There really isn’t a good time to evaluate a draft class, so I am not going to call this win or a loss for the Phillies, and with 30 more picks to go there still could be some surprises. With that, I will say I like it because they stuck to a board so far and aren’t being fancy, taking guys who fall without putting their whole draft on one player. I am not reading too much into the amount of college players, and it is impossible to know whether they targeted college players or it just fell that way without seeing their draft board.
Aaron Brown – The Phillies are sticking him in the OF for now (he could end up a reliever if that fails), and he probably starts in CF, though RF is likely the long term position given his arm strength. Brown is still pretty raw as a hitter, with an approach that struggles against off speed pitches, but big time power. The Phillies will likely bring him along slow, but he has more upside than most 3rd round college hitters.
Chris Oliver – Oliver could be a big steal in the 4th round as he has a low mileage arm and good stuff topped with a 93-94 mph FB, that has touchd 97 out of the bullpen. The slider flashes plus and there is some feel for an average changeup as well. If the Phillies can smooth out the mechanics and continue the starter transition, Oliver could be a mid-rotation starter. If not, they could ppush him back to the bullpen and fast track him as a reliever.
Rhys Hoskins – A Cape Cod League stud, Hoskins has big time power, and a good feel for hitting. He likely will end up at first base long term, but college first baseman can hit, cna sometime surprise. He’ll need to mash to have value, but worth keeping an eye on.
Brandon Leibrandt – A college pitchability lefty, more back end starter, but good bloodlines, could be a bit underslot here. He missed most of 2013 due to injury (struck by a ball), so he could be a surprise if he can add a bit in pro-ball.
Emmanuel Marero – Best defensive college shortstop in the draft, not much on offense, but if you can pick it you have a chance as a utility player, not bad for the 7th round.
Sam McWilliams – The most exciting pick so far. Pop up guy who showed in consistent jumps in velocity up to 93-94. Feel for a breaking ball, and a frame (6′ 7″ 190 lbs) that screams projection. He is considered highly signable, could move slowly, but fits lottery ticket profile.
Matt Hockenberry – Senior sign, blame the system
Matt Shortall More money saving
Expect a prep pick in 11th and the normal mix of org filling seniors and signability guys over the next 30 picks