2017 Draft Discussion: Week of May 16th

Just four weeks until the the Rule 4 Amateur Draft.  Here is the weekly discussion thread for the draft.  I provided updates for the four college players profiled in last weeks discussion.  It is nearly impossible to get individual stats on the high school players, so I don’t have updates on them.  

The Phillies have the eighth overall pick.   These six players were presented in an article last week by John Yarusinsky.  Here’s how they did over the last week.

  • Kyle Wright, Vanderbilt, RHP

No. 25 Vanderbilt earned their 30th victory of the season defeating No. 15 Arkansas, 6-2 Saturday (5/13).  The Commodores (30-19, 13-11) were led by another strong outing from their ace, Kyle Wright. Wright (3-5) threw seven innings striking out 11. Wright retired 21 of the 24 batters he faced, only surrendering two hits and a walk.  In his previous outing (5/6), Wright threw nine solid innings striking out 13, but earned a no-decision. Kyle Wright is currently tied for third in the SEC in strikeouts with 93.

  • Pavin Smith, Virginia, 1B

Smith went 1-10 for #10 Virginia (38-12,16-11) in the weekend series against Miami.  For the season he is batting .355/.433/.585/1.018 with 21 XBH among his 65 hits including 10 HR. He has drawn 28 walks and struck out only 7 times in 217 plate appearances (3.2%).

  • Nick Pratto, Huntington Beach HS, CA, 1B

I couldn’t find anything on Pratto over the last week.

  • Jeren Kendall, Vanderbilt, OF

Kendall went 2-12 in the Arkansas series.  He is batting .296/.372/.545/.917 with 23 XBH among his 50 hits including 13 HR.  He has drawn 23 walks, but has struck out 63 times in 244 plate appearances (25.8%).

  • Austin Beck, N. Davidson HS, NC, OF

Beck’s team won a pair of 2-1 games in the state 4A tournament.  I couldn’t find anything on him individually.

  • ​​Jake Burger, Missouri State University, 3B

Burger went 5-11 for #13 Missouri State University in the weekend series against Indiana State.  He is batting .345/.459/.706/1.165 with 30 XBH among his 68 hits including 20 HR. He has drawn 37 walks and has struck out 29 times in 246 plate appearances (11.8%).


46 thoughts on “2017 Draft Discussion: Week of May 16th

    1. Agree. I’ll pass on another toolsy OF who has contact issues. And it’s probably silly even to have Kyle Wright in the discussion. Unless he really fades in the coming weeks, he’s not falling past the Braves at #5.

      I could definitely see the Phillies select Pavin Smith if he is available, which is no guarantee.

  1. An interesting name that was mentioned in a recent mock draft is Shane Baz, who is said to have the deepest pitching arsenal in the draft. He throws mid/high 90s with decent breaking stuff. Unless Royce Lewis, Pavin Smith, or Austin Beck are still on the board, I’d go with him, just based on the few scouting reports I’ve read and videos I’ve seen of him.

    1. Keith Law has Baz at 1-8. I’m reading that he’s a hard sell vs his college commitment.

      Me? I’m Cravin’ for some Pavin!!

      1. From scout.com:………… but dated October 2016
        Pavin Smith, First-Baseman/Outfielder, Virginia
        A common thread in baseball, you trade power for contact. In the case of Pavin Smith, you get both with strikeout rates being drastically low. The image of a future middle of the order bat with power potential without forcing outs at the plate has drawn scouts to see very high value in Smith.
        Smith has struck out in just 10.8% of his plate appearances in college, with a .488 slugging percentage. Over the last five years, no Major League player has matched those numbers with the closest being Victor Martinez at 10.2 K% and .464 SLG%. If you go back 10 years, only Albert Pujols and Vlad Guerrero have better numbers. Of course, that’s at the college level and not Major League level, but in short, Smith is already a pure hitter at the amateur level ready to make a quick impact.
        Smith stays pretty compact in his swing, keeping a simple swing plane and utilizing his lower half and natural strength to gain his power. He shows good balance in his approach, flashing to the aggressive side but shows the discipline to be a selective hitter, waiting on his pitch. An advanced hitter since his prep days, scouts are still waiting to see all of his power potential to show in his large, six-foot-three, 210 pound frame, but with his natural strength and swing should allow for 20+ home run potential.
        Smith has slightly below-average speed, and his abilities in the field may keep him from being a top pick despite being such a pure hitter. Following his freshman year, just weeks after Virginia won the College World Series, Smith had Tommy John surgery limiting him to just designated hitting in the early stages of his sophomore season. He has enough athleticism to play in left field, but seems best suited as a first baseman with a strong arm.

  2. All:I love Pavin Smith as a prospect, too. But, unfortunately, the kid is so good that he probably won’t be there at 1-8. Outside of him and Kendall (and Burger, I guess) this is supposed to be a very weak college bat draft, so his value will be that much higher come draft day. If we’re talking bats, I think Pratto, Burger, and Beck would all be viable options. Not sold on Jordan (?) Adell personally, but he he’s a tools, supremely athletic outfielder (where have we heard that before? hmmm…)

  3. Another name to consider is Alex Faedo. He’s considered a safe pick a la Aaron Nola (but better: #3 floor, high #2 ceiling with a decent FB (91-94) average to plus breaking stuff and the best command in this draft). Given how desperately the Phillies need a top end pitching talent, he could definitely be their pick.

  4. Yeah i think your right another safe. NOLA pick if this is the way to build a championship picking nola types. I need to go to mental hospital. i rather take a chance on a guy who is 5 tool guy who might hit over nola type that high in draft

    1. I’m not saying he’s who I would take, but given how the phillies seem to play it on the safe side when it comes to the draft (in recent years), so it could happen.

    2. Let’s keep the dental floss and guitar string away from our man Roc. Praying for you, brother.

    3. rocco…Byberry is now closed.
      You may have to go to Rikers Island, NY for further evaluation….but that may close soon also.

  5. Let’s buy the arms with the depth of the organization and the dollars in Middleton’s pockets. I’m not in faith for waiting on these fragile and fickle pitching prospects. Not a stud among the group that’ll be available. I want a bat. If not Pavin, then Pratto or Beck or Burger. Beer next year?

    1. I Am for doing a hinkie and tanking for Beer. I am only going by what i have read, but am starting to like beck.

      1. Roccom, I like your attitude and the fact that winning a few extra games not only means nothing but is counter-productive and harmful.

        I have zero confidence in the front office including Middleton. He needs to go over the limit for top Latin talent and pay the tax. This organization is crying for a future can’t miss star. There is not one kid in the minor league system that can be projected as a star.

        While I am at it, I can’t believe so many people on this site have bought into the myth that this is some great minor league system with tons of talent and will lead the way for the rebuild. I understand casual fans buying into this myth but not people on this site, who are anything but casual fans. The system is improved but started from ground zero and doesn’t have near enough top shelf talent. And I sure as heck have little confidence that the FO will trade for that talent.

        So Middleton needs to start putting his money where his mouth is. Several organizations have more than two short season teams. The Phillies can start by adding a second Gulf Coast League team. They have all of these Latin kids and draft picks hanging around and not enough innings for them. To make matters worse the Phillies consistently send higher minor leaguers to the Gulf Coast team on rehab assignments, further taking away innings from the young kids. The cost to Middleton to start a second GCL team is the equivalent of spare change under your sofa cushions.

        1. I definitely agree about the perceived depth of our farm system. I think it’s safely in the upper third in all of baseball, but not stacked in the same way that Atlanta’s is. The Braves farms system is just unfair.

  6. Colin Adams

    2017 Catcher out of Caravel Academy in Bear, Delaware

    GP AB H 1b 2b 3b Hr Rbi Bb Avg. OBP SLG. OPS
    14 45 20 11 6 3 1 16 7 0.444 0.509 0.733 1.243

    Leads Team in extra base hits.
    Strong arm from behind the Dish. Perfect game & PBR has him 81-83 mph.
    Pop time – 1.85 – 2.01

    1. Delaware high school baseball is far inferior to any type of talent and their competition discussed on this draft thread. Granted any state or area can produce a MLB player, but 45 AB’s in the Mid-Atlantic HS region might warrant a 30th-40th round look.

      1. I understand what you are saying but that High school plays for out of state games than and other school in the state. They play PA, NJ, and Maryland Nationally ranked teams to play The harder schedule.

  7. It’s a three horse race. The Phillies are likely picking Pavin Smith, Nick Pratto, or Shane Baz. I’ve preferred Smith for about a month and a half now, but I’d be happy with any of these three prospects. I know HS pitching (Baz) is the riskiest of all top 10 picks, but with the Phillies farm system so deep (and lacking superstar types), this is a time when they can roll the dice and take a chance on Baz. He’s got four (some say five) average to plus pitches and is hitting the upper 90’s with his fastball. He has “ace” potential. The other thing with Baz is … he would probably make the most valuable trade piece of all the other candidates they could choose.

      1. Hinkie…agree with you on either of the three……Smith , if he follows the Benentendi/Conforto trajectory, would be, I assume in LF at CBP, in August 2018.

      2. Hinkie…..Eric L. states on Baz….”his control is comfortably below average”.
        I am wondering how to take that statement?
        If he had said command vs control I would feel a little better.

        1. Romus … that report was written last September. I haven’t read anything that critical of Baz’s control this spring. Maybe he’s maturing into better control.

          1. Ok.
            On MLB they have his control at 50 which is average and not poor.

            Shane Baz | Rank: 12 School: Concordia Lutheran (Texas) HS
            Year: Senior….Position: RHP….Age: 17 DOB: 06/17/1999

            Scouting grades: Fastball: 65 | Cutter: 60 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55
            ………..Baz may have the deepest arsenal in the 2017 high school class. His fastball has kicked up a notch to 92-96 mph with a peak of 98 this spring, and he has shown the ability to run and sink it while maintaining its velocity throughout a game. His 84-88 mph cutter generates a lot of swings and misses, and he also can turn the cutter into more of a true slider, spin a curveball that’s a distinctly different pitch and unveil a changeup that could develop into a solid offering.
            Baz’s athleticism and clean delivery should yield consistent strikes, though he sometimes has control issues when he falls in love with his secondary pitches and doesn’t work off his fastball enough. Scouts rave about his makeup as well as his stuff and physicality. He’ll play both ways if he attends Texas Christian, but his upside as a frontline starter should get him drafted high enough to turn pro.

    1. I really like Baz based on the reports I’ve read. If Pavin Smith isn’t there (a guy that would fit perfectly into the 2019-2020 timeline as a LF) he’d be my guy.

  8. Jake Burger and Pavin Smith are 2 players that interest me. They have great BB to K rates with nearly half of their hits being extra bases. Smith rarely strikes out

      1. There are a lot of references to that if you search his name thru the baseball blogs.
        Where will the Phillies go if he and Pavin Smith are still on the board when they select?

  9. I know it was mentioned in one of the other threads, but BA released it’s mock 3.0. http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/mock-mlb-draft-3-0-major-league-baseball-draft/#2Hp22DDKHZVOVkyP.97
    John Manuel still has the Phillies picking Pavin Smith. However, he now has Shane Baz going to the Braves at 1-5. The fact that the Braves are impressed with Baz (according to Manuel), makes me like the Texas RHP even more. No team has done a better job of evaluating HS pitching than Atlanta over the past few years.

  10. After a relatively quiet week, Pavin Smith is back to raking. In Virginia’s first two games vs Ga Tech this weekend, Smith is 5 for 9 (2 BB, 0 K). He has hit 2 HR’s, 1 double, 9 RBI. For the season, he’s at .348/.433/.581, 12 HR, only 8 K.

    1. Brendan McKay may be the best LHP this draft….but his freshman teammate Nick Bennett could possibly be the best LHP in the 2019 draft. Right now he is one of the best , if not the best freshmen starting LHP.
      So tank this year and next….Beer and then Bennett.
      rocco would like that plan! 🙂

    1. Roccom … true, Ga Tech doesn’t have a stud pitcher (although Smith doubled off a tough little LH freshman yesterday). However, Pavin Smith has proven himself against some of the best pitchers available in this year’s draft. He doubled off JB Bukauskas and had two hits off Brendan McKay earlier this season.

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