Monday, June 12, 2017

Taking a look at the Phillies' possible draft picks

Thanks to YouTube, baseball fans can have more of an educated opinions on the players their favorite teams will select in the draft. I spent several hours the past few days looking at some of the players to give you a brief breakdown of what the draft might offer for the Phillies.
Before we move on to the players, here's the skinny. The draft starts at 7 p.m. The Phillies pick eighth, with the Minnesota Twins, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves, Oakland Athletics and Arizona Diamondbacks on the board ahead of them. Eighth isn't a bad spot because this seems to be a fairly deep draft.

Who will be off the board?

It seems a few players are all-but guaranteed to be selected with the first six picks. They are Brendon McKay, Hunter Green (What a baseball name), MacKenzie Gore, Royce Lewis, and Keston Hiura. I've seen a few guys other guys in and out of that top six, but rarely seen these five guys not in it.
If any of these guys fall to the Phillies, they have to pick them.

The Fab Five

There are five players I regularly see falling in the 5-10 range, but rarely see in the top 5. We'll briefly break them down alphabetically. I'm not going to pretend I know more about these guys than I do. But what I know, I'll give you. An argument could be made the Phillies should concentrate on pitching. But there is a very good chance a very good prospect will fall to them at 8. It's unlikely they won't dive on that opportunity.

Austin Beck

There is a good chance this right-handed hitting outfielder will be around when the Phillies pick at 8. In some ways, he reminds you of Mickey Moniak, the player the Phillies selected first overall last year. He's a high schooler, though. The Phillies have picked several high schoolers a lot recently (Moniak, Larry Greene Jr., Cornelius Randolph, J.P. Crawford) with so-so success.

Alex Faedo
Faedo has impressive stuff, but the right-hander out of Florida has some iffy mechanics. The Phillies selected a college starter at 7 not to long ago and it probably will work out. I'm still very high on Aaron Nola, though. We'll have to see if they'll take a chance on a guy with Faedo's stuff at 8, when I see a lot of mock drafts putting him a bit later. Adam Haseley
Here's another outfielder with a ton of tools. But as a prospect from Virginia, which seems to be doing a great job of sending its collegiate players to the Major Leagues, he's closer to the Bigs. He reminds you of a young Darin Erstad, plays good defense, gets on base, has some noticeable stuff. Also, he was a solid pitcher.

Pavin Smith
I'm not a huge fan of player comparisons, but that seems to be the gig when it comes to looking at prospects. That said, his swing reminds me of a combination of Joe Mauer and Jim Thome. The Virginia first baseman could be an impact bat. He should be around when the Phillies pick. He's probably my favorite player of the group.

Kyle Wright
A couple of years ago, I really wanted the Phillies to take Nola at seven. This is the guy I want to take at 8. The problem is I don't see him lasting that far. I like him a lot. I actually like him a lot more than some of the other guys in the Top 5. He's a right handed pitcher with polish out of Vanderbilt. You could imagine him hitting the rotation by 2018. If The Phillies end up with Wright, I'll be ecstatic. I think he could end up being the best first round draft pick for the ballclub in a decade.

Darkhorses

There are three names I could see the Phillies picking in this draft other than the five we've discussed.
Jeren Kendall is an outfielder with a ton of tools. The risk with him is that he strikes out a ton. It's not hard to imagine him striking out in a third of his professional at-bats for a few years.
Shane Baz has a ton of heat. Heat is sexy, but his mechanics aren't very repeatable and he's a high schooler. The Phils will have to take a few years developing him.
J.B. Bukauskas is another pitcher who is intriguing. I've seen him fall between 6 and 12 in some drafts. I wouldn't mind seeing the Phils pick him, but I like Baz, Faedo and Wright a lot more.