Phillies Draft - High Risk, High Reward?

Thursday, June 5, 2008 ·

Today was the first day of Major League Baseball's amatuer draft. The Phillies like to tell you that they draft well, but truthfully, they have not drafted an impact player since Cole Hamels was drafted in 2002, 6 years ago. So, with their core getting older, you'd think they'd like forward to drafting players that will be able to making an impact with the team sooner than later, right? Nope not these Phillies.

The Phillies felt this year, it'd be better to take high risk guys, including using their first pick on a player who has been quoted that it'll take a big offer for him to not goto Vanderbilt University. Oh, and they reached on him as well. So let's go over their picks: (Scouting Reports taken from MLB.com

#24 - Anthony Hewitt - SS/CF - R/R - 19 - Salisbury School

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.
So, not only did the Phillies take a prospect that they will likely not be able to sign, they also reached in the first round for him.

Edited: It seems like Hewitt does want to sign now and the Phillies have been reported to say that he is penciled in to be a third baseman. The pick doesn't look as bad now. He's still either a big star or a big bust.

#34 Zach Collier - OF - L/L - 17 - Chino Hills HS (CA)

Zach Collier is the player that many mock drafts predicted the Phillies going with in the first round.
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.
#51 Anthony Gose - OF - L/L - 17 - Bellflower HS (CA)

Another high risk/possibly high reward type guy. Gose can also pitch, but he has pretty much made it clear that he wants to play in the field. However, his best interest is to remain a pitcher. His bat is not consistent or good enough for the pros.
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.
#71 Jason Knapp - RHP - R/R - 17 - North Hunterdon (NJ)
Some scouts seem to feel that Knapp is the top prospect in New Jersey and has the ability to throw a 100 mph fastball in the big leagues, while others feel that Knapp is the most overrated New Jersey prospect. He's also another guy who has committed to a university already. From Phuture Phillies:
Late in the spring, Knapp was pitching at 94-96 mph in short relief outings, and he could add velocity thanks to his loose arm and projectable 6-foot-5 frame, which started to shed some baby fat this spring. But the rest of Knapp’s stuff needs work, as so does his delivery. He tries to throw a three-quarters curveball from a lower arm slot that might be better suited for a slider, but the pitch shows decent depth from time to time. His changeup is also a work in progress but has good arm speed and fade. Knapp has fundamental flaws in his delivery, yet for all that, he could go in the top three rounds—or even rocket into the first round—if a club falls in love with his upside. Like Quinton Miller, he’s committed to North Carolina but is considered an easier sign.
Three of the Phillies first 4 picks were high risk guys either with position confusion or with signability issues. The Phillies other picks so far today have been.
#102 Vance Worley
#110 Jonathon Pettibone
#136 Trevor May
#166 Jeremy Hamilton
#196 Colby Shreve

To read more about these players, head on over to Phuture Phillies. They devote their website to draft and our prospects. They do a very good job at it as well.

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We Hate to Lose began in October 2007. The initial purpose of the website was to provide news updates and commentary on all four major sports teams in Philadelphia. Because of time-constraints, in April of 2009, I decided to post only on my first-love, the Philadelphia Phillies.

My name is Justin Evans and I hope you enjoy the site.

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