I did make a point, sorry you missed it but I’ll try again just for you.

          The real value of a player is based on what any one owner is willing to pay. That’s no different than a carpenter, plumber, doctor, or anyone else who works for someone else. What you seem to struggle with is the realization that the guy signing the paycheck is the one who makes that decision, not the employee.

          As for players in the major leagues, they have a very powerful union that negotiated the current working conditions. They agreed to the draft cap structure because it meant they were getting a better deal for the guys who have made it to the bigs. If you have a problem with that, blame the players who apparently were willing to throw these youngsters under the bus. Your problem is that you always start from the position that the team is looking to screw the players, even when it goes against there own self interest.

          But yes, I have trouble feeling bad for a high-school kid who has to suffer the decision of either taking a paultry $100,000 signing bonus vs. taking a free ride to college instead.

          1. Are you so nearsighted that you have to make my point for me. If the value of a player is based on what a owner is willing to pay then this thing places a restraint on that value.
            Exposing pitchers to college coaches who are going to do anything to get ahead is not in the best interest of MLB. Ask Atlee Hamaker (165 pitches and he played outfield the next day NOT DH and popped his arm. An there are hundreds out there with a similar story. And yes the players are culpable. Note one of the main promoters of college as a development site was Bill Giles enough said.

            1. Do you ever have a recent example for anything? Atlee Hamaker played college baseball more than 30 years ago. Quite a bit has changed since then in regards to how colleges coaches handle players. Hell, I threw over 160 pitches in a high-school game in the mid 80’s. No chance of that happening in today’s world.

              As far as the value of draft picks is concerned, you’re swimming against the tide. Baseball has just followed suit with all of the other major sports who also have some type of draft cap. Owners and the players unions alike have come to understand that having some 18-year old who has never played a professional game getting paid more than a guy who has worked his way to the highest level in the sport is foolish.

              Truth is that of all of the sports, baseball (and hockey) are by far are more fair to the players. In both basketball and football, high school kids have no choice but to go to college and play for scholarship money while the schools make millions on their efforts. Baseball gives them the option of turning pro immediately and getting paid.

      2. “Texas bid a record $51.7 million posting fee — topping the $51,111,111.11 the Boston Red Sox bid in 2006 to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka.”

      3. You don’t have a clue what these prospects go through. The signing bonus isn’t enough. The young guys out of high school that everybody has ragged on don’t get ****.Do you know the boys still in XST have been there for 3 months & the Phillies don’t pay them anything but room & board. And believe me their not at the Hilton.Would you give up 5 years of your life & a great college career for nothing ?Not to mention unless they do have money invested in them,they get looked over.So please walk the walk before you talk the talk.And by the way if they don’t make it which 90% won’t they have to start their life at 25 & know nothing but baseball,so yeah I’m for all the money they can get.

        1. Oh, I think I have a clue what a prospect goes through. I’ve played baseball with & against dozens of guys who had been drafted and played minor league baseball and it’s certainly not an easy life. Professional sports is a tough profession, especially for those who don’t reach the top. And I certainly have no problem the players trying to get as much money as they can possibly get. That why I won’t complain about guys becoming FA’s and signing with the team that offers them the most.

          That being said, anyone who is getting drafted in the top 15-20 rounds most certainly has the option to go to college, with at least a partial scholarship (unless they are dopes). That they choose to go the professional route is their decision. No they certainly aren’t getting rich but then again, how many 18-year olds do you know get jobs in the business world who are getting rich either?

          Baseball is a business, and like all businesses, teams will allocate more resources towards those assets that give them the best chance for a return. A guy drafted in the 30th round is most likely not going to become a big league ball player so the team has little incentive to spend $$$ on signing and developing that player. Yes, its a harsh reality but that is the reality and its no different than some guy in the mailroom getting nothing while the hot-shot sales rep is getting stock options.

          As for these guys starting their life at 25 & knowing nothing, that is a sad commentary on them. The guys who I know that played certainly don’t fit that profile.

          1. I don’t agree, what did you or I know coming out of high school ? nothing. So these guys put their lifes on hold chasing a dream and then it is back to square one.Would you work for the next 5 years for nothing on a slim 5% chance you might make money,No.As far as working in the mail room, it is a lot different,you can move up and make more money as you go.In baseball you may get a small raise when & if you hit Triple A.You are right it is a harsh life & yes the kids are chasing their dreams,but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be compensated. Time is money & they put in the time.

        2. There should be a distribution of the wealth, so some of those 90% can have a larger piece of the pie. Its the American way, the nanny state so to speak.

  6. As far as the “Chicken Little- Sky is Falling Stuff” from the “Draft Gurus”, I believe the system will work pretty much as it always has. Having limits, players will not be inclined to be hoodwinked by shifty agents and “advisers” who pump their heads full of ” Sugar Plums” and cause them to price themselves out of the market. They should do what they always should have done, Go to College if they have a genuine interest in going to College, or, if a legitimate player do the smart thing and sign on the dotted line, rather than demanding some “pie in the sky” figure that doesn’t make business sense.

  7. Marfis way to much info. I get the feeling you visit thet library way to much. Who are you to comment anyway. At least he had something inteligent to say about baseball.
    I hope the Phil’s don’t attack one position. That shows a complete lack of confidence. Which is understadable after their track record on position players. This makes no sense. They have done it at c, ss, 3b and of.

    1. I don’t agree. Anyhow, you’ve listed every position except 1B and 2B. Some of the SS/3B we’ve drafted can play 2B, as Asche has done. I think last year’s #1 settles at 1B, so that’s also covered. I think we are still light at C in the lower levels. With 3 OF positions to fill, there are going to be a lot of OFs picked each year.

  8. I don’t see why people expect so much change. The ability to sign players is driven by the money available to spend and that isn’t changing across MLB. The Phillies should still be able to sign the Cosarts, Colvins, Pointers, and Browns. There were never many of these guys in any draft. For this draft, we have five picks with bonus values of $500K or above, which would permit us to pick 5 high-ceiling HS kids. That’s more than we’ve taken in just about any draft.
    It is argued that signability is now far more of an issue. I don’t see the validity of that, either. This is a weak draft. Picks through the first 3 rounds are protected, so really zero risk, likely you get to pick a better guy next year if one of our first 5 doesn’t sign. This does put more of a signability premium on rounds 4-8, where the allowable bonus is significantly higher than in the subsequent rounds and you don’t get a go-over. I do expect more college guys going in rounds 4-8.

    1. We actually have 4 picks with $500K bonuses. I think we will take a mix of 2 HS and 2 college with the college picks hopefully giving us a little room under slot for flexibility later.

      There should not be dramatic change with the draft. I think the changes will be subtle. Spending will probably drop about 10%. I think the top 100 slots roughly equal the money spent on the top 100 bonuses last time. What will happen in practice, however, is more players will choose not to sign. When that portion of the bonus pool disappears you will get less total money spent. Teams will probably draft a little conservatively to make sure they can sign top picks. If they are more aggressive then I think we will see 10%-15% of the top round picks not sign. And MLB will save that amount on bonuses compared to previous years.

    2. Well, I think a few things change. I think better talent will be drafted higher, because there is lower risk to the teams of losing a chance to sign a good prospect. You just get another pick next year. Sign-ability is no longer at issue for the first three rounds.

      From the draft pick perspective, I think what has changed is that in the past the amount of money that you could extract from a MLB club was higher in any given year. I think that meant that the negotiating stance of the draftee was better, because they could just defer and hope for a better offer next year. A draftee certainly can still defer; but in this new scenario, the draftee’s upside by waiting isn’t as high, because it’s capped. To me, for those draftees in the first 10 rounds, I would expect to see a higher yield, because waiting won’t pay any more.

      For those drafted outside the top 10 rounds; well, I’m less certain. Maybe college and an education can produce more opportunity? Maybe in another year they can get in the top ten. Yeah, I think that’s probably it. Kids will hope they can defer and make it into the top 10 rounds. Obviously older college kids have no choice to sign, but I think it will make it less likely for younger kids to sign.

      Then you have to wonder what loopholes will pop up. I think I saw someone say someone is going to emigrate to haiti and declare free agency. You never know, but in the pursuit of money, agents and players are usually very creative.

    3. I doubt there will be any negative change to the Phillies’ recent draft strategy. The Phillies rarely give more than 3 players 500k bonuses in the same draft, and they have slots for 4 players at that level, this year. The changes may make the team more likely to take High Schoolers in the 1st 4 rounds.
      Also, even with the penalties for exceeding the total budget, the Phillies can still sign a late round pick to 245k, and stay under the 5% threshhold for losing draft pick next year.

  9. Keith Law just stated again in his chat that the Phillies are very interested in Mitch Gueller as a pitcher with their first pick….he’s usually very good with this, he was the dirt person I saw who tied Biddle the Phils in 2010. He put up a scouting report as well, but I can’t copy/paste because I’m on my phone.

  10. I have full faith in the Southern California prep scouts. Jon Singleton and Pat Gillick is on record saying if the Marlins passed on Yellich he wouldve been the pick over Biddle.

  11. Culling those who we should pick is fun…but concentrating on the system’s need for catchers and pitchers would be the best way to go. Like last season when we drafted for infield help, this year we need to fill the catcher position with some of the best prospects available. We are in deep doo-doo at that position throughout our pharm teams. And Ruiz is already in his low 30s with Valle struggling at Reading. And pitchers who are always a need…especially with the aged crew who make up the present rotation. Aside from May and Biddle, who is currently a shining prospect for candidacy?

    Hoping PP will add some of his own thinking to our discussion!

    1. I hope they take the best players available regardless of position. Targeting positions gets you in trouble.

      I’m fine if they target like an offensive guy but not: We need a catcher… let’s take him because he’s a catcher.

      1. Perhaps something like BPA for first 5/7 rounds, then ‘needs’ thereafter?

    1. Seconded, although I should qualify that with being able to actually sign the guy.

  12. I believe that BPA is a cliche that is ignored by MLB teams…who are most likely to draft for needs. The Phils last draft is proof of that. Then (in ’11) we drafted about 6 infielders in an attempt to fill those holes that are about to be gaping on the big team.

    We knew then that 3rd base is now and in the near future devoid of any likely replacement from our prospects and Galvis was not certain to be our SS beyond J-Roll; further Utley was/is uncertain as to whether he’d ever play again and if so how effectively.

    Last year’s draft was aimed at these impending needs, NOT at the BPA. BPA is only applied if the prospect is one of about 10 “sure things” but beyond that it is aimed at filling needs.

    Hoping that catchers are high on our list of draftees for reasons expressed above.

    1. You don’t draft to fill needs on the big team. You do draft to fill needs on the farm system. But that isn’t ignoring BPA. You fill holes in the system by placing scouting resources in various places. If you have a lot of players in AAA/AA, you scout high schoolers heavily. Or you scout infielders, hitters, pitchers, etc. But if you’re looking at scouting reports, you NEVER take a player you’ve scouted as weaker because you have a need there.

    2. K_Law
      Let me say this again … you NEVER draft for need in MLB. Absolutely never. In a sport where the time to the majors for prospects is measured in years, not months or weeks, it is stupid to try to anticipate needs that far down the road.

      This was Law’s response when asked about drafting for Need

      1. And years down the road is an excellent point as well. Your second baseman turns up with chronic tendonitis and all the sudden your greatest strength is your biggest weakness.

        And let me also stress this. You don’t get bonus points for stocking every position in the minors with prospects. YOU CAN ALWAYS TRADE YOUR EXCESS TALENT FOR PLAYERS YOU NEED.

  13. What do you guys think of Christian Walker from South Carolina. Would add some power into the system and it shouldn’t be too difficult to sign considering he’s already won a couple championships at SC and is from the Philly area.

  14. zolecki is saying the phillies might go the college route early in draft. everything that i have read, says this is the worst college crop of hitters in ten years, and we are going college route makes no sense.

  15. Perfect Games final mock


    LEWIS BRINSON – OF – Coral Springs HS, Fla.

    The Phillies interest in extremely athletic young players is well documented, and outside of Anthony Alford and Jameis Winston, both of whom are expected to pose signability issues, Brinson fits their preferences better than anyone here.


    AUSTIN MADDOX – RHP – Florida

    Whoever drafts Maddox will likely insert him into the starting rotation after he served as the closer for the Gators. He has a relatively fresh arm, and a nasty fastball-slider one-two punch.

  16. i am on board with brinson, perfect phillies pick, toolsy outfielder. on baseball america i looked up top 500 a couple of former draft picks on there.

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