2019 Amateur Draft and J2 Discussion, March 4, 2019

This is the Phuture Phillies forum for discussion of the amateur draft and J2 signing period that are about 3-4 months down the road.   I’m providing this space for those who are ready to enter discussion about this year’s crop of prospects.  You can place video, scouting reports, or just comments here.  You can reference these weekly discussions on the menu above.

This space is for the discussion of prospects in the upcoming draft and J2 signing season.  This is NOT a space for you to continue complaining about past picks and the past/current draft philosophy.  That horse has been beaten to death in  weekly open discussions.  If you must, keep it there.

 

33 thoughts on “2019 Amateur Draft and J2 Discussion, March 4, 2019

  1. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve identified Alek Manoah as the college arm I’m most following so far this season. Most preseason rankings have the big RHP as a late first round pick. Keith Law ranked him #13 on his list last week.
    After consecutive dominant outings to start his year (12.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 21 K), Manoah got roughed up this weekend by the #4 team in the nation (and the defending champs) Oregon State. He lasted just 2 IP, and gave up 4 ER on 4 H and 3 BB, and he K’d 3 in a 9-2 WVU beat down.

    Meanwhile … one of my favorite prep prospects for the draft has been “as advertised” early on. 6’7″ string bean Spencer Jones is a two way player (they’re all the rage!). He’s a developing pitcher with a 93-94 MPH FB, and a plus CB. Jones also plays 1B and carries one of the prep class’ top power tools.

    Jones was a HS teammate of Mickey Moniak at La Costa Canyon in San Diego. If Mickey’s dad Matt stops by, maybe he can give me/us a quick scouting report on Spencer.

  2. The top hitting college player this season is the top hitting college player from last season. Andrew Vaughn’s .402/.531/.819 (23 HR) slash was pretty incredible in 2018. His .529/.680/1.856 (7 HR) slash through his first 10 games this season is other worldly. In my wildest dreams I had envisioned him sliding to the Phillies at 1-14 because Vaughn is a 5’11” RH hitting 1Bman. Barring an injury (probably not even then), that almost certainly is not going to happen.

      1. Guy already has 7 HRs in his first 10 games this season., with an OPS of 1.8.
        He can’t run…one triple in close to 120 games…but he can swing the bat.
        Would be great if he could play some third base.

        1. Yeah … like I said … I was hoping the fact that Vaughn’s size (5’11”), position (1B), and handedness (RH), could cause him to slide to 1-14. There is no way that is going to happen. The bat is toooo exceptional. He was the Golden Spikes winner last season. Looks like he’ll win it again this year.

  3. Kiley McDaniel and Eric Longenhagen have updated their draft board.
    https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2019-mlb-draft?sort=-1,1&type=0&pagenum=0&pageitems=200
    Some players of note (who could realistically be available at 1-14 or the 3rd round [Phillies lost their 2nd round selection with the Harper signing]) for the Phillies:

    * Alek Manoah is the guy I’ve most hyped for the 1-14 pick. Fangraphs has him up to #23.

    * Spencer Jones is another kid I like and highlighted above. He holds steady at #35.

    * Carter Stewart (#27) is sliding down everyone’s list. He has gotten thicker and his stuff has backed up in JUCO.

    * Daniel Espino (#11) and Brennan Malone (#26) are a couple of hard throwing HSRHP’s who I hope get lot of consideration at 1-14. At the very least, they have the kind of ceilings that could be very valuable as trade pieces this winter or next summer if the Phillies want to flip them for immediate help.

    * JJ Goss (#30) is a prep pitcher I think can keep rising up boards and could also be in play (maybe at a discount?) at 1-14.

    * Kameron Misner (#9) and Hunter Bishop (#28) are a couple of sweet swinging LH college hitters that are right up Johnny Almaraz’s alley. Misner should be gone before the Phillies pick. However, he’s had a history of injuries so I guess that could cause some teams to think twice. IMO, it’s 50-50 whether Bishop makes it to the Phillies.

    * Logan Davidson (#20) will be there for the taking at 1-14. As I’ve been mentioning, he’s interesting because Jonny Almaraz has drafted him before (30th round in 2016), and he’s got three plus tools (glove, power, speed). The problems with the 6’3″ SS are his struggle to make consistent contact (too many K’s) and two miserable summers on the Cape.

    * Drey Jameson (#75) is a smaller framed, hard throwing soph. eligible arm from Ball State who I like a lot. However, he’s probably not valuable enough to take at 1-14, and too good to last until the 3rd round.

    * Jeff Belge (COL-P-11) is another guy who Johnny A is familiar with. The Phillies scouted the HSLHP from upstate NY extensively before the 2016 draft. You may best remember him as the pitcher blind in one eye. He’s now a junior at St. Johns and should last until the third round.

    1. Davidson may actually play well and be better suited as a third basemen.
      His metrics are odd….20%plus K rate in D1 and the ACC is pretty poor…but really good BB rate along with the OBP and ISO.
      And like you say…his Cape metrics are really poor.
      He seems to swing hard to power the ball, even with two strikes.
      And maybe some of the power is the ping of the metal…since with wood on the Cape his ISO was only .064.
      I would pass on him if he was there when the Phillies selection comes up.

      1. Romus … agree that Logan Davidson probably isn’t likely to be picked at 1-14. Back in the day (former scouting department), the Phillies may have fallen in love with his power and speed tools. The club is now more focused on the hit tool.
        I do like to follow former Phillies draft picks (I was thinking of writing something on guys the team didn’t previously sign). I guess that’s why I mention Logan Davidson as much as I do.

        1. rocco….hah …a good distress signal or ISO for power guys can be anywhere from .190 and up……normal league average ranges from .130 thru .150
          The top flight premier power guys are usually above .200 and are hitting HRs and doubles.

  4. Hinkie……….I always look forward to your reports on potential prospects for the upcoming draft. Is there anyone who may be considered 1st round talent and is falling due to injury or subpar performance who the Phillies may snag in round 3 or later(minus Carter who you already mentioned)?

    1. Thanks, C Music. The Phillies pick at 1-14, but don’t choose again until the 91st overall spot (3rd round). I didn’t mean to suggest that Carter Stewart could fall to them there. He’ll probably still be get picked by a team with multiple top 75 picks. The DBacks have 4 of the first 34, and five of the first 56 picks. They could be a club to take a chance that Stewart rebounds to his previous stuff.

      TBH … it’s very difficult to predict who Johnny Almaraz may have in mind for the Phillies 3rd round choice … but … that’s never stopped me from guessing before. You might remember last summer, I continually banged the table for (ASU CF’er) Gage Canning and (Louisiana Lafayette LHP) Hogan Harris for the Phillies 4th round pick (they had no second or third round picks). Harris went in the third round to the A’s, and Canning was taken by the Nationals in the fifth round. The Phillies took Colton Eastman with their fourth round selection.

      Here are a few possibilities/guys I like who could be available for the Phillies at #91 overall:

      * Jeff Belge … I mentioned him in my above post. He’s a 6’5″, 215 lb LHP at St. John’s who is blind in one eye. The Phillies scouted him extensively as a prep prospect three years ago. He throws four pitches. His best two are a 95 MPH FB and an above avg CB. He’s gotten off to a slow/dismal start in 2019 (9.2 IP, 14 H, 11 BB, 11 K). However, Belge was impressive on the Cape this summer (35.2 IP, 30 H, 19 BB, 46 K).

      * Kyle Hurt … is another former Johnny Almaraz selection (34th round in 2017). Instead of signing, he honored his commitment to pitch for USC. He’s just a sophomore, but is eligible to be picked this June because of his age (21 YO in May). The 6’3″, 205 lb RHP throws 92-94 T96 FB with sink, plus CU, and average CB/SL. So far this season, Hurt has totaled 16 IP, 15 H, 9 BB, 18 K. He was pretty good on the Cape this summer (23.1 IP, 19 H, 9 BB, 22 K).

      * Nick Quintana … is more of a long shot to make it to the third round. D1 Baseball.com lists him as the #31 ranked college prospect for the draft. Fangraphs has him ranked #47 overall. Quintana was a top HS infielder out of Las Vegas in 2016. Boston took him in the 11th round, but failed to sign him. Quintana has had a good college career at the Univ of Arizona playing SS and 3B. He’ll play 3B (maybe 2B) as a pro. Last season, Quintana slashed .313/.413/.592 14 HR’s. In his first dozen games this season, he’s slashing .302/.474/.372.
      Here is a portion of scouting report on Nick Quintana from former Phillie scout Dave Siefert: “Quintana slashed Athletic, mature build at five-foot-ten, 190 pounds. Plays with a big league swagger. Boasts a plus or better arm when he wants to show it and plus bat speed as his top tools. Can also make fielding look easy with dazzling plays at times.
      Bat speed is generated with good hand strength, barrel tilt and weight transfer. Ball jumps off his barrel. Plus to better raw power to his pull side. Upright and slightly open stance in the back of the box. Minimal separation as he carries his hands on his positive move towards the ball instead of keeping them back. Will crush cookies in his happy spot and, when on time, can easily turn around velocity, as he did to a low-90s, middle-in fastball on one of my looks. However, he has plenty of holes with his aggressive approach and in/out bat path. With 44 strikeouts in 131 plate appearances this summer, there is obvious swing/miss to his game.
      He remains a likely early round pick in 2019 and could enhance his scouting perception if he focused on becoming more grinder-like on an everyday basis, rather than smooth and cool.”

      * Brandon McIlwaine … may be the most intriguing prospect for the 2019 draft. McIlwaine plays CF for the Cal Bears, but he is actually a local two sport star. McIlwaine played both baseball and football at Council Rock North HS. He would have been a first round pick in the 2016 MLB draft had he not removed his name from consideration. Instead, McIlwain (who was named the Gatorade Football Player Of The Year as a dual threat QB) graduated and left HS early (December 2015) to enroll at the University of South Carolina where he planned to star on the gridiron and baseball diamond. Things didn’t work out in either sport there, and he transferred to Cal last year. Although he still plays football for Cal, he no longer plays QB. He is now an athlete/RB for the Bears. His future as a professional athlete is limited to baseball (no Kyler Murray situation here). This is actually McIlwain’s first full season as a college baseball player, and he’s off to a fast start. Through nine games, he is slashing .360/.414/.680 (and hit his first collegiate HR on Sunday).

        1. Hinkie. I Know you follow the draft a lot, What I would like to know is , How can you pick Moniak over senzel? I am not a scout but the difference in the two is so obvious, You have a power hitting college player, versus a high school kid without power, Randolph from the little I have seen looks like another bust. so my real question, has Mddleton address the misses in the draft, with new scouts, or new personal.? You cant keep spending a ton on players without getting some cheaper studs. like the braves and Washington have done.

          1. Roccom. Good points. I’ve been asking similar questions. Their draft and player developmental record is mixed. Some good stuff and some bad stuff. Sal and his team seem to have done better than the group working on the domestic draft picks. There have been a number of personnel changes in scouting and on the developmental side so I think they are very much focused on getting better in this area and frankly, to continue this upward trend, they must. Right now, I’d give them a B- on the player drafting/acqusition and developmental side – okay, but a little lacking – middle of the pack. They have to do better and I think they know that too.

  5. roccom – I think the Moniak signing had a lot to do with having over-slot money left over for Gowdy. Maybe this is the year that Gowdy breaks out, and maybe not.

      1. Rocco, it might be worth keeping in mind that the slot for Senzel with the Reds was not the slot for the 1- 1 pick. In other words, the Phillies got a significant reduction by signing Moniak for what Senzel signed for and it is unknown to me at least whether Senzel would have provided the same discount at the 1-1 slot. At least something that might be worth keeping in mind. That said, and this is first of all a generic tangent and second of all not meant as a slight at all to MM or Gowdy, while it might make sense for a developing team to emphasize the quantity over quality approach as the team’s prospects rise I personally would prefer them emphasizing resources on prospects with elite potential rather than several lesser picks

        1. I(heart)PP….Senzel slot in 2016 was $7.8M…he signed under that year ($6.2M)..
          Phillies first pick was slotted $9M. So if Senzel was selected first and sign full slot….which i doubt he would have…the Gowdy offer would have been virtually nil.

    1. If that is the case, it is, in my view, a stupid philosophy. When you have the opportunity to draft 1/1, you never settle for anything but the best player. I think it’s pretty clear Senzel was the best player and just think how they would be set up now if he, rather than Moniak, was drafted. I guess there are times when the player evaluations are so close that other factors (need, bonus money) help make the decision, but that should be the rare exception, not the rule.

  6. Hink, i remember Hurt. i was pushing for him to be the last flyer signing for the phils that year. obviously didn’t happen. looks like he has progressed pretty well at USC

  7. Brandon McIlwain…looking back now, may have benefited him more if he took Coach Franklin’s offer…could have played both baseball and football @ Happy Valley.

    1. Yes, Romus. He was heavily recruited by Franklin and PSU. His family had roots in S Carolina. I think his dad may have gone to school there. TBH, though … I don’t think he would have gotten a lot of time on the football field in Happy Valley. Trace McSorely had just arrived on campus at that same time.
      In retrospect (and I mentioned this to many people in January 2016), McIlwain made a horrible mistake by graduating early, and removing his name from consideration for the 2016 MLB draft. He probably threw away as much as 2.5 – 3.5 million dollars. He also lost the better part of three years of baseball development/

      Rocco … drafting isn’t easy. Hindsight is 20-20.
      Yes. College bats are usually the safest picks. However, there are other factors (projection, signability, character, etc) that go into drafting. Believe it or not, there were questions (mainly about defense) about Senzel at that time. Also, if Senzel were drafted 1-1, he was going to demand much more than the 6.1 million Moniak accepted, and much more than the 6.2 million he agreed to from the Reds at 1-2. The 1-1 pick that year was worth ~9 million dollars. With the money saved on Moniak, the Phillies were able to draft and sign Gowdy, Romero, Irvin, Kyle Young, and others.

      IMO, player development has been a bigger problem than amatuer scouting and drafting. The Phillies have addressed that problem with the addition of Josh Bonifay as Farm Director, and his new staff.

      1. Hinkie…thanks for that information.
        And agree…..the system’s developmental program should experience a change…hopefully for the better…with th new personnel hirings.

        Though not sure what to make of three of the guys the Phillies let go or left on their own…..they all were all suppose to be hired by the Atlanta Braves. Joe Jordan, the former Phillies director of player development, was poised and ready to take a position in the Braves’ scouting department.
        Doug Mansolino, who was let go as Phillies minor-league field coordinator in Sep, has joined the Braves in the same role. …and then of course Rick Kranitz, a member of the Phillies’ big-league coaching staff the last three seasons, was hired as the Braves’ big-league pitching coach
        I assume they are there now ready to beat the Phillies.

      2. Yes, Hindsight is sometimes even better than 20-20. Found this from draft thread, June 1, 2016..

        “Okay. Pls copy this, like some people do when I post. Based on the limited info I have on couple other players , like Senzel. I would take puk. Just too much arm and talent for me to pass on. If not him Moniak. would be my second choice. Watching film on him. He does look like he could be a nice player. What I read and have seen. Not a lot of power. But he is just 18. still time. I like that he uses the whole field when he hits. So if puk is a flop. I Will take the abuse. I just wouldn’t pass on that arm. not only the velo. size. the slider he has. I wouldn’t touch lewis. So if he is a superstar you can post I blew that one too.”

        Want to take a guess who might have posted this?

        Funny thing is that the discussion for the 2016 draft was between Puk, Moniak, and Groome. Senzel was not mentioned often and those mentions were either against him being picked at all or he was the 2nd/3rd choice…

          1. Doesn’t really matter to me who wanted which player, we all get stuff wrong. I only have issue with claims that Sentzel was the obvious choice when no one seems to have been making that claim at the time.

      1. Stinson has been a reliever his first two years at Duke. This season, as a starter, Stinson hasn’t been able to hold his velo into games.
        I was never a big Stinson believer.
        OTOH … Alek Manoah has also made the move from the pen to the rotattion this season for WVU. Manoah, who throws exclusively from the stretch (even as a starter) holds his big FB (95-96 T98) throughout the duration of his outings. Manoah also features a plus-plus SL.

        For me, Manoah and (ASU LH hitting OFer) Hunter Bishop are maybe the two college prospects I prefer who currently have a chance to make it to the Phillies at 1-14.

        As I’ve mentioned a few times already, I also like four prep pitchers as possibilities at 1-14: Daniel Espino, JJ Goss, Brennan Malone, and Spencer Jones (who is a two way [1B] player).

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