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July 10, 2024

MLB Draft: The Phillies are picking late again, but have hope that another top prospect might slide

Last summer, top prospect Aidan Miller fell down the board and to the Phillies at 27th overall. Will the club get similar luck this year picking in the same spot?

Phillies MLB
MLB-Draft-Stage-2022.jpg Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Which name will the Phillies call this year?

The Phillies will be picking at the back of the MLB Draft order again. 

And just like last year, you'll hardly find Brian Barber, the club's assistant general manager of amateur scouting, complaining. 

"Our hope every year is that we're picking 30th overall," Barber told the media in a pre-draft Zoom call on Wednesday. "It's just the reality because that means we walked away and won the World Series the year before."

But a key lesson learned from when you have to pick later in the draft, especially from last summer: Be ready for any prospect to fall to you, and have scouting on top of its game in the event it does happen.

"You just have to be prepared for so many different eventualities," Barber said. "Rather than if you draft higher, or even in the middle of the first round, the pool is smaller. So one of the things that we learned last year is that anybody can necessarily fall to you and you have to be prepared for a lot of situations. 

"You have to be prepared that you're picking, for us, the 27th best player on the board with a hope that somebody you have evaluated at a higher level happens to fall down to you."

Last summer, it was Aidan Miller who fell to the Phillies at 27th overall, a pure-hitting third baseman out of Dunedin, Florida who many didn't get to see in his draft year because of a broken hand

The high school prospect fell down the board because of it, but to the Phillies' advantage. The now 20-year old has since become the second-ranked prospect in their farm system, behind only prized pitcher Andrew Painter, who will still be rehabbing from Tommy John surgery into 2025. 

So set to pick at No. 27 again, the Phillies' scouts have been doing their homework and will be ready to make a call wherever the chips might fall. 

"You never have any certainty that somebody will be there or won't be there," Barber said. "So I think at our spot, once the draft starts, you sit there, see how it plays out and you're ready to pounce on a player that you have evaluated higher. Hopefully they fall, and if they don't, you're also prepared for that on guys that you normally don't get to 27."

The 2024 MLB Draft will begin Sunday night in Texas with Rounds 1 and 2 (plus the competitive balance rounds) as part of a lead-in to the All-Star break, then progress through rounds 3-20 over Monday and Tuesday. 

The Phillies will be picking 27th in each round. Here's a rundown of what that will look like 1-5, per MLB:

Rd. Pick 

And to get somewhat of a sense of who might be around for the Phillies by the time they're on the clock in the first at 27, here are MLB's top-ranked prospects from 25-35:

 Rk) PlayerPosition Age  School
25) Jurrangelo CijntjeRHP/LHP 21 Miss. St. (NCAA)
26) Malcolm Moore20 Stanford (NCAA) 
27) Slade CaldwellOF 18 Valley View, AR (HS) 
28) Theo GillenSS/2B 18 Westlake, TX (HS) 
29) Kellon LindseySS 18 Hardee, FL (HS) 
30) Kash MayfieldLHP 19 Elk City, OK (HS) 
31) Kaelen CulpepperSS 21 Kansas St. (NCAA) 
32) Billy Amick3B 21 Tennessee (NCAA) 
33) Caleb Lomavita21 California (NCAA) 
34) Dakota JordanOF 21 Miss. St. (NCAA) 
35) Wyatt SanfordSS 18 Independence,TX (HS) 

NOTE: You are seeing that right up top. Cijntje is a switch pitcher.

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