2021 Discussion in Preparation for the Amateur Draft – March 31, 2021

This is the Phuture Phillies forum for the discussion of prospects eligible for the amateur draft that is scheduled to be held in under 4 months (July 11-13, 2021).  You can place video, scouting reports, or just comments here.  You can reference these weekly discussions on the menu above.

Feel free to discuss the 2021 international signing period, too.  It began on January 15, 2021, and runs through June 25, 2021.

This space is for the discussion of prospects in the upcoming draft and international signing period.  This is NOT a place for you to complain about past picks/signings or the organization’s past/current draft and international philosophies.

 

53 thoughts on “2021 Discussion in Preparation for the Amateur Draft – March 31, 2021

    1. Hinkie, curious for your opinion. I struggle a little w milb contraction. On one hand, i think mlb and individual teams are greedy and its all about chasing money and whatnot. On the other. I do wonder if its better for the individual players. Coming out of college, they know they need to get a job and not languish in the minors for years. Vast majority of those taken after rd 20 never make it anyway. Less flyers taken on hs kids who might now get a college degree, etc. I dunno

      1. MiLB contraction was done solely for the benefit of MLB teams. It’s going to save them money. IMO, MLB clubs should not only have to pay MiLB players a livable wage, but should also build campuses to house and feed players at all levels of their farm system.

        1. Oh totally agree. I’m just wondering if having less than 250 minor leaguers in a system isn’t the worst for the young men. Certainly don’t think from mlb was intended other than greed.

  1. The big news/sad news from the weekend is an apparent elbow injury to Jaden Hill. The LSU “ace” looked good (K’d two) in the first inning against top ranked Vanderbilt.

    However, things went south in the second inning. Vandy scored 3 runs vs Hill on 1 BB, 1 E, and 1 H. At that point, LSU’s manager and catcher headed to the mound.

    results of tests to Jaden Hill’s arm are expected to be released later today. This situation will have a direct impact on the Phillies pick at 1-13.

    1. One of the highlights of the weekend was watching two likely top 15 picks face each other when #7 Louisville hosted Wake Forest on Friday. Wake’s flame throwing Ryan Cusick got Cardinals’ catcher Henry Davis to fly out and ground into a DP before Davis did this.

      * Cusick … went 5.1 IP, 5 R, 8 H, 3 BB, 4 K vs one of the top offensive clubs in the country. During one of Davis’ AB’s, Cusick threw a 101.7 MPH FB. This season, the 6’6″/225 lb hurler is 27.2 IP, 24 H, 15 BB, 47 K, 3.90 ERA.

      * Davis … ended the series 5 for 10 (2 HRs & a double), 1 BB, 2 HBP, 3 R, 4 RBI. So far this year, the NY native is slashing .394/.504/.687.

      * Sal Frelick … went 4 for 14 (double), 3 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB vs Va Tech over the Easter weekend. The BC CFer is now .398/.459/.636.

      * Adrian Del Castillo … had a very good weekend at Duke. The Miami backstop went 6 for 13 (double), 3 R, 3 RBI. This season, the former White Sox day three draft pick has totaled a .323/.407/.505 slash line.

      1. * Matt McLain … was 4 for 12 (2 HRs), 3 BB, 5 R, 4 RBI in a PAC-12 series against Washington. In 2021, the UCLA SS is .284/.385/.471.

        * Ty Madden … took the hill and got the win for Texas at Kansas. The 6’3″/215 lb RHP tallied 8 IP, 0 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 5 K. This season, Madden is 47.1 IP, 27 H, 15 BB, 55 K, 1.52 ERA.

        1. * Sam Bachman … continues to work his way back from some shoulder soreness that caused him to miss a couple of starts last month. On Saturday, he registered 4 IP (68 P), 0 R, 3 H, 3 BB, 6 K vs Eastern Michigan. The Miami Ohio power arm is now 20 IP, 10 H, 7 BB, 32 K, 0.90 ERA in 2021.

          * Jordan Wicks … did not have one of his better outings on Thursday. The Kansas St. lefty went 5 IP, 5 R, 9 H, 2 BB, 9 K in a blowout loss to Texas Tech. This year, Wicks is 42.1 IP, 39 H, 12 BB, 60 K, 3.40 ERA.

          1. And scouts got to see Gunnar Hoglund and Tommy Mace at one event on Thursday night when Ole Miss hosted Florida.

            * Gunnar Hoglund … started and took the loss (thanks to some shoddy defense behind him). The former Pirates’ first round draft pick went 6 IP, 2 R (1ER), 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K. Hoglund is now 43.2 IP, 31 H, 11 BB, 70 K, 2.47 ERA this season.

            * Tommy Mace … was used out of the Gator’s BP because Florida employed an opener. Mace made the most of the situation. He went 5 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 7 K. So far in 2021, the 6’6″/220 lb Florida RHP has totaled 39 IP, 30 H, 7 BB, 54 K, 2.54 ERA.

            .

            One last thing. Meet the prep RHP who is moving his way up draft boards (some clubs now have him as the top HS arm), and could be in play for the Phillies at 1-13.

            * Jackson Jobe … is a 6’2″/195 lb’er from Oklahoma City. He primarily played SS before he made the switch to the mound about a year ago.

  2. Still waiting on word about Jaden Hill and a possible arm injury, but here’s a look at the pitch that precipitated his removal from the game against Vanderbilt.

    Hope it’s nothing too serious. He’s one of my favorite arms that might be available at 1-13.

    1. .

      Looks like Jaden Hill will now be available at 1-13. Would Dombrowski and Barber take a chance? Dodgers did it with Walker Buehler in 2015. They drafted him at 1-24 (14 spots after the Phils took Cornelius Randolph), and soon after sent him in for TJ. The rest is history.

      1. Could be a good gamble….he did have the elbow concerns in the 2019 season.
        Maybe TJ will be to his benefit long term.

  3. Hill done

  4. New draft thread … new Phillies mock. I tried not to repeat anyone from my first Phillies mock.

    ROUND 1: Sam Bachman … is one of the least known Grade A arms in college baseball. The Miami Ohio RHP spent the past offseason working on his body. The effort paid off. Bachman has slimmed down to a reasonable 6’1″/225 lbs. The new and improved physique has allowed Bachman’s already plus velo to tick up to the upper 90’s (he’s hit 100.8 in a game this season). In addition to the rocket fueled FB, the Indiana native features two above avg to plus offerings: knee buckling SL and filthy CH. Bachman does come with a medical red flag. He missed a couple of starts in March with shoulder soreness. This season, Bachman has totaled 20 IP, 10 H, 7 BB, 32 K, 0.90 ERA.

    Click on the link below to see one of my favorite pitches in this year’s draft – Bachman’s ridiculous CH.

    1. ROUND 2: Anthony Solometo … is the South Jersey HS arm I’ve written about a few times already. The 6’3″/210 lb Bishop Eustice southpaw impressed last year on the summer showcase circuit with two plus pitches: 92-96 MPH FB and 78-80 sweeping SL. He throws both (in addition to a still developing CH) from a funky delivery that reminds me a whole lot of McKenzie Gore.

      ROUND 3: Dominic Hamel … is a 22 YO (bonus saver) RHP who is the Friday Night starter for Dallas Baptist Univ. Before DBU, he threw two seasons for Yavapai JUCO in Arizona (the same school that produced Ken Giles and JoJo Romero). The 6’2″/205 lb thrower is a data darling. He’s got excellent spin rates on a 91-94 FB that gives it lots of life, a low 80s SL with good depth, and an avg CH. Hamel has registered 40.1 IP, 28 H, 13 BB, 64 K, 2.90 ERA this season.

      1. ROUND 4: Justyn Henry-Malloy … is a super athletic 3Bman with a top notch pedigree. The 6’2″/210 lb infielder plays for Ga Tech (side note: the Yellow Jackets are one of my favorite teams to follow; they’re loaded with future MLB prospects). Before Tech, Malloy was the top ranked NJ HS 3Bman in 2018. He also spent one season at Vanderbilt before transferring out to the ACC. This season, Malloy is slashing .300/.407/.522. He’s also dynamite with the glove.

        1. ROUND 5: Gavin Conticello … is a lanky prep LHH 3Bman from Florida. The 6’4″/200 lb prospect from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas HS has lots of offensive upside. He keeps the bat thru the zone for a long time, has good bat speed, and has a track record of 100+ MPH in-game EVs. Conticello is a USF commit who won’t turn 18 until June.

          ROUND 6: Braiden Ward … is a scrappy little college CFer with 80 grade speed. The 22 YO, 5’10″/160 lb Univ of Washington leadoff man succeeds by mostly slapping the ball on the ground and getting down the line from the left side of the box in a hurry. This season, Ward is slashing .308/.402/.418 and has swiped 16 bases in 18 attempts (in just 24 games).

          1. ROUND 7: Russell Smith … is a towering LHP who throws for TCU. The 6’9’/235 lb hurler owns a low 90s FB that plays up even more because of his extension. He uses good downward plane to pound the bottom of the zone with it. Smith also throws an avg low 80s breaker and mid 80s CH. The CH confuses batters because of the arm speed he throws it with. So far this year, the 21 YO southpaw has totaled 40 IP, 30 H, 6 BB, 50 K.

            ROUND 8: Elijah Cabell … is basically a one tool player … but … Wow, that tool! The 6’3″/205 lb RHH Fla St OFer can mash baseballs. The power is real, but so is the outrageous K-rate (40%). Cabell is currently slashing .283/.377/.623, 6 HRs and 26 Ks in 53 ABs.

            1. ROUND 9: Brady Brecklin … is a 21 YO 2B/3B who plays for Div II JUCO Illinois Central College (the same school Jim Thome played for). The 5’11″/190 lb prospect is slashing .352/.434/.527 this season.

              ROUND 10: Chris Burica … is a 23 YO senior sign LHP who throws for Calif Baptist Univ. The 6’6″/235 lb is a former Padres 40th round pick. this year, he’s used a three pitch mix (low 90s FB with movement) to register 51.1 IP, 34 H, 6 BB, 45 K, 1.93 ERA.

            2. ROUND 11: Luke Murphy … is definitely one of my favorite pitchers in college baseball. It’s easy to lose him in crowd at Vanderbilt with Kumar Rocker, Jack Leiter, and 17 YO freshman Christian Little (who will be a top pick in 2023) all making the headlines. But … here’s the deal on Murphy: he’s a 21 YO Vandy RP who still has three years of eligibility due to a red shirt season (TJ surgery) and the 2020 COVID season. Murphy is tall and thin (6’5″/190 lb) with lots of projection, throws hard (up to 96), and has a wicked breaker. The RHP is closing for Vandy this year, but could return to school and maybe start in 2022 so he’ll have some negotiating leverage (IOW, Brian Barber will have to go over slot to sign him). This season, the Tennessee native is 10.1 IP, 3 H, 5 BB, 18 K, 5 SV, 0.87 ERA.

              .

              Watch Murphy K the side at the 9:52 mark of the video below.

    1. Sometimes it is good to evaluate pitchers by the level of competition that they have to face..
      Wicks has had 7 starts.
      1. Oregon State…..plus outing…W
      2.West Michigan…..mediocre….No Decision
      3. Eastern Illinois….plus……W
      4. Rice………………..plus……W
      5. New Mexico…….plus……W
      6. Okla State(B12)…poor…L
      7. Texas Tech(B12)….poor….L

      So far in conference …facing Big 12 hitters …he is struggling.

      1. Understood–but also, it happens. Clayton Kershaw struggled in his last high school start before the Dodgers drafted him 6th overall–still had all the tools. I want to see how/if Wicks bounces back.

  5. I got in on Keith Law’s chat last week to ask about the biggest draft prospect movers since his initial list at the beginning of March. According to Law, “Sal Frelick and Henry Davis are probably top 5 picks now. Andrew Painter has picked it up after two really awful starts to open the year. Jud Fabian continues to flounder – I said he couldn’t hit the slider and opposing teams appear to have heard the same thing. James Wood might end up at Mississippi State at this point; I heard he was hitting just a shade above .200. Also something is clearly amiss with Dick Fitts. He’s gone from first-round starter to a reliever who can’t get anyone out”.

    In the Athletic last week, KLaw also listed seven players as “locks” to be top 10 picks this summer: Leiter, Rocker, Davis, Frelick, Lawlar, Mayer and Hoglund. I’ll probably mostly ignore them in updates I post from now on since (barring injury) there’s little chance they’ll be available for the Phillies.

    One other thing: Law indicated he should have an updated top 50 out this week.

    So … what pool of players will the Phillies most likely be fishing from in the first round?

    * Brady House … (I gotta’ believe) is probably going to go in the first dozen slots. I can’t see Washington (a club devoid of position player prospects) taking a pass on the 6’3″/215 lb slugging 18 YO 3Bman if he gets to them at 1-11.

    * Kahlil Watson … is not the biggest kid in the class (just 5’11″/175 lbs), but he’s got +bat speed and an elevated swing path that leads to surprising power. The NC prep SS also has above avg speed and an above avg to +glove.

    1. * Benny Montgomery … is a Pennsylvania prep OFer with a chance to carry four plus tools. The 6’4″/205 lb York County prospect could end up with 70 grade power, speed, arm, and glove. However, there are still some questions about Montgomery’s bat to ball skills.

      * Adrian Del Castillo … has been one of college baseball’s most consistent hitters over the past few years. The Miami C has just an avg glove and arm. This year, the 5’11″/205 lb former Chicago White Sox day three draft pick is slashing .321/.416/.491 and has more BBs (13) than Ks (12).

      1. * Luca Tresh … is another college catcher. The 6’0″/195 lb backstop plays for NC State. Before the Wolfpack, Tresh starred for Clearwater Central Catholic HS. He’s one of the more athletic catchers available in this year’s draft, and has a solid arm. Offensively. he’s got a quick bat that produces plus power. Over the past two seasons, Tresh has put together a .336/.388/.616 slash line.

        * Matt McLain … is a former 1st round draft pick that turned down the DBacks for UCLA. The 5’11″/180 lb RHH SS had a disappointing freshman season (.203/.276/.355), but an incredible shortened COVID sophomore season (.397/.422/.621). This year, McLain is at .307/.404/.535.

        1. * Ty Madden … is another guy with a good chance to go in the first dozen picks (but you never know). The 6’3″/215 lb Texas RHP has been really impressive this season using a mid 90s (T98) FB w/good downhill plane that he commands very well, two above avg breaking balls, and a CH. In 2021, the one time KC Royals’ draft pick has totaled 53.1 IP, 32 H, 18 BB, 57 K, 1.89 ERA.

          1. * Jordan Wicks … is a guy who will probably get a lot of consideration at 1-13. The Kansas State southpaw throws a low 90s FB, avg or better SL & CB, but his CH is his swing and miss offering/out pitch.

            Wicks has been consistently good in 2020 and 2021 (74.1 IP, 62 H, 17 BB, 92 K). However, he’s run into a rough patch of late. The 6’3″/220 lb hurler has allowed 14 ERs in 17 IP over his last three outings.

            Wicks is an Arkansas native, and the Phillies have had a fruitful recent history with LHPs from the Razorback state: Cliff Lee(!) and Drew Smyly.

            1. * Sam Bachman … is another guy who will get a lot of attention if he’s still on the board at 1-13. Dave Dombrowski loves him some power arms. Bachman might have the most powerful arm in the draft. The 6’1″/220 lb Miami Ohio mound inhabitant has surpassed 100 MPH on multiple occasions this year. In addition, he throws an upper 80s power SL, and a wicked CH. This season, Bachman has registered 26 IP, 11 H, 8 BB, 43 K, 1.04 ERA. The one red flag clubs will have to consider: he missed a couple of starts last month with shoulder soreness.

              * Ryan Cusick … is the only other pitcher who can match Bachman’s heat. Cusick is a big boy (6’6″/235 lb). Like Bachman, Cusick has lit up radar guns with triple digits multiple times. The Wake Forest RHP also attacks hitters with a plus, hard breaking CB, and a still developing CH. The Massachusetts native is 33 IP, 32 H, 16 BB, 56 K, 2.52 ERA so far this season.

            2. * Andrew Painter, Jackson Jobe, Chase Petty, and Bubba Chandler are four prep pitchers the Phillies could consider at 1-13. Not sure when a team last took HS arms with their top pick in consecutive drafts. I’m sure it’s happened. It’s just pretty risky, but I wouldn’t completely rule out DD and Brian Barber doing it.

            3. Hinkie…Wicks needs to correct himself……good test coming vs Oklahoma on Friday at Manhattan…..this is an important game for him.
              I liked him for the Phillies but the last few games in conference he is struggled against better hitters ….the non-conference games he has been good..

            4. Yeah, Romus. He’s got too good a track record to think he won’t rebound. I think he’s going to go in that 10-20 area of the first round. Not sure he may be what the Phillies are looking for, though. Can’t truly judge Brian Barber off one draft, but the Phillies Amateur Scouting Director swung for the fences in 2020. Everybody he picked had either sky high ceilings or at least one ++tool.
              In addition, DD has mentioned he likes power arms. I think Bachman and Cusick are a couple of guys who could be near the top of their wish lists. And Chase Petty is about as extreme a high risk-high reward prospect you could imagine. he might be very tempting for Barber and Dombrowski.
              Brady House (if he unexpectedly makes it past the first 12 picks), Benny Montgomery, and Luca Tresh (even though I’m not wild about drafting catchers in round one) are the three position players who also make sense.

  6. I’ll admit I’m a little biased because the kid is from my neck of the woods … but … Chase Petty is an absolute stud. I understand the track record of prepsters throwing this hard is abysmal, but if you’re the Phillies, you have to send Brian Barber and even DD out to at least a few of the 17 YO RHP’s starts. Petty is getting Walker Buehler comps.

    20

        1. The Chase Petty draft story will be one of the most interesting on draft night. Arm talent like his is awfully tempting. At the same time, the history of prep pitchers throwing 100 is pretty rough. He might be a kid who gets taken by a club with multiple top picks/a team with a comp A pick.

  7. NEW DRAFT LIST ALERT.
    This top 50 from Keith Law.

    .

    #8 Brady House
    #9 Ryan Cusick
    #10 Kahlil Watson
    #11 Harry Ford
    #12 Sam Bachman
    #13 Jordan Wicks
    #14 Adrian del Castillo
    #15 Bubba Chandler
    #16 Jackson Jobe
    #17 Joshua Baez
    #23 Anthony Solometo
    #25 Jaden Hill
    #26 Benny Montgomery
    #27 Tommy Mace
    #29 Andrew Painter
    #30 Ty Madden
    #32 Chase Petty

    It would hurt to see both Cusick and Bachman go right before the Phillies pick at 1-13.

    1. Could be there when the Phillies pick. They will have to make a decision at that point. Plus arm and above average to plus fielder at third.
      Maybe the future Nolan Arenado.

  8. Jim … not sure if you were going to add a new draft thread today so I’ll just continue to post in this thread.

    * Jud Fabian … had probably his best weekend of the 2021 season vs Missouri. The 6’2″/190 lb Florida CFer went 5 for 11 (HR & 3 doubles), 2 BB, 2 K, 4 R, 1 RBI. He’s now up to .246/.348/.558 12 HRs this year.

    Matt McLain … helped lead UCLA to a three game sweep of Utah by going 4 for 13 (2 HR & triple), 2 BB, 3 K, 4 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB, 1 SF. The 5’11″/180 lb SS is now slashing .313/.408/.580.

    Adrian Del Castillo … went 2 for 10 (double), 3 BB, 3 K, 1 R, 2 RBI vs Clemson. This season, the Miami C is at .303/.408/.462.

    1. * Jordan Wicks … is #13 on KLaw’s latest list. He faced Oklahome (the 4th ranked offensive club in the country) Saturday. Wicks pitched well (after three consecutive sub par performances into the BIG 12 season). The 6’2″/220 lb LHP went 7 IP (121 P), 1 R, 3 H, 3 BB, 7 K. This season, Wicks has totaled 55.1 IP, 52 H, 16 BB, 73 K.

      I watched Saturday’s contest. Wicks was 91-94 w/his well commanded FB, and he got a good amount of swing and misses with his low 80s CH and SL. IMO … Wicks is a solid BOR MLB starter. However, I think the Phillies could get that same type of LHP in the second round. Joe Rock (Ohio U), Ryan Webb (Georgia), and Matt Mikulski (Fordham) are a few college south paws who might be available at 2-49. They may not have Wick’s floor, but I believe all three have higher ceilings.

      I’m hoping the Phillies land a high ceiling prospect at 1-13. Three hard throwing college arms who could go in that 8-15 neighborhood in round one are Ryan Cusick (100+ MPH), Sam Bachman (100+ MPH), and Ty Madden (99 MPH).

      * Ryan Cusick … was dominant Friday night against Duke. The massive (6’6″/235 lb) RHP went 7 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 4 BB, 11 K. This year, the Wake Forest flame thrower is 40 IP, 36 H, 20 BB, 67 K, 2.93 ERA.

      1. * Sam Bachman … did not throw this weekend because the Miami, Ohio series with Bowling Green was cancelled due to a COVID outbreak (at Bowling Green). The 6’1″/220 lb “righty” has already had his IP limited this year because of a bout of shoulder soreness last month. In 2021, Bachman has registered 26 IP, 11 H, 8 BB, 43 K, 1.04 ERA.

        * Ty Madden … has somehow slipped to #30 on KLaw’s current draft list. Law likes Madden’s two plus pitches (FB & SL), but believes he lacks a third pitch. He’s also wary of the heavy workload the Texas RHP has taken on.
        On Friday, the 6’3″/215 lb RHP had no problem with Abiliene Christian (5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 3 BB, 8 K). Madden is now 58.1 IP, 35 H, 21 BB, 65 K, 1.54 ERA this season.

        1. The Phillies new Amateur Scouting Department has a history of betting on toolsy HS players (Brian Barber w/the NYY & David Crowson w/Marlins) so it’s no surprise that Kiley McDaniel reports the Phillies were one of a handful of teams who sent their “heavy hitters” to Georgia last week to see Brady House bat against Dylan Lesko. Lesko is the top prep pitcher for 2022, and a Vanderbilt commit. McDaniel uses the term “heavy hitter” for anyone with the title GM, assistant GM, VP, special assistant, scouting director, or national crosschecker. That means any of Dave Dombrowski, Brian Barber, Sam Fuld, Bryan Minniti, Jorge Velandia, Scott Proefrock, Charlie Manuel, Pat Gillick, Terry Ryan, and/or (national crosschecker) David Crowson was at the matchup.
          Anyway … House looked good. He collected three hits (two were doubles), and probably solidified his place in the top dozen picks. Bad news for the Phillies if you’re a Brady House fan.

      2. Wicks does have that passion going for him also.
        I mean I like Nola, Eflin and Wheeler……..but they are not Ric Flair out there. on the mound.

        1. Yeah. Wicks seems like a wild man/fun guy. I’ can see him chest bumping Joe Girardi on his way into the dugout. 🙂 🙂

  9. A bunch of interesting arms in the Phillies area of the first round.

    12. Ty Madden
    13. Sam Bachman
    15. Andrew Painter
    16. Ryan Cusick
    17. Jordan Wicks

  10. Thanks for all the info, Hinkie. I really enjoy it, and learn from it. What is your current preference list/wish list, for who may be available at 1/13?

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