March 13, 2016
TAMPA, Fla. – The Phillies took the field on Sunday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field set to play an exhibition game that could go a long way into determining who will win the final job in the team’s rotation.
Adam Morgan, in the rotation at the end of the 2015 season, was set to start. Brett Oberholtzer, who came over in the December trade that sent Ken Giles to Houston, is on tap to follow. The two left-handers are competing with right-hander Vince Velasquez, also from the Giles trade, for the fifth spot in the rotation.
It’s a fun spring storyline. But, at least from this chair, a more interesting piece of information came across my twitter timeline about a half hour before the game.
Baseball America released its Top 100 Draft Prospects list.
Since you could certainly make the argument that no date on the Phillies 2016 calendar is more important than June 9, when they’ll make the first pick Major League Baseball’s draft, this list is more than a little interesting and worth taking a look at.
A few quick takeaways:
• Jason Groome, the big-armed, South Jersey left-hander everyone has been aware of as a legitimate contender for the 1-1 slot for most of the last year, is on top. Not surprising. Given all of that, Groome would seem to be the odds-on favorite, as of March 13, to go No.1 to the Phillies.
• What is a little surprising: five of Baseball America’s top eight prospects are position players. For most of the last year, the word was the top of the 2016 draft (particularly the top five) would be pitching heavy. So, perhaps the Phils will have a real option with a projectable bat.
• According to Baseball America, two local kids are among the top 16 prospects. Along with Groome (Barnegat High in Barnegat, N.J.) is Nolan Jones, a shortstop from Holy Ghost Prep (Langhorne, Pa.). Jones is a former two-sport star whose brother could also be drafted in June – but not in the baseball draft.
Here are Baseball America's Top 20 prospects (click on each name for more biographical information):
|1.||Jason Groome||LHP||Barnegat (N.J.) High School|
|2.||Nick Senzel||3B||Univ. of Tennessee|
|3.||Blake Rutherford||OF||Chaminade College Prep, Canoga Park, Calif.|
|4.||Riley Pint||RHP||St. Thomas Aquinas High, Overland Park, Kan.|
|5.||Delvin Perez||SS||Professional Educational High School, Carolina, Puerto Rico|
|6.||A. J. Puk||LHP||Univ. of Florida|
|7.||Corey Ray||OF||Louisville University|
|8.||Kyle Lewis||OF||Mercer University|
|9.||Alec Hansen||RHP||Oklahoma University|
|10.||Connor Jones||RHP||Univ. of Virginia|
|11.||Josh Lowe||3B||Pope High, Marietta, Ga.|
|12.||Buddy Reed||OF||Univ. of Florida|
|13.||Ian Anderson||RHP||ShShenendohowa High, Clifton Park, N.Y. |
|14.||Kevin Gowdy||RHP||Santa Barbara (Calif.) High|
|15.||Mickey Moniak||OF||La Costa Canyon High, Carldbad, Calif.|
|16.||Nolan Jones||SS||Holy Ghost Prep (Pa.)|
|17.||Bryan Reynolds||OF||Vanderbilt Univ.|
|18.||Matt Krook||LHP||Univ. of Oregon|
|19.||Dakota Hudson||RHP||Mississippi St.|
|20.||Daulton Jefferies||RHP||Univ. of California - Berkeley|
(No, that last name is not the son of Gregg Jefferies, and named after his former Phillies teammate.)
Again, here is the link for Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects for the draft, which, again, takes place on June 9.