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7 thoughts on “2022 Discussion in Preparation for the Amateur Draft – May 16, 2022”
A couple of draft notes from over the weekend …
Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello did something that could maybe throw a wrench into the first round. Vitello already had a few Volunteers projected to go in round one. But over the weekend, Vitello transitioned flame throwing reliever Ben Joyce from the pen to the rotation. In a year where so many of the top arms aren’t throwing because of injuries, Joyce is already living his best life two years removed from TJ (rehabbed all of 2021). Joyce is the hardest throwing pitcher on earth. He’s hit 105.5 this season. He dominates with the FB. But he needs to work on his secondaries. He currently throws a SL, but doesn’t need a third pitch. If a club (Phillies?) feel confident enough in their development team to help Joyce with his SL and cultivate a CH, he could be the newest Tennessee Volunteer to hear his name called in the first 30 picks.
So … how did his first start go? Joyce went 4 IP vs Georgia. He allowed 3 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K. (for the season, he’s at 26 IP, 14 H, 9 BB, 46 K). BTW … the velo never waned even after multiple innings.
The other piece of news is … Kumar Rocker will be throwing for an independent league team soon.
Rocker got picked at 1-10 by the NYMs last season. He and agent Scott Boras couldn’t come to terms on a deal after the Mets tried to low ball the former Vandy star (the team claimed injury concerns). Rocker/Boras say the RHP is/has been healthy. Rocker has not had TJ or any other medical procedure. He didn’t return to school either. Instead, he’ll make a few starts for the Tri City Cats before this summer’s draft.
I would expect some high ranking members of the Phillies FO to be in attendance for a start (or two). Middleton/Dombrowski have a strong relationship with Boras, and Rocker is the kind of arm that could possibly be fast tracked thru the system, and the Phils are in “win now” mode, and could use some SP depth.
I actually love the idea of taking Rocker if he is healthy and throws well. You make a great point that his timing aligns really well with our team. He could easily be in the majors next year if healthy and throwing well. Advanced arm.
I saw 2 recent mocks, and in both mocks, they had the Phillies selecting:
LHP Brandon Barriera, American Heritage High School (FL)
He’s a smaller kid who has found extra velo this season. Was in the upper 90s before he decided to shut things down to prepare for the draft. That may have been a smart decision by him when you see the amount of pitchers (college & HS) who have gone down with TJs this year.
BTW … Barriera gets Ron Guidry comps.
Guru … I just saw Keith Law’s mock. He has Barriera to the Phillies.
Personally I’d prefer one of the three arms Law has going right before the Phillies @ 1-17: Connor Prielipp (my favorite), Dylan Lesko, or Brock Porter.
“Barriera unfurled a few curveballs at 3,000 revolutions per minute (rpm), a figure that would sit near the top of MLB curveball spin rate”
Sounds good to me. I love elite prep arms.
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