June 05, 2017
A week from today, the Phillies will take an important step in their ongoing rebuild when they make the eighth overall selection in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft.
While there hasn’t been nearly as much buzz this spring as there was last year, that’s probably to be expected. Last June, of course, the Phillies held the No.1 overall pick in the draft for the second time in franchise history and selected California prep outfielder Mickey Moniak.
Even though they’re not in the same enviable position this season – and, thus, out of the running for the likes of Sports Illustrated cover kid Hunter Greene, Louisville two-way player Brendan McKay, and rising high school left-hander MacKenzie Gore, among others – the Phillies are picking within the top 10 picks for the fourth straight year. Before landing Moniak last year, the Phils chose high school prep bat Cornelius Randolph (10th overall) in 2015 and LSU right-hander Aaron Nola (7th overall) in 2014.
But the first two days of last June’s draft netted more than Moniak. As expected, the Phillies spread their considerable draft pool allotment to select fellow high school prospects Kevin Gowdy and Cole Stobbe (who both played with Moniak for USA Baseball's 18U National team) in the second and third rounds, respectively.
The Phillies could use a similar strategy with roughly $7 million in draft pool allotment in their first three picks this year. Here are some players the Phillies could consider next Monday when they’ll make their first two selections of the 40-round draft.
*Players listed in alphabetical order
Age: 18 | Hits: Right | Size: 5-11, 175 | School: North Davidson (N.C.) High School
Why he fits the Phillies: Would slot in nicely with each of the team’s last two top picks, Mickey Moniak and Cornelius Randolph, as a projectable outfield bat.
What they’re saying: "Beck is already pretty tooled up and physically mature, with tremendous bat speed, but there is some effort to his game and some trouble with off-speed stuff.” –ESPN.com's Keith Law
Fun fact: Beck hit three home runs in his final high school game last month, a loss to T.C. Robertson High in North Carolina’s 4A state playoffs.
Projected to go to Phillies by: Keith Law of ESPN’s latest mock draft
Age: 21 | Size: 6-5, 225 | School: University of Florida
Why he fits the Phillies: With a strong pedigree (he pitched in front of 2016 first-round pick A.J. Puk in Florida’s rotation last season) Faedo could follow Aaron Nola’s path from quick-rising prospect to MLB-ready starter.
What they’re saying: Ffinished last summer “as the No. 1 prospect on USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team. At that time, all three of his pitches — fastball, slider, changeup — earned plus grades from some scouts,” – from Baseball America’s scouting report.
Fun fact: Faedo has gone 20-5 with a 3.05 ERA and an impressive 4.69 K/BB rate (239 K, 51 BB) over 195 innings in the last two seasons at Florida.
Where he ranks: 10th by Baseball America,11th by MLB.com, 13th by ESPN
Projected to go to Phillies by: Baseball America’s latest mock draft
Age: 21 | Hits: Left | Size: 6-1, 185 | School: University of Virginia
Why he fits the Phillies: They haven’t spent their top pick on a college bat since 2000 (when they took some guy named Chase Utley) and other teams (the Cubs and Mets come to mind) have had recent success taking college bats with their own top-10 picks.
What they’re saying: “Haseley's bat has taken a nice leap forward this season and he's hit over, or close to, .400 for much of his junior year. … There could be some upside here, with more to be unlocked once he stops pitching and focuses 100 percent on hitting. His stock was soaring as much as any college position player as the spring unfolded.” – MLB.com scouting report
Fun fact: Earned the nickname “Rev” at UVA for his strong Christian faith.
Where he ranks: 8th by Baseball America, 10th by MLB.com, 11th by ESPN
Projected to go to Phillies by: Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com's latest mock draft
Age: 19 | Size: 6-6, 240 | School: Oregon
Why he fits the Phillies: Similar to Faedo in that he’s an advanced prospect (having pitched for a top college program) who could climb quickly in farm system en route to big leagues.
What they’re saying: “Peterson was leading the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio in early May and had six double-digit strikeout games, including 17 against Mississippi State and 20 in late April against Arizona State. Peterson has improved his fastball velocity (up to 94 mph early in games) and command this season.” – Baseball America’s scouting report
Fun fact: Attended Regis Jesuit High School in Denver suburb Aurora, Col., the same high school as TV personality Chris Hardwick, character actor John Carroll Lynch, and five-time Gold Medal-winning swimmer Missy Franklin.
Where he ranks: 17th by Baseball America, 19th by MLB.com
Projected to go to Phillies by: N/A
Age: 19 | Size: 6-6, 185 | School: Carlsbad (N.M) High School
Why he fits Phillies: While strong in depth and mid-to-backend rotation arms, the farm system lacks many future ace types (although Sixto Sanchez may have something to say about that). Rogers’ talent and body type could be tantalizing for scouts betting on a young-ish (he turns 20 in November) high school lefty.
What they’re saying: “Rogers will show plenty of fastball, still occasionally touching the mid-90s he showed at the Area Code Games. More often than not, he's pitched at 89-92 mph, but the fastball plays up because of his long arms, deception and very good command of the pitch.” – MLB.com's scouting report
Fun fact: A cousin of former major league outfielder Cody Ross.
Where he ranks: 31st by Baseball America, 25th by MLB.com, 18th by ESPN
Projected to go to Phillies by: No one, although FanGraphs’ lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen believes there’s a “chance” they could land Rogers somehow in the first or second round
Age: 21 | Hits: Left | Size: 6-2, 210 | School: University of Virginia
Why he fits the Phillies: Scroll up and read the same reasoning for high college teammate Haseley because it applies here, too. The only pause might be that Smith, a first base-only prospect, could be better suited for an American League team because of a lack of position flexibility.
What they’re saying: “Smith is the safest of safe guys, as he has been among the hardest Division I hitters to strike out (just six times through 43 games and 195 PA through April 22), while making hard contact and showing some power.” – ESPN.com's Keith Law
Fun fact: As a freshman, hit game-tying two-run home run in the fourth inning and two-out, go-ahead single in the fifth of the decisive Game 3 of College World Series Finals vs. Vanderbilt in 2015.
Where he ranks: 15th by Baseball America, 8th by MLB.com, 7th by ESPN
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