Thursday, June 05, 2008

Phils Draft Recap

Yesterday was the first day of the 2008 First Year Player Draft for Major League Baseball. The Phils chose some players. I don't know who they are, and I'm guessing you don't either. Here are some snippets on the top three picks. For the rest, go here.

1. Anthony Hewitt - SS - Salisbury School - Hewitt is the epitome of high-risk, high-reward. The risk starts with his signability: Any team that drafts Hewitt must be prepared to open its wallet and buy the star out of a commitment to Vanderbilt. His raw bat was overmatched against quality pitching on the showcase circuit last summer; he struggles to recognize breaking balls and can get locked up at times by ordinary fastballs. But then he'll crush a ball 450 feet and give scouts a glimpse of his prodigious upside. He has three legitimate above-average tools in his raw power, speed and arm strength. His muscular 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame evokes Ron Gant, and his work ethic and charisma stand out. Hewitt plays shortstop, but his poor footwork, stiff actions and lack of instincts will dictate a shift to third base or more likely the outfield, where he has enough speed and arm strength for center or right. - As the spring wore on, few players had more helium than Hewitt, a toolsy high school shortstop. He can run and should hit for power down the road. A terrific athlete with a good arm, most feel a move to the outfield is likely so he can just go out and develop his considerable offensive tools. As a Northeast kid, he's a little raw, but has shown good improvement this spring. His name had been climbing up charts everywhere and the only thing that could hold him back is signability due to a commitment to Vanderbilt. - Hewitt looks as good as anyone in a uniform in this year's draft. He's a five-tool package. He will put on a show in batting practice, but he's struggled in game situations against tough competition, like at the Area Code Games last summer. He projects more as a center fielder than as a shortstop. If everything clicks, he's a potential superstar. The problem is that he's about 4-6 years away unless he developmentally makes a quantum leap forward. He's high risk, potentially high reward.

WSBGM's - It's surprising to see "overmatched by quality pitching" and "struggles to recognize breaking balls" in the scouting report of a guy who is going to get paid millions tomorrow to face quality pitching and hit breaking balls. I know, he's young. He could end up great. But that sounds like the scouting report for Steve Jeltz. At least we know he "looks as good as anyone in a uniform." Way to gay-it-up, ESPN.

2. Zachary Collier - OF - Chino Hills (CA) HS - Collier began the year behind other California high school outfielders like Aaron Hicks and Anthony Gose. He closed the gap with some strong performances this spring, showing some big-time power in some big games. He's still very raw, but with some more instruction, a whole lot could be unlocked.

WSBGM's - If I had the time, I would read all the scouting reports for the high school players and pick out those that contain the word "raw." That's the report somebody writes when they haven't actually seen the kid play, because they know they have a 98% chance of being accurate.

Anthony Gose - OF - Bellflower (CA) HS - Depending on how he develops, Gose could fit one of two types. He could be a Corey Patterson type, one who flashes brilliance and hits for power but strikes out a lot. He also could be a Juan Pierre type, a leadoff hitter who sprays line drives and steals bases. Either way, someone will draft the Urban Youth Academy product based on his projectability. Gose has also drawn plenty of interest for his ability on the mound, throwing as hard as 97 mph from the left side, but he's been fairly adamant about wanting to be considered an outfielder only.

WSBGM's - 97 mph? From a lefty? Someone convince this kid to put the bat down...
I'm A Hustler Baby...
I guess I should comment on the Rollins benching, but I don't think it is that big of a deal. Manuel did what he needed to do, and Rollins agrees.

"He's the manager and that's what he had to do," Rollins said. "He has two rules: Be on time and hustle. I broke one today. It's my fault. I can't be mad at him."

Rollins shows good leadership by taking responsibility for this little indiscretion. And because he handled it this way, instead of the way Milton Bradley might have handled it, I don't see this affecting Rollins or the Phillies in any negative way.

"That's a done issue," said Charlie. I agree.



GM-Carson said...

Charlie Manuel is a different manager this year...I actually like him. The first 3 years, I found something wrong with his managing style nearly every single game. This season he still does some questionable things, but overall he's doing a great job. The Rollins benching is an example of how a manager should handle the situation. Jimmy gets the point without being embarrassed.

Glad the Phils got Zach Collier. My son's name is Collier Chase. Chase after Utley, Collier family name. Now that Collier has been drafted it's just a cool coincidence.

GM-Carson said...

The Mets are a joke. They just called up No-Hit Nunez from Triple A. I never expected him to play in the bigs again.

Not impressed with the draft yesterday. Phils went their typical route of "toolsy" guys that seem like projects rather than sure things. Drafting one project in the early rounds with high-rish high-reward is fine, but a stable full of them spells disaster.

GM-Carson said...

From my homeboy Jayson Stark:
• ANOTHER TRIFECTA?: We talked last week about the odds of Josh Hamilton or Lance Berkman winning the triple crown? Hey, what about Chase Utley? He might have won the batting title last year if he hadn't broken his hand. And he was leading the NL in homers and RBIs at one point this week.

"In that ballpark, he could do it," said one NL scout. "He's a great, great player, man. People are finally understanding how good he is. He's a better hitter than Berkman or Hamilton. He knows the strike zone so well. He gets good swings on good fastballs, and he gets good swings on your best breaking balls. I wouldn't put anything past him."

Bob D said...

Rollins and Manuel handeled the situation very well yesterday, point made and they will move on.

Hewitt and 4th rounder Trevor May RHP both will be hard to sign as they have signed letters of intent for college. Has Collier Chase signed a letter of intent yet?

With 6 high schoolers taken early the Phils are taking a big risk.

GreggyD said...

You know that No Hit will probably give the Phillies the Rod Barajas treatment. Barajas teed off on Phillies pitching which was just our luck. It's amazing how he seemingly topped his season HR numbers in that one series. But, now that I think about it more, Nunez has no chance of still being around come July 4th.

GM-Carson said...

Both Barajas and Helms went Yahtzee! on the Phils. If No-Hit manages to hurt us, I'll do a post on him praising him for all the good he's ever done. It would only be a 1 sentence post though.

Collier Chase hasn't signed a letter of intent yet. As his dad, I represent him legally and we're holding out for the best offer. He crawls the 40 in 4.3.

Joe said...

If the trouble with Jimmy was ongoing, OK. Sit him.
But is Charlie's trying to make an example of Jimmy for one incident, it's uncalled for.

Now we need Charlie to manage his first baseman. Howard needs to be flipped with Burrell and taught how to hit. Like a pitcher who needs to learn how to "pitch" Howard needs to become a smarter hitter. His eye for the strike zone is gone. He's not walking, he's not slugging.

.206/.316/.453 isn't getting it done. And his at bats are easy on a pitcher. He's not a challenge to get out. All he hits are mistakes.

The league knows how to pitch to him. Great players adjust. Flip Howard and Burrell. Say you want to break up the two lefties to save face.

This team is winning because of some unlikely success: bullpen, a Howard-free offense and staring pitching like this week (Eaton/Myers/Hamels) Can it continue without Howard? 62 games in, 120 to go. We will see. I doubt it.

furiousBall said...

that guy is fielding a ball in the woods! he's got to be good

GM-Carson said...

Howard is a joke this season. He could be leading the World in RBI right now if he would only not suck. He had a mini-hot streak, but he's back to hacking and looking stupid. How's that long-term contract looking big fella?

SirAlden said...

The 2008 MLB Draft

I am feeling very good about the draft. First of all, unlike last year when the Phillies took the heinous course of drafting some players in the first 6 rounds that they knew that they could sign for underslot so they could stick to a total strict budget.

The players drafted yesterday will all require real earnest money to sign them.

It is a lot easier to look back with 20-20 Hindsight at trends of the first round. This is what I see. First of all aside from Brian Matusz, and Aaron Crow, and possibly Ethan Martin (who may be a 3rd Baseman) all the other impact Pitchers in the 1st round were relievers.

Here are the pitchers the Phillies could have taken at #24. Christian Friedrich #25 who scouting reports say is good #3 Starter Type, but does not have a projectable upside, Gerrit Cole #28 who has Scott Boras as his advisor and a 100 mph fastball with a delivery that scouts say portends injury, Shooter Hunt #31, and Jacob Orderizzi #32.
The Phillies (twice) passed on the potential top 10 pick Cole Hamels type of the day: Tanner Sheppers #48 who has a mysterious stress fracture in his shoulder.

So let’s step back a take a look at who should the Phillies have picked at #24 if they were going to take a Starter. Freidrich, Hunt, or Orderizzi? Maybe. Cole was never going to be a Phillie after what Boras did to the Phillies with JD Drew. I am sure the Phillies did their homework with Sheppers and decided against him, because he was exactly the top of opportunity the Phillies have seized recently.

So with no over the top Starter available in a weak 1st Round Starting Class the Phillies took two High-Upside / High Risk hitter with their two first round picks at #24 19 year old Anthony Hewitt a SS who will move to 3B or CF who is a toolsy kid who is reported to be the best athlete of the last 4 drafts, and #34 17! year old Zachery Collier a corner outfielder who can cover CF who fell to them and was projected in the top 15.

The Franchise ideally needs College ready Starting Pitching that could help quickly. However, aside from the aforementioned Matusz, and Crow they just did not exist in this draft. Wise people bemoan these two picks because of the Phillies recent track record and luck with toolsy Greg Golson, and D’arby Myers. Here is where I disagree.

When you have NO picks. Or FEW picks which was the legacy of the Late Wade Period, taking a flyer on toolsy guy can be seen as unwise, when a league average Starting Pitcher ala Kyle Lohse would be better spent. However the Phillies due to Pat Gillick’s philosophy had 9 picks in the first 6 rounds yesterday. There are no sure things, but if you have more chances to win then the risk/reward ratio is balanced.

Many people would have been happy if the Phillies had drafted Zachery Collier at #24, and Anthony Hewitt at #34 but (like the Eagles drafting DeShawn Jackson as their second pick in the second round after trading away their 1st round pick) it is moot now the Phillies have these two talents in their fold.

The knock on Hewitt is that when faced with upper level competition he fell flat on his face. Remember this-, living and playing in the Northeast, like owning an in-ground pool, does not give you many days to play, unlike Florida or California. Time will tell if the tools will be up to the task when given time in the sun. I like these two picks and I am not losing sleep that Christian Friedrich will be the next Tom Glavine. He may be, but I think our picks were well used to try to catch lightening in a bottle.

If the first and second picks made Phillies watchers pull out their hair and drive them to drink, the next picks the third and fourth made them suicidal.

#51 Left Anthony (I will not pitch I want to play everyday and be Juan Pierre) Gose, and #71 Jason (who the hell is this jersey boy with bad mechanics and why are the Phillies all over him) Knapp.

This is how I see these two picks. These are the two Cole Hamels picks of the day. Anthony Gose is a small 6’0-6’1 lefty who happens to throw a 97 mile per hour heater with exceptional late movement. I have looked at his videos, small compact, inside his body, heat. He channels Ron Guidry who was 5’11’’ and Billy Wagner. Gose is refusing to be a pitcher. If he opens his mind and the Phillies play hardball and he develops, he will be the left handed Joba Chamberlain of the draft a major steal. As for 6’ 5” Knapp, I have no idea, but if they want him so badly, someone in the organization (maybe even during workouts with him) said….”can you try this...” and it worked. These picks are not sure things, and I see why everyone follows these things were upset, time will tell, I think these first 4 picks were all about upside and hidden wealth on the pitching side. I do not think it shows incompetence or that the Phillies were not doing their homework. They were doing extra homework and we will see if it pays off.

After these first 4 picks the next 5 filled the tank with 4 pitchers and a slick fielding 1st baseman from college who has time to develop, and will give stability to the young infielders who will be throwing to him. With pick 4 Knapp at 6’5, the Phillies then added 2 6’5” HS Pitchers and a 6’5” JC Pitcher: #110 Jonathan Pettibone from California, #113 Trevor May from the under scouted Pacific Northwest where we found Julian Sampson last year, and #196 Junior College Colby Shreve who was drafted last year by the Braves in the 7th round, went back to school and increased his fastball to 96 mph. These 4 tall right handed starting pitchers who will not be easy signs to me show that the Phillies Drafted to the strength of this years draft in the appropriate part of the draft.

This leaves #102 Vance Worley who the Phillies have drafted before from Cal State Long Beach, who is the player from this draft who could make it to the middle of the bullpen quickly, and #166 Jeremy Hamilton from Wright State, a Gold Glove Type 1st Baseman who will be older than everyone at each minor league stop and will be a reminder to Ryan Howard how he sometimes gives up just as many runs as homeruns he hits in each game.
Two High Flying Hitters a right handed infielder in Anthony Hewitt, and a left handed outfielder in Zachary Collier, followed by a 97 mph throwing left hander Anthony Gose as the # 3 pick. This was followed by 4 – 6’5” High School Right handed Starting Pitchers, a polished middle reliever who was drafted by the Phillies before, and slick fielding left handed 1st baseman who has over 4 years to develop in the first 9 picks.

I am pretty happy especially that there are 2 hitters, a 97 mph lefty, and 4 – 6’5” tall Right handed Starting Pitchers. To add to Sampson and Naylor in the lower minors.

Good Show!

SirAlden said...

I bet that Manuel and Rollins had a secret plan to do this.

GreggyD said...

Leave it to siralden. That one post more than made up for your absenteeism yesterday.

GM-Carson said...

I was actually pissed at SirAlden for his lack of draft coverage, but he totally redeemed himself right there.

lockee said...

Please refrain in the future from invoking Ron Gant's name unless if using it to describe someone harmlessly popping out with the bases loaded. Thanks.

GM-Carson said...

Ron Gant was good as a Phillie. In 1.5 seasons he played 227 games, scored 161 runs, collected 221 hits, 43 doubles, 7 triples, 37 homeruns, 115 rbi, 18 stolen bases, 121 walks, .257 average, and about a .800 OPS.

SirAlden said...

Thanks Guys....

Yesterdays draft was confusing, had to sleep on it. I am really happy with our day two draft. Lots of TALL HS Pitchers and a Great HS Catcher from Manny Ramirezland in the North Bronx.

The number 1 New York State HS Catcher - Jean Rodriguez

SirAlden said...

And now for my faux Furiousball Comment of the Month.

SirAlden said...

I really miss benjah reaming me another asshole you never can have enough well reamed ass.

SirAlden said...

* post faux furiousball disclaimer *

"I have 5 children ages 23, 21, 19, 15, and 13".

GM-Carson said...

Damn SirAlden- you sure laid the wood back in the day then.

SirAlden said...

In the day... olde skool

In this day... new skool I have a 19 year old girlfriend. Who is hott.

SirAlden said...

I love that they keep taking tons of tall HS Pitchers and not total Org Filter. Daniel Mars is a perfect example in the 40th round. The kid has a live arm, is tall, and cannot control anything. Perfect HS late pick.

SirAlden said...

Knapp tosses gem to lift N. Hunterdon
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
For the Star-Ledger

It may be an old baseball axiom that good pitching beats good hitting, but what Bloomfield saw yesterday in North Hunterdon right-hander Jason Knapp was no axiom. It was raw heat.

Knapp stifled one of the state's more punishing lineups with a fastball clocked as high as 97 mph on the way to a one-hitter when North Hunterdon rolled to a 10-0 victory in six innings in the NJSIAA/Star-Ledger Group 4 semifinals in Demarest.

97 MPH with bad mechanics. I would love to see him at Lakewood in 2010 with good mechanics.

Bob D said...

Siralden, yes this year they will have to pay over slot. No immediate help from this draft, but AA is loaded with talent who some will be ready this year and some more into next year. 3 to 4 years may show the fruits (or pits) of this years draft.

Bob D said...

Thats the way to do it, wait for them to make a mistake and make them pay. Way to go Vic and Ut

Bob D said...

Wow! Awesome win! Lidge didn't have his best stuff but Vic did as he gunned down Blanco at home who would've been the tying run. Throw in his 2 triples and he is the star of the game.

Jack said...

What a freakin' game! Feliz is an idiot for not running out a pop up one night after J-Roll does the same thing, but it is all good. The F'n Hawaiian rules.

GreggyD said...

As soon as that ball was hit into center, I said "Look out, you know he has a cannon" to which the two people I was watching the game with said, "what?"

3 seconds later they are sitting with their jaws dropped. That was such a fantastic finish. I was pretty disappointed that Lidge might blow his first of the year, but Victorino bailed him out beautifully. I'm not used to this kind of baseball in this town. This team is so exciting to watch, and the national media is finally noticing. Said Michael Wilbon today, "You know I love the Cubs, but the Phillies scare me." You're damn right Wilbon, damn right.

ripjgarcia said...

We got lucky tonight.. and Bobby Cox will argue ANYTHING. But simple is.... Victorino unleashed the cannon, and we hyped him as they guy with that cannon, especially when we let Fence-Face go.... and you know what... he came through against a division opponent and I can think of nothing more solid that... Victorino. Player of the game.. all around AWESOME! running 2nd is the idiot for the Braves who dropped the pop-up..... love him too

GM-Carson said...

That game had everything. Great pitching, bad umpiring (homeplate dude was all over the place), huge error, huge hits (McCann, Vic, Utley, Escobar), defensive gems (Vic)...and we friggin' won!