2020 Draft Discussion: June 22nd Update

This is the Phuture Phillies 2020 Draft Discussion.

Update – June 25, 2020:  Phillies announce signing of second round pick SS Casey Maryin for $1.3M, well above $689,300 slot for 3/87 pick.  Signing amount takes the Phillies above their bonus allotment, but stays under the 5% penalty, leaving $16,410 in the pot.


This closes Draft Tracker Articles for 2020.  Any further NDFA signings will be reported elsewhere, but will be added to the tracker file. 

Update – June 24, 2020:  Phillies’ first rounder prep RHP Mick Abel signed for $4,075,000.  That is slightly over the slot of $3,885,800.  All four Phillies’ draft picks have signed, although third rounder Casey Martin’s bonus has not been made public, yet.

The Phillies had four picks in the 2020 Amateur Draft.  The Phillies selected Mick Abel with their first round pick, Casey Martin in the third round, Carson Ragsdale in the fourth, and Baron Radcliffe in the fifth.  The Phillies lost their second round pick for signing free agent Zach Wheeler during the off season.

Last Sunday, they began signing non-drafted free agents, and have signed ten to date.

The Phillies have reached an agreement with third round pick Casey Martin, fourth round pick Carson Ragsdale, fifth round pick Baron Radcliff, and ten non-drafted free agents.  Reported bonuses so far have been $225K for Ragsdale, $100K for Radcliff, and two $20K max signings for two of the NFDAs.

Draft signings and non-drafted free agent (NDFA) signings will be tracked here – 2020 Draft Tracker.

Thumbnails and some scouting below.  The two most recent NDFAs are first.

Blake Brown is a RHP out of the University of North Carolina – Asheville.  He is a 4-year-senior.  He is 6’1, 195 lbs, born on August 18, 1998.  He was eligible but undrafted in 2019.  He is ranked #375 in the Baseball America top 500.

Brown was having a nice 2020 when the season was cancelled.  He was 1-0 in 4 starts with a 1.90 ERA.  In 19.0 innings he allowed 6 hits, walked 18, and struck out 26.  Obviously, needs to improve his control.  

During bullpens in June, Brown has thrown at 100.5 MPH with a 98% spin efficiency in one and at 98 MPH with a 99% spin efficiency in another.  He is reported to have hit triple digits multiple times.  

During his first three years at UNC-Asheville, Brown posted a 5-10 record in 56 appearances (12 starts).  In 118.0 innings, he struck out 126, walked 90.

Buddy Hayward is a RHP out of Harvard University.  He is a 4-year-junior.  He is 6’6, 225 lbs, born on October 15, 1998.  This was the first year he entered the draft.  He is ranked #346 in the Baseball America top 500.

Hayward didn’t play this year.  He had TJ surgery in December.  His Instagram account shows him soft tossing six balls on May 8th, his first baseball activity since his surgery. 

In his two previous seasons, Hayward made 23 appearances (13 starts).  In 88 innings, he posted a 6-4 record, 4.19 ERA, walked 29 and struck out 94.  His fastball sits 91-94 MPH.

Hayward also played in the Cape Cod Baseball League.  In 12 games over two seasons, he posted a 2.58 ERA.

Mick Abel is RHP out of Jesuit High School in Oregon.  He is 6’5, 190 lbs, born on August 8, 2001.  He was the 15th overall pick in the draft which has a slot valuation of $3,885,800.

From MLB: “A high school player from the state of Oregon hasn’t been taken in the top two rounds since the Cardinals took Carson Kelly in the second round of the 2012 Draft. Abel, who helped pitch his Jesuit High School to a state title, was named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year and then pitched well at a variety of summer showcase stops, should be the first Oregon prepster to go in the first round since Matt Smith back in 1994. The 6-foot-5 right-hander shows flashes of three plus pitches, starting with a fastball that was regularly in the 93-95 mph range this summer, though he tired a bit near the end of his run. He throws it downhill with good life at the bottom of the zone and then can come back with a four-seamer up in the zone with riding action. His 82-86 mph slider is a very effective pitch, and he also has feel for a curveball with more over the top rotation to it. The two morph into each other at times, but there’s enough differentiation to believe he could throw both in the future, along with a future plus changeup that he sells with good arm speed and features sink and dip at the end. The Oregon State recruit generally throws strikes and he gets as high marks for his maturity and makeup as he does his stuff. He’s only going to get stronger and throw harder as he physically matures, something he showed a glimpse of in one outing this spring before things got shut down, giving him the chance to be the first prep arm to come off the board in June.”

Casey Martin is a right-handed hitting SS out of the University of Arkansas.  He is a 4th-year-junior.  He is 5’11, 175 lbs, born on April 7, 1999.  He was the the Phillies third round pick, 87th overall.  His draft slot has a valuation of  $689,300.

From MLB: “Scouts rated Martin as the best high school prospect in Arkansas in 2017, though his bat was considered too raw for pro ball and he went undrafted. He made an immediate impact with the Razorbacks, hitting 13 homers as a freshman to help them reach the College World Series, then slammed 15 as a sophomore to bring them back to Omaha. He’s one of the best athletes in the 2020 college crop and is Arkansas’ toolsiest prospect since Andrew Benintendi went seventh overall in the 2015 Draft, but a poor start to the shortened 2020 season could drop him out of the first round. An explosive athlete, Martin offers an exciting combination of power and speed. He records run times that grade from 70-80 on the 20-80 scouting scale, though he’s still learning how to translate that quickness into stolen bases. He has the potential to be a 25-25 player but gets overly homer-conscious and his right-handed swing gets too uphill, leading to strikeouts. If Martin can slow the game down a bit offensively and defensively, he can be a star. His quickness and solid arm strength give him the tools to play a number of positions and perhaps stay at shortstop if he becomes more consistent. He played a fine third base as a freshman and definitely would fit in center field, though he should be able to stay on the dirt.”

Carson Ragsdale is a RHP out of the University of South Florida.  He is a 4-year-senior.  He is 6’8, 225 lbs, born on May 25, 1998.  He was the Phillies fourth round pick, 116th overall.  His draft slot has a valuation of $497,500.

From MLB: “Ragsdale spent his first two years at the University of South Florida missing bats, and walking hitters, coming out of the bullpen. He then missed the 2019 season because he needed Tommy John surgery. A move to the rotation upon his return in 2020 created some serious buzz for the big right-hander, though he was only able to make four starts before the season was ended. There’s a lot to like about Ragsdale, starting with his 6-foot-8 frame that allows him to throw with a good downhill plane. He features a fastball that’s typically in the 91-95 mph range right now, but there’s room for more velocity in the future. He couples it with a curveball that flashes plus and can be a real strikeout pitch when he lands it in the strike zone. He has a changeup, but it’s a distant third pitch and will need to be developed at the next level. Ragsdale threw a lot of strikes this spring, but is still more control than command at this point. Given that scouts only saw four outings from Ragsdale as USF’s Sunday starter, there’s very limited track record for teams to look at, but his size and arm strength, even if it ends up in the bullpen, could be enough for teams to take a chance on him in this year’s Draft.”

Baron Radcliff is a left-handed hitting OF out of Georgia Tech.  The 4th-year-junior is 6’4, 228 lbs, born on February 9, 1999.  He was the Phillies fifth round pick, 146th overall.  His draft slot has a valuation of $371,600.

Jake McKenna is a left-handed pitcher out of Ocean City High School in New Jersey.  He is 6’6, 215 lbs, born on April 24, 2002.  He had a verbal commitment to St. Joseph University, but signed for the maximum $20K for non-drafted free agents.  He is the #434 ranked prospect on Baseball America’s top 500 ranked prospects.

Kiley McDaniel, ESPN Baseball: projection lefty with fringe stuff right now.

Aaron Fitt, D1 Baseball: He’s got excellent predictability and a decent arsenal as of now, but there’s tons of room for growth here.

Baseball Performance Center: Jake McKenna: 88-92, going to be a nightmare as that efficiency continues to climb. Downhill tilt and an ideal 12/6 CB (-10V 0H). #Dude

Jordan Fowler is a LHP out of the University of  Central Missouri.  He is a 4-year-junior.  He is 6’3, 180 lbs, born on March 9, 1999.  He was the Texas Rangers 26th round pick in 2015.

Brian Sakowski, Natinal Scouting Supervisor, Perfect Game: Former Ole Miss lefty, spent his junior year at Central Missouri this spring. Good Size and athleticism, scouts buy more projection there, low 90’s with some traits, nice under the radar signing who has some upside.

Sam Jacobsak is a RHP out of Northeastern University.  He is a 4-year-junior.  He is 6’5, 200 lbs, born on June 11, 1998.  He was eligible but undrafted in 2019.

Aaron Fitt, D1 Baseball: He’s spent most of his career as a reliever, and last year struck out 30 batters in 21.2 innings while slinging a 1.66 ERA. In a shortened 2020 as a starter, he put up a 3.65 ERA.

J.P. Woodward is a LHP out of Lafayette College.  He is 4-year-junior.  He is 6’6, 215 lbs, born on November 13, 1998.

Aaron Fitt, D1 Baseball: Woodward has had a tough college career, but the strikeout stuff is there. His selling point seems to be his durability, as he’s grown into a BIG, and muscular frame. There’s definitely room to grow here. It’s an interesting get.

Noah Skirrow is a RHP out of Liberty University.  He is a 4-year-junior.  He is 6-3, 215 lbs, born on July 21, 1998.

From MLB: “Skirrow has taken a nice step forward, starting with a strong performance last summer in the Cape Cod League. In the past, Skirrow was known mostly for his 90-93 mph fastball with ordinary secondary stuff. But he’s added a cutter, thrown 88-90 mph, that should be at least average in the future. It has some depth to it, and he was getting left-handed hitters to swing over it. He does have an average changeup and a below average breaking ball, so a team could send him out as a starter, but he might be suited best for a relief role where his fastball-cutter combination would play up a bit.”

Aaron Fitt, D1 Baseball: Skirrow was Liberty’s ace for some time, and was a Cape Cod All Star last year. He features four solid pitches, including a lauded power-changeup.  Consider this my official proclamation that Phils’ newest UDFA, Noah Skirrow, is DIRTY: – A 91-93 fastball that touches 95. – A nasty slurve that sits 75-77. – And a power-changeup that sits mid-80’s. No wonder he was ranked at 249 on BA’s Top 500.  Can confirm, this is a good one.

Chase Antle is a RHP out of Coastal Carolina University.  He is a 5th-year-senior.  He is 6’2, 215 lbs, born on February 16, 1997.  He went undrafted in 2019 as a senior at Bowling Green University.

Aaron Fitt, D1 Baseball: Antle soared thru rankings this year, and was one of my favorite targets on the market (13 on Baseball America’s ‘Top 25 Seniors to Watch.’) Antle has an electric fastball that touches 99. He’s a beast.  Antle could very well impact the big club as early as this year (if they play.) His fastball is stupidly impressive, and he spent last year as the Chanticleer’s closer. This is an excellent signing.

Billy Sullivan is a RHP out of the University of Delaware.  He is a 4-year-junior.  He is 6’2, 195 lbs, born on April 16, 1999.  He was the Phillies 28th round pick in 2017 coming out of high school.

Aaron Fitt, D1 Baseball: Sullivan missed almost all of 2019 and hasn’t pitched at all in 2020, but he had an excellent 2018 season, and boasts some pretty nasty stuff.  The Phillies previously drafted Sullivan in the 28th round of the 2017 draft, but he went on to have a heck of a Freshman campaign. He put up a 2.97 ERA across 77.1 frames, and struck out 105 (!) batters. There’s cause for concern health-wise, but this kid’s got the stuff.

Jonathan Hughes is a RHP out of Georgia Tech.  He is a 5th-year senior.  He is 6’2, 196 lbs, born on January 8, 1997.  He was the Baltimore Orioles second round pick in 2015 out of high school, but did not sign.  He went undrafted as a junior in 2018 and and a 4-year-senio in 2019.

Aaron Fitt, D1 Baseball: He’s got a solid, spin-heavy 4-pitch mix, with a fastball that sits around 92-94. Easily one of the top senior arms on the board.  In my fall look, he attacked at 92-95, T96 with a high spin-rate FB (2400-2500). He also showed wipeout SL at 83-86 with a ridiculous spin rate between 2900-3100 rpm.  Hughes was ranked at number 19 on Baseball America’s ‘Top 25 Seniors to Watch’ list, 6 spots away from fellow Phils signee, Chase Antle. Hughes had a number of clubs vying for his attention.


32 thoughts on “2020 Draft Discussion: June 22nd Update

    1. IMO, there are advantages to signing pitches vs position players, where there is no minor league play..
      Pitchers can simulate live game action more easily than a position player….from regular scheduled 25 minute bullpens to sim game sessions.
      They can face live hitters also in a cage or out on the field.
      Also when the minor leagues start up……there will be fewer teams /games….pitchers can get more innings in and up their PC, however position players may have limited innings and roster space available to them.
      Though now position players can get in the box and take their hacks vs live pitching in a cage or out on the field…..but defensively it gets a little more time consuming.

  1. Barber and his staff deserve to be complimented on that. Skirrow is also high on mlb’s list.

    1. matt13….interesting. Bloom and the Red Sox signed the most UDFAs at 12 and not one on the BA top 23 list.
      Phillies with six.

      1. This year’s version of THE BASEBALL PROSPECTUS has an honest but very provocative analysis of the Bosox written by Jon Tayler. Since this is a Phillies blog I won’t go into detail other than— he explains that the 4 Sox championships since 2004 has finally “busted” the economics of their spend now methodology and despite novel financial engineering they have spent down their capital. This may explain getting rid of a famous non-penurious GM, mismanagement of player contracts, and the trade of Mookie Betts among other recent gaffes. This might also explain some of their draft picks this year which writers routinely pan and now this comment by Romus – yes, they have signed players but none are noteworthy. I do not think it is at all a coincidence that the billionaire owner hired the most efficient GM in the business capable of working with a $100 budget to be caretaker of another long hiatus in Bosox championships. As to the future, I would rather be the Phillies looking at the Braves, and maybe Mets, (I exclude Washington only because their pitchers are older and won’t be effective 3 years from now) than Boston having to face Tampa, Toronto, and the elephant in the room, Yankees.

        1. RU…..seeing how Bloom operated in Tampa, I do think he has a long range plan, and is willing to sacrifice the first year or two to get to where he wants to take them.
          Betts’ contract is off the books, and Martinez soon. This years’ first round pick in the draft was a head scratcher but may be a huge under-slot signing, who knows.
          I think everything he is doing is pointed towards 2022 and beyond.

  2. Kevin Frandsen had Matt Klentak on his podcast to talk Phillies draft and UDFA signings.

  3. Abel signs for ABOVE slot

      1. Well … after the Abel signing (I’m surprised he got more than slot), the Phillies are left with $1,316,419. Does Martin get all of that, or do the Phillies pocket some money?

        1. Hinkie:
          I was also a little surprised, almost 200K over slot.
          But they seem to have their plan in place
          Top two drafted players get over-slotted…last two under-slotted.
          Heard Martin was getting 2nd round money
          As for any surplus….what can you do with the extra money?
          There are restrictions where it can go.

  4. Maybe the Phillies wanted to keep Martin’s bonus quiet until they signed all of their guys?

    Back on June 13th, Casey Martin said that he and the Phillies had reached an agreement. He did not reveal the terms, but in an interview with Matt Gelb, he said the deal was for a, “fair amount for where I was picked and for my value”.

    In their post regarding the signing, MLBTR went on to say that “Martin didn’t play well before the 2020 college season came to an abrupt end, which may explain why he fell to the third round despite late-first/early-second round grades from prospect analysts (MLB Pipeline ranked Martin as the 30th-best prospect available in the draft). There are questions surrounding Martin’s ability to avoid strikeouts and whether or not he could remain at shortstop in the long term, though he carries a lot of hitting potential and outstanding 70-grade speed”. All points that have been brought up by readers here.

    I also saw this tweet:

    1. Jim…if the Phillies signed Martin for ‘near slot value’ then they should have some surplus money
      Abel’s over-slot signing($190K approx) did not consume all of the savings they got from the under slot Ragsdale and Radcliff signings.
      Do you know if a team has any first five round pool money left over…what they can do with it?

      1. As far as I know, any unspent bonus money is savings for the team.

        In Martin’s case, it only matters if his bonus is in excess of the $1,316,410 the Phillies can spend before penalties. I think we all would be surprised if his balance approached that figure. But, even if it does, we don’t care until it exceeds that amount.

          1. I read something (maybe a week or two ago) that said Casey Martin uses Russel Wilson’s agent, and that he was seeking second round money. So … I’m assuming he’s getting between 1 million and 1.2 million.
            And any money not spent on draft picks goes into the pocket of John Middleton. It can’t be used for the 2021 draft or J2 prospects or anything else.

            1. Here was the tweet from night two of the draft.


              … and here was Joe Doyle’s scouting report on Martin when the Phillies selected him.

            2. Two biggest drawbacks on Martin:
              1. …the obvious Casey at the Bat strikeouts…..he will need to hit a breaking pitch or recognize it early enough and lay off of the low and outside stuff…his O-Swing% needs to be cut down.
              2…. can be aggressive and rather .undisciplined in the field, tries to make the great play far too often….led SEC errors, mostly throwing using that strong but erratic arm….sailed a ball or two into the first base front row seats.

              Probably the reason why he is rated 45 on Hit, and 50 on Field as a shortstop
              …..if he can correct those aggressive physical deficiencies he could be a real steal in the third round.

    2. With all due respect to young Mr Pickard, I’m pretty certain he is just wrong. Martin’s bonus is expected to be 1.3M (i.e. I believe the Houston Chronicle Article from June 19th).

      1. That is what Jim has left on his draft tracker spread sheet….with the 5% overage
        included in that total….$1.3M

        1. I hope Casey Martin gets the entire 1.3 million. It’s a good look for the Phillies to spend the entirety of their pool money (including the 5% overage). They almost always do. This year, some teams were reportedly intent on not spending all/pocketing some of their bonus pool money.

          1. Hinkie…that would equate to the 55h pick number…which would be very generous on the Phillies part
            Though Nats signed LSU RHP Cole Henry….55th pick at O-slot of $2M ($700K over)

          2. Hinkie…is Eric Longenhagen still writing for Fangraphs?
            Last I saw anything from him was three weeks ago
            Also noticed his assessment of Casey Martin in that last chat:

            Guest: Which college players in the 25-50 or 60 range on THE BOARD have the best tools?
            Eric A Longenhagen: Casey Martin, but his approach is really bad.

            1. Longenhagen had some planned time off following the draft. He also now lives in Arizona. COVID-19 is running rampant there, I guess it’s possible (this is just me speculating) that he could also be sick.

  5. Martin signs well over slot too

    1. WOW! Russell Wilson’s agent must be a hard bargainer…and the Phillies must have wanted Casey Martin badly.

  6. Signing Martin for the money tied to the 55th slot is very nice for the Phils to do. They obviously knew what it would take because they intentionally took two guys they could pay under slot. Whenever Minor league baseball starts up again, Martin will have lots to prove. He has skills but he has to improve on his approach. It will also be curious to see if they play him all over or focus him on one or two positions. It’s always good to bring in high upside talent and that’s what he is. Coaching will be key to develop him.

  7. Unpopular opinion.

    I know this is early, and might be jumping the gun a bit, but let me just say: #tankforKumar

    (Kumar Rocker, that is)

    This season is a going to be a wash/asterisk anyway, so might as well try to get him or the other Vandy stud (Leiter) and aim for a real push in 2021. Bryce Harper will be mad at yet another year w/o a championship but I I think he’ll find a way to get over it. While we count sheep he counts zeros to get to sleep.

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