MLB Draft: Phillies Could Go Position Player Early

The MLB amateur draft is set for June 4-6 and the Phillies have offense on their mind early.

According to Matt Gelb, the Phillies will go after a position player early. That position player could also wind up being a college player. (College players have faster tracks to the Majors due to experience but don’t have the opportunity to have a Major League system mold them like an 18-year-old.)

“It’s always about balance for me,” said Marti Wolever, an assistant general manager and head of amateur scouting. “Everyone always says, ‘Marti, you’re a high-ceiling guy.’ I certainly am. But on the flip side, you forget about a lot of guys over the years, from Jason Donald… to college guys that are a little further along and may not have quite the ceiling as the high school guys do but they’re going to be good major-league players. That’s how we look at it.”

The Phillies will pick 40th, 50th and 77th in the top 100. Their picks are compensations for losing type B free agents Ryan Madson (Reds 1st and 2nd) and Raul Ibanez (Yankees 2nd). Their 31st pick in the draft went to the Red Sox when they signed closer Jonathan Papelbon.

It hasn’t been specified if they will look middle infield, corner infield or outfield with their top three picks but it can be certain that one of those picks will have to be near Major-League ready for a team that’s aging fast.

Here is a list of the Baseball America top 500 amateur prospects for the draft as well as the draft order.

The hot name in the draft this year is a high school outfielder named Byron Buxton from Georgia. The Houston Astros, who has the first pick, will most likely be eyeing him or any of the handful of college right-handed arms in the top 10.

For some extra reading, here is Jim Salisbury’s post about the draft from June 2 as well as Gelb’s that was just posted today.


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