2014 MLB Draft: Round 1 (Aaron Nola) and 2 (Matt Imhof)

The draft is here.  The Phillies pick at #7 and #47 tonight.  The team here will update this post as the night goes on, but let the fun begin.

MLB.com Live Draft Stream

Phillies select LSU RHP Aaron Nola with the #7 overall pick

Phillies select Cal Poly LHP Matt Imhof with the #47 overall pick

About Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has previously appeared on Phuture Phillies and The Good Phight. You can read his work at Phillies Minor Thoughts

146 thoughts on “2014 MLB Draft: Round 1 (Aaron Nola) and 2 (Matt Imhof)

  1. I’m praying to the draft gods that Alex Jackson falls to the Phillies. With Seattle picking in front of them, it’s unlikely, but you never know- Jon Heyman said that they have legitimate interest in Sean Newcomb as well.

    1. Would love to see Jackson. Would really like anyone but Nola, which means that’s exactly who we’ll take.

      1. I’d love Jackson or Gordon, quite happy with Nola or Hoffman and content with Newcomb.

  2. A chance to start turning this organization around. No more slips like last season’s drafts. No more throwaway picks. We need a smart, aggressive draft and 104.99% spend of our draft quota and some $100K picks thrown in in the later rounds. If this is another year which is limited by a self-imposed, less-than-spend-every-possible-penny-under-the-rules draft, then we’ll remain what we are. Also need an all-in international signing season, with the rest of the remaining $ from 2013 also spent.

    1. Agree…….this club need to loosen the purse strings a bit. Soetimes desperate people do desperate things….and Ruben has appeared pretty anxious of late with the team sinking .

  3. they really are milking this thing arent they , maybe its me and being more nervous because phillies have a high pick and should end up with a good player tonight hopefully two

  4. With how the draft going, it’s looking like there’s little shot of Gordon or Jackson falling to the Phillies.

  5. Schwarber before Jackson, Gordon, et al. Interesting. Underslot possibility?

  6. Don’t be surprised if the phillies don’t draft the guy you want if he falls. They probably have a verbal agreement with someone already.

  7. please not nola! command and control guy with fly ball tendancies? we shouldn’t be looking for a number 5 pitcher this high in the draft.

  8. Getting a not so good feeling about this pick. Would take a chance on Hoffman due to the fact that the big club will not compete next year anyway. Stash him and hope he is the top 3 pick he was supposed to be.

    1. A case could be made for Hoffman sure – I even might buy it.

      But imagine the outcry among the fan base (yes, uninformed) if they had taken someone who wasn’t going to play for a year because of TJ surgery.

      1. Yep, I said this a couple days ago. Also, I think it’s worth saying: there are no certainties about coming back from TJ. There’s still a minority of guys who never make it back the same. Maybe not a huge one, but if you overlay that on top of the uncertainty that is attached to any draft pick, I can see why they might have been reluctant. Toronto is in kind of an ideal situation with two picks at the top, they can afford to take a gamble with one.

    1. who cares how fast he moves. The phillies will need 1B, 2B, SS, CF, LF, RF & C.

  9. It’s fine. You could argue for a higher upside pick, but it’s not like they reached for someone. Nola has a good shot to be a solid #3. People are acting like they picked another Kendrick. There’s a reason that just about everyone had him ranked around #7. You can argue that he isn’t the best fit for the team, but once the top 5 were gone, he was very much in the next tier. He won’t be an ace, but of the players they could have drafted, he has the best shot at being a solid contributor to the next Phillies’ winning team.

    1. If they drafted Yovani Gallardo with their first top ten pick in years, that would be ok with you? Because that seems to be this guys upside. Like, if absolutely everything goes as planned.

      1. Okay, first of all I don’t necessarily see that as a good “if everything goes as planned” comp.

        But if he turns in a 16.8 career WAR player, frontloaded into his controllable years (and of course still pitching) that is a great result for a number 7 pick.

        1. I mean, the alternatives out there … maybe a couple of them – Hoffman, maybe … has a 5% chance of ace status. Say 5% chance of a 20-25 WAR player during his controllable years. And a MUCH higher chance of complete flame out. Sorry, I’ll take the #3 (yes, I know, even that is not guaranteed, but there are no guarantees for pitchers) with #2 upside.

          1. Jesse Biddle, with similar projection, was taken by the Phillies 27th overall. That is why I don’t like this pick. Now was the time to take a chance, not to try to draft a player that can contribute as soon as possible. IMO

            1. Nola was the sixth-ranked prospect. I don’t think Biddle was anywhere close to that highly rated.

            2. Jesse Biddle was a HS guy. Much lower floor projection. There is a reason this guy was in most mock top 5’s.

            3. …and that’s why your posts are disappearing…you don’t like Nola because Biddle has performed below expectations? I think enough chances have been taken on toolsy, high-upside guys that we are still waiting…and waiting…and waiting to see if the upside is even there…I think it was time for a more solid pick, and I like it…a lot

            4. A statement of fact rather than a snappy comeback, but as a snappy comeback, I really like it.

            5. You’re taking a chance on every draft pick. This pitcher compares in no way to Biddle who is a LEFTY. Nola has excellent control and good stuff. Biddle has very good stuff and average control/command. These are completely different players.

            6. Does Biddle really have very good stuff? Nola’s FB is the equal of Biddle’s. We’ll have to wait and see how the off-speed pitches compare, when facing pro hitters. Nola once had a killer curve. If he can refind it, he really would have quite good stuff to go with his control and command.

            7. That didn’t come out quite right. I know that Biddle has quite good stuff. I’ve seen it when it’s on and also seen it when he can’t control it at all. I guess the way I should have phrased it is ‘does Biddle really have stuff that is clearly superior to Nola’s?’ Not at all sure that he does.

            8. both project as solid #3 with chance to become #2. Phillies do not have legit #1 in minor league system.

            9. Really, few teams do. There aren’t many true #1s in the bigs and they tend to last quite a few years, meaning there really never are more than a half dozen or so true #1s in the minors at any time. Hamels is the best we’ve had in a long, long while from our minors and he really hasn’t performed quite like a true #1.

            10. I mean, Nola isn’t just a put the ball in the spot and pitch to contact guy. He’s averaging over 10 Ks/9 again solid college competition.

        2. This comment originally slotted somewhere way different talking about Nola right after he was picked.

      1. You sure you want to put him in that (Clearwater) environment given the team’s losing ways?

    1. His numbers in the SEC were sick this year. He has more upside than a #3.

  10. I have no issue with the pick. The Phillies haven’t had a solid farm system addition for a very long time. If he’s a safe pick and can contribute in the rebuilding process this would be a good move.

    Let’s hope the rebuilding starts soon. I’m tired of the slop the club is putting out there. I don’t know if I trust Ruben to make any decent trades though.

    1. if everything breaks right and he adds little more on his fastball he could reach #2. But you have to be concerned with his small stature and throwing alot of innings.

  11. So where does Nola rank among our top prospects? Above Biddle? They seem to have the same upside.

  12. I would Rather Hoffman. I dont see it as that big of a deal that he cant pitch till next year. How many innings would he pitch this year if he was healthy anyway 20 30 tops. Shane Watson pitched just 7 innings his first year. i like Nola but i would have went for the upside in Hoffman. Waiting a year year and a half would have been no big deal for me anyway.

    1. A dude who gained a lot of velocity in college who is already getting Tommy John? No thanks.

  13. Without having much to say about the merits of the pick itself, I’m just glad that this pick gives us a chance at immediate gratification. JP Crawford has shown to be a great pick, and has given us more reason for optimism faster than could have been reasonably expected, but that wasn’t necessarily the feeling at the time of the draft. This is a guy who will quickly make his way to Clearwater and even Reading, and we’ll have a good idea about his real upside, probably by early next summer.

    Waiting on the Hewitts/Greens/Colliers/Golsons of the world is exhausting, and ultimately unsatisfying in the vast majority of the cases.

  14. Over the last couple of years the phillies have spent a lot of high picks and money on hitters. We need to add a lot of pitchers and to get younger.we do have some good young hitters in the sys. The starting pitching is paper thin.

    1. Why does it make you sad? Conforto, while a good hitter, is truly nothing special.

    1. thats fine if the Phillies had a core coming up. He is safe pick on a team that is disillusioned about themselves. Its not a horrible pick…I just think you have few opportunities to draft in top 10…you got to take your shots here.

  15. When is the last time we had a guy with plus plus control that didn’t max out at 85?

    1. Well, we still don’t have a guy like that. I think he has plus control. 55,60/80

      1. From Keith Law:
        Analysis: Nola is my pick for the first non-reliever in this class to reach the majors, boasting plus-plus command of a 91-93 mph fastball and feel for two other pitches.

  16. I think this is a good pick. I don’t see it as a deluded “win now” pick as some have suggested. I see it as they are picking a guy who is going to slot into potentially pretty decent rotation in a couple of years with Hamels and Biddle, plus possibly Lee if he is still around. It won’t transform the franchise or fix everything all at once, but that’s not the way the MLB draft works anyway. This was a pick the Phillies couldn’t afford to waste and it seems like they didn’t waste it. I’m sure they missed out on a star, but they probably missed out on some busts too.

    1. your right. It was safest pick they could make. When the franchise ranks near bottom of league for 1st rounder success in past 10 years…they make moves like this.

  17. Are we seeing a move away from the “toolsy” outfielder picks and a trend towards guys that can hit and pitch? One can only hope

  18. It was a good, solid pick. A solid #3 starter, with a little upside beyond that. As in football, you can trust the combine measurements and stopwatch, or you can watch what the guy does on the field against top college competition. Nola did great against top college competition. The Phillies have busted on so many boom/bust first rounders, they really couldn’t afford a repeat of that here. Guys with huge FB will be available later in the draft. There are a ton of highly projectible HS kids in this draft, didn’t need to gamble on one with the seventh pick. Nola should have a speedy trip to the bigs. No pitcher is guaranteed, but he seems a lesser chance to blow out his arm and certainly doesn’t have a lot of learning left to do.

    1. I’m fine with the pick, but why do you say he has a lesser chance to blow out his arm? I’ve read some concerns about his low arm slot and a slight inverted w in his delivery.

    1. There really aren’t that many. Nola and Biddle. Perhaps Morgan, Mecias and Watson if the come back healthy. I’m skeptical on Morgan and Watson.

      1. We regularly have the appearance of the ballyhooed new baby aces at Lakewood, but haven’t seen that since the Pettibone crew came through, and he’s out re-inured. We have a some relief and #4/5 starter candidates scattered around the farm, but few starters that stir the blood.

    2. I like your thinking. But, I think we have to draft a pitcher with our second round pick to get the hype up again.

  19. ok pick. I always prefer upside over probability but I don’t know that they was anyone around there pick that projected greater upside. I’m not big on drafting a guy like Hoffman that high in the 1st round because I don’t think his overall upside is that much higher.

  20. Nola is a good pick, he is one of the few that I understand that are fairly close to making it to the majors. Im finally glad to see a college player selected rather than a toolsy player from HS. Seems to be much more swing and miss on those prospects. It maybe a crap shoot, but this one is stack in the Phils favor that they will get a quality player – and quite possibly a star.

  21. On an unrelated note why are some of my posts disappearing? They are all topic related and contain no profanity, etc. Technical issues?

  22. Well were about 20 picks away from our 2nd pick. Anyone think Gatewood gets there?

  23. A better than good pick in light of our great NEED to fill the pitching vacuum in our system. From the description of his weapons and COMMAND, he could be another Hamels who uses his advanced change-up as a major weapon. It is a dream, but his assets also remind me of a possible Greg Maddox type pitcher with such great command, a sinking-moving fast ball, a special change-up, and another breaking ball to become above average.

    Not just good; possibly GREAT!

    P.S. Congrats to me…I’ve been lobbying for a quick-advance college pitchers for a full year now based on NEED, notwithstanding all those who disagreed that need was secondary to the “best player available.”. It was obvious to me. And it was also obvious that last year’s #1 pick was for SS. another great need in the system.

  24. Since my post of 3 minutes ago does NOT appear, I’ll say again: Great pick. Command, special change-up, moving sinking FB 91-94. Hamels from right side for the great change-up; Mr. Maddox for command and pitch movement.

    The choice to fill a NEED, as I’ve pitched for a year now. Obvious–like a SS last year and now a COLLEGE PITCHER as I’ve said should be the target.

    1. your describing one hall of fame guy and another guy who won WS MVP. Most are projecting Nola as #3.

      1. Realistically, Hamels is a solid #3. He caught lightning in 2008, and has been inconsistent since. That is what makes a #3 a #3. Good stuff, but inconsistent. A true ace has one or two bad starts a year, not bad months like Cole. For the sake of argument, I will concede that on some teams Cole would be #1, but like our team now, those teams are no good. On some teams Cole would be #2, but those teams would hope for an average finish to the year. His rightful spot on a contender is #3. Bottom line. He would be the 4th best pitcher on a few of the contenders. I don’t mean this as an indictment of Nola’s potential, I’m just tired of people thinking that Hamels is now, or ever will be a front line starter again. Once the league got used to him, he became the pitcher he is now. That was 2009. We got lucky having a team that could mash spend a whole season playing fundamental baseball behind him in 2008. A closer that closed every game, incredible defense at six positions, and an injury free campaign. Stop talking about Hamels like he’s anything more than fringe All-Star that made two of those teams because of the WS MVP.

        1. Um. Wow. Yeah. I, like, completely disagree with ALMOST all of this post. I agree that he’s not a number 1. That’s about it.

        2. RedBeard,
          I do not at all understand where you’re coming from. This sounds like anti-Hamels sentiments of 2009 (his worst professional season). What you’re forgetting is that Hamels 2 best seasons were 2010 and 2011, 2008 doesn’t even come close to what he accomplished those other seasons. If Hamels is a #2 pitcher, then he pitches on a damn good team, or in his current situation, a mismanaged team with a stark falloff from pitchers 1-2 to the rest of the rotation and entire bullpen. No one else considers an ace to have 1 or 2 bad starts a year. Its more like 1 or 2 stretches of 3-4 games where they may only pick up 1 quality start. For you to effectively prove that Hamels is not a 1 or 2 you’d need to come up 60 pitchers whom every team will take before Cole.

          It’s not gonna happen, love him or hate him for ’09, Cole Hamels is an ace. No arguing.

            1. Why wouldn’t #1 = top 30 (1 per team), #2 = 31-60, etc? That seems the most straightforward meaning of #n pitcher.

            2. Because it doesn’t reflect where the divisions of talent are. The measurement is a measurement against the league. The scouting evaluation, is a measure of ability, if you want to go 2-8, a #1 is a 8 or high 7, a #2 is a 7 or high 6, a #3 is a 6, a #4 is a 5.

  25. Why am I thinking We end up with Lancaster, PA native, UVA OF Derek Fisher at 47?

  26. the Phillies almost have to take some upside potential in 2nd round. Nola picks was ultra safe. You won’t always be drafting in top 7.

  27. I don’t see matt would be pulling post…he wasn’t huge fan of Nola #7.

  28. All this complaining, did everyone hope for them to draft “a high school outfielder with great tools and raw talent and great instincts”?

    And before I forget, a big shout out to Wheels and Sarge manning the table. Miss you guys….

  29. I don’t scout like a lot of you guys do, but listen to mayo and others, this kid dominate the acc. twice pitcher of year, has a fastball and can command it, this is a good college pitcher who projects to be a starter in majors.

  30. Huh, Gatewood is still on the board, they just picked #40. So six more to go. I would be more than happy to get a toolshed pick like him at #47. Fingers crossed.

  31. Weird, my last comment showed up like halfway up the comment board. Something strange going on. Should have kept my mouth shut anyway, Gatewood went on the next pick. Would have loved for him to drop 5 more slots to us. Shoot.

  32. #2 Matt Imhoff, a left-handed pitcher from Cal Poly. Another college guy designed to move quickly to the big leagues?

    1. I’m not as thrilled with Imhoff. Seems a reasonably safe pick, but… #4/5 guy who’ll need better stuff than he’s got to pair with a not all that fast FB? Seems we’re going control guys this year.

  33. Imhof, more like Imwoof, am I right?

    Just kidding I know nothing about the guy except he seems like a pretty low-ceiling pick at #47.

    1. Yeah, that’s the problem. Our scouts haven’t done that well uncovering true high ceiling guys. They’ve had blinders that allow them to ignore missing key tools (the hit tool for position players and the control tool for pitchers) because they fell in love with another flash tool or two. They saw immense raw power in LGJ. Clearly they fell in love with his batting practice power and just ignored the lack of drive and absence of a hit tool. They fell in love with Hewitt’s batting practice power, ignored his age and that he couldn’t field his position, and that he lacked a hit tool. He was athletic and could sometimes hit the ball a really long way. That’s not high ceiling, that’s flash. When they took Hudson in round two, what was there? Athletic, runs fast, plus CF defensive instincts. No hit tool. There’s a pattern here and a change in philosophy was needed. A HS arm that can throw the ball through a wall, but has no idea whether it will be the living room wall or the dining room wall can’t be anything more than Aumont, without great instruction. I think the organization just recognizes its failings and is trying to move back a bit from the ‘super high risk’ end of the prospect curve. It takes better minor league instructors and more competent scouts than we’ve got to successfully mine that far end of the risk curve. I think it’s the instruction as much as the scouting. What we got back in the Lee trade were guys who fit our scouting model to a T. They had experienced some success above rookie ball, meaning the obvious duds like Hudson and Hewitt had been weeded out. All three went downhill for us. If you can’t develop the flash talent you covet after seeing it on display for a couple years in the minors, then you need to work with more polished prospects or change your development staff/philosophy or both.

    1. everything I have read says he has some upside. He is big kid and that means he could add velocity. One thing I will say is they good one great control guy and one good control guy who know how to strike people out. You don’t always need to set their hair on fire to strike them out. My felling is the phillies might just need to use money to get #1 in a few years. I would trade Lee this season and Hamels shouldn’t be off limits.

  34. Yeah, I think we’re all pretty down on this pick. Let’s hope they have a better understanding with him about his bonus expectations than they did with Wetzler.

    Also, weirdly, it seems like Wolever was being completely on the level with his predraft comments about going the low risk route. Strange, didn’t see that honesty coming.

    1. The phillies had the look of a team who has been burned too often. I equate it to a fighter. They jab now and don’t look to throw the big hook. That might be the better approach for them. If St. Louis made these two picks we would be saying…see that why they are successful they take proven college guys.

    1. I love how the guy who leads the country in strikeouts, is a down pick, funny stuff, this kid has strikeout potential and at the college level, want is so wrong with that, he controls his fastball in the zone, sounds like at best, a left hand reliever who doesn’t walk people{ bastardo} and can control his fastball.

  35. alright who is left for round 3? I think its time they start to take advantage of the depth in this draft at HS pitcher. A kid like Wiesenberg or Cobi Johnson, an under the radar because of injury live arm like Montes de Oca, or even go with one of the young prep catchers like Reetz or Shwartz. How about jared cosart’s brother Juco pitcher Jake.

  36. I think this 3rd rd pick will very likely be a high ceiling HS kid who’s gonna come over slot. This is the pick to do it means its the last protected round.

    1. ya id predict a lot of players that area scouts and cross checkers have seen. Ive seen Stone Garrett here in Houston. Hes a guy I could see them target today. I have my perfect game subscription ready to go.

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