We're less than a week away from the start of the 2011 MLB Draft, so it's time to kick it into gear around these parts. I haven't been as up-to-date on the draft coverage this year as in years past, but given where the Phillies pick (#39 overall is their first selection), I'm going to lean a little more heavily on the experts for the analysis, and do a little less amateur prognostication.
In the meantime, Phuture Phillies has a couple of pieces up on some potential targets at 39, along with some discussion on the Phillies' general draft philosophy and the unpredictable nature of the draft in general (see here and here). They're lengthy, but well worth a read if this sort of stuff interests you.
To keep with the general draft theme, let's make this a bit of a special prospect roundup -- we'll go back 5 years to take a look at the Phils' 2006 draft haul. Check below the jump to get started.
Kyle Drabek, RHP, Toronto: 1st round (18th overall). Drabek was an interesting draft prospect, as the top prep righty in the pool scared some teams off with makeup concerns. Due to Tommy John surgery, his first full season didn't come until 2009, but that breakout campaign was enough to make him the centerpiece of the Roy Halladay deal. Still, Drabek has lost some of his shine in my book, as while his raw stuff is still good, he's struggled to harness it between Double-A last year (7.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 0.67 HR/9, 3.87 FIP) and the majors this year (6.0 K/9, 6.0 BB/9, 0.86 HR/9, 4.87 FIP). Still, the Phillies obviously got fantastic value from this pick.
Adrian Cardenas, OF/3B-R, Sacramento (AAA): Supplemental round (37th overall). The
Drew Carpenter, RHP, Lehigh Valley: 2nd round (65th overall). Carpenter is a classic case of a strike-throwing college starter with pedestrian stuff struggling to retire high minors and major league hitters. When a second full season as a Triple-A starter proved essentially a carbon copy of the year before (6.9 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 1.07 HR/9, 4.08 FIP in 2009 vs. 6.9 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 1.07 K/9, 4.43 FIP in 2010), the organization shifted Carpenter to the bullpen, and the results thus far have been somewhat promising: 8.6 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 0.31 HR/9, 50% GB, 2.55 FIP. He's 26, but with his stuff playing up a bit out of the bullpen, maybe he's got some Chad Durbin-esque possibilities going forward.
Jason Donald, IF-R, Columbus (AAA): 3rd round (97th overall). When the first 3 rounds of a draft net you Roy Halladay, Joe Blanton, and Cliff Lee, you've had a good day at the office, right? Tongue in cheek, of course, but Donald was a key cog in "Cliff Lee trade, Version 1" as a power hitting middle infielder. He's yet to experience the same success in the majors as he did in his breakout 2008 campaign in Reading, hitting just .253/.312/.378 in 325 plate appearances across two seasons with underwhelming defensive numbers. Now sidelined for a month with a knee injury -- and overshadowed in his own infield by Top 100 prospects Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis -- Donald still has utility man upside, but time's ticking.
D'Arby Myers, OF-R, Clearwater: 4th round (127th overall). The California prep outfielder was so young when the Phillies drafted him that he's still just 22 years old despite playing in his 6th pro season. A .313/.353/.430 debut in the GCL back in 2006 made Myers look like a steal, but he hasn't had similar success since, splitting the intervening seasons between Williamsport, Lakewood and Clearwater but managing only a career .250/.297/.342 line to this point. The athleticism is still there, but the truth of the matter is that for every toolshed that develops, there are 10 more that never make it.
Quintin Berry, OF-L, Carolina (AA): 5th round (157th overall). The speedster out of Tony Gwynn's San Diego St. program actually spent some time on the Phillies' 40 man after a steady ascent through the low minors, but a .210/.312/.294 showing in Reading as a 25-year old saw him removed from the roster and claimed by the Padres. He's bounced on to the Cincinnati organization and sports a .320/.442/.443 line with 12 stolen bases in 13 tries across 27 games, but it's tough to see much of a major league future for a guy who swings and misses so much (career 21.6% K) without any real power to speak of (career .070 ISO).
Dan Brauer, LHP: 6th round (187th overall). Brauer was a personal favorite of mine as a 6th round pick out of Northwestern who put up excellent numbers in his first exposure to pro ball (10.7 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 0.29 HR/9, 2.60 FIP). Brauer underwent labrum surgery that wiped out his junior year of college, but the numbers above seemed to point toward a full recovery... but it was not to be. The Big 10 Pitcher of the Year for 2006 saw his control desert him, walking 121 over his next 138.1 innings before being released. He popped up with the Lancaster Barnstormers in 2010 for 2 games, but it looks like he's retired at this point, probably putting that Northwestern degree to good use.
Riley Cooper, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: 15th round (457th overall). After spending the preseason as Michael Vick's favorite target, the Florida product caught just 7 balls for 116 yards and a TD during his rookie year, but showed flashes in his limited opportunities and excelled on special teams (including recovering David Akers' onside kick in the Miracle at the New Meadowlands). Wait, crap... this is a baseball site, right? Oh, in that case, I should note that after not signing with the Phillies out of high school, Cooper played a grand total of 52 baseball games during his college career at Florida, and despite getting drafted by the Rangers in 2009 purely on the basis of his physical tools, chose to stick with football.
Michael Dubee, RHP, Altoona (AA): 18th round (547th overall). The pitching coach's son was nice enough looking relief prospect in Lakewood when the terrorist intervened, and when the dominoes fell, Tad Iguchi was on his way to Philadelphia while Dubee headed to Kannapolis, the White Sox's Low A affiliate. Four years later, Dubee has continued to put up solid numbers -- over 414.1 career innings, he's managed 8.2 K/9 while surrendering just 2.8 BB/9 and 0.69 HR/9 -- but only made one appearance above Double-A, so it looks like he's firmly in the "organizational arm" category at this point.
Kyle Gibson, RHP, Rochester (AAA): 36th round (1087th overall). An Indiana high school product, Gibson didn't sign with the Phillies and reemerged as a 1st round pick three years later after an impressive college career at Missouri. Currently laying waste to Triple-A (9.7 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 0.98 HR/9, 53% GB, 3.18 FIP) after being named the 34th best prospect in the game by Baseball America over the offseason, Gibson is the classic example of why it can benefit an organization to pay overslot for worthy late round picks. This isn't to put any blame on the Phillies in this case, just making a general point here.
Domonic Brown, OF-L, Philadelphia: 20th round (607th overall). Just some toolsy outfielder who never really put it all together.
What jumps out most from the above list is how much value the club extracted from these picks. Drabek could still turn into a frontline starter, and Cardenas and Donald could carve out useful major league careers, but it seems to me like the Phillies really sold high on the latter two, and can have no regrets about whatever Drabek becomes given that they bartered him for the best pitcher in the game. Even Dubee... that .304/.361/.444 line that Iguchi put up in 45 games of filling in for Chase Utley was a crucial part of the 2007 pennant and is a heck of a tradeoff for an 18th round pick. Some food for thought, anyway.