The MLB Draft is just 3 days away, so it's time to break out the big guns. Andy Seiler of MLB Bonus Baby, a fellow SB Nation site devoted wholly to the draft itself, was kind enough to answer some questions for The Good Phight. Andy's been very busy churning out both his 2010 MLB Draft Notebook as well as a whole host of material for his website, so we appreciate his time. Please stop by to check out Andy's latest mock draft here, and his incredibly in-depth Phillies 2010 draft preview from back in April here.
Without further ado, then, let's jump right in...
1. Let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to start). The Phillies hold the #27 overall pick in the first round -- who would you identify as some of the realistic targets for the organization at that spot?
I think the number of realistic targets is hard to pin down, because the Phillies have a way of drafting that a lot of people simply don't understand. The raw athlete is pretty much their forte, but they also stick very close to slot and have picked a college pitcher very high in recent memory with Joe Savery. I think they're going to go back to the raw athlete in this draft, and that could go a number of directions, including Delino DeShields, Chevez Clarke, or perhaps Reggie Golden or Yordy Cabrera if he's available. They'll have a number of arms available, too, so it's all about how much a particular player costs and just how much they like them compared to who they think will be available when their next pick is up. Marti Wolever and company aren't afraid to buck industry consensus with their picks, and that's worked out often enough for him to be one of the more experienced scouting directors in the game.
2. Let's back up for a second and take more of a big picture view. What do you see as the strengths of this draft class, and how might that play in to the Phillies' drafting strategy?
This draft class is one of the more pitching-heavy classes in some time, even more than a year ago when the first round had a number of prep pitchers in it. Teams picking down where the Phillies are picking will be available to find a quality arm, simply because there's too many of them to count. One thing the Phillies do as good as anyone is find an arm or two in the middle rounds to flesh out their system, last year's arm being the player that got their highest bonus in Brody Colvin.
3. Loading up on athletic outfielders has left the system a bit starved of quality infield prospects. Are there any Top 5 round infield selections that might make sense for the Phillies?
The Phillies have traditionally gone the college route for infield prospects, and that was confirmed again last year with the Adam Buschini pick. There are a number of players they could choose, but the ones that make some sense include Chris Bisson of Kentucky, B.J. Guinn of Cal, and Joe Leonard from Pitt if he makes it to their pick in the second round. They'll have a lot of options on the table if they want to go that route, but those players usually aren't big impact prospects for them.
4. The organization has seemed to really trust its Northwest area scout the past few years (as evidenced by the selections of Julian Sampson, Trevor May, and Kyrell Hudson). Any Northwest prep arms or toolsy position players that fit that mold this year?
Ryan Brett is a prep player in the Seattle area that actually fits the Phillies' mold for position players quite well. He's currently a shortstop that profiles well for either center field or second base, and he's toolsy enough to expect big things. He's not as physically big as a lot of Phillies prospects, but the overall athletic makeup fits their mold, and I wouldn't be surprised if they made him one of their early picks, possibly in the third round.
5. On the whole, thumbs up or thumbs down for Marti Wolever's drafting strategy?
Until the last couple of years, I've been a fan of how Marti Wolever drafts. He's one of the best in the game at knowing exactly what his player development system can do with players, and that has really worked out well for them. However, as the years have gone by, other teams have adapted their drafting and development systems, and the advantage that the Phillies had for sometime is now all but gone. I think they've reached the point where their drafting style leaves something on the table, as they're either big risk-takers or are risk-averse with every pick, with practically nothing in-between. No potential number three starters or average Major League players. All potential superstars with big bust rates or organizational players and middle relievers. However, with a system that's been largely successful at pumping talent into the Majors and for trades, you have to give Wolever the benefit of the doubt, and I'm looking forward to seeing the long-term results of the last few drafts for him and the Phillies.
Again, special thanks to Andy for taking time out to answer some questions for us here. I'll be back Monday with a brief MLB Draft preview that'll serve as a replacement for the weekly prospect roundup.