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2011 Phillies draft review

I feel like a broken record, but it's too early to determine success or failure from the 2011 draft, but we can look and see how the players are progressing. Unlike the 2 other drafts I reviewed, this one is already paying dividends.

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It may be too early to say if the draft, as a whole, was a success, but there are a few players we can start to make those determinations about and a few guys picked in that draft (overall, not just Phillies) have already begun making impacts in the majors.

Larry Greene, Jr. - The Phillies' first pick was in the supplemental 1st round (39 overall). As the round unfolded, I got very excited. The one guy I really was certain the Phillies would take, a guy I loved the profile of and thought fit perfectly in Phillies draft strategy, was still on the board at 33 (where the Phillies would have picked had they not signed Cliff Lee, not that I'm complaining about that, just noting it). Then I watched, painstakingly as over the half dozen picks, he was still there. I was sitting at my desk at work, watching the computer screen with the feed of the draft tracker to show the name of the Phillies' new future All-Star Outfielder... Larry Greene, Jr. Wait, who? No, you were supposed to take toolsy outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr., who might be ready in 2 years when Vic's contract is up. Alas, I took to learning more about Greene and was excited by the power potential, but concerned about reports of how raw he was and a poor approach. I like Greene, he seems like a really nice kid and I want for him to succeed, but he hasn't progressed much and that's made to seem worse with Bradley virtually locked up to start in Center for the Red Sox in 2014 after going at pick 40. For all the talk of Greene's power his career ISO, so far, is below .100. His career K rate is nearly 32% and his career BA is .236, despite a career .359 BABiP. The good takeaways are a rather good 12.6% BB rate and the knowledge that he can play a serviceable Left Field and isn't nailed to First Base as a prospect. Still, he's been held back in XST for 2 straight years after reporting to ST out of shape. Greene has several swing and approach issues, but it all starts with putting in the work offseason. It's really key that Greene shows up in top shape next February and starts showing improvement in his swing mechanics.

Roman Quinn - The Phillies grabbed a High School Centerfielder from Florida with their next pick. By all reports Quinn's speed was plus-plus and at worst he would be a plus defender in Centerfield. The Phillies though felt Quinn could handle Shortstop and placed him there immediately. Through 2 nearly identical sample sized seasons, Quinn has racked up an absurd number of errors (mostly throwing), but has also shown a rather good approach at the plate with a .260 BA, ~20% K rate and 9.1% BB rate (he also has .020 more in career ISO than Greene, though I'm not sure who should be insulted by that). Further, Quinn has shown to have good technique on the bases, stealing at a greater than 80% success rate. Whether Quinn sticks at Short or moves to Center, he has potential to be an impact bat, elite base stealer and Gold Glove caliber defender. One of the top prospects in the system and for good reason.

Harold Martinez - I know Harold was excited to be picked by the Phillies and I was excited to see him join the team. Martinez largely underperformed in College. His athleticism and power potential made him a worthwhile pick, but he's continued to underperform in the minors and has been surpassed by several prospects on the third base depth chart, and due to playing with Franco was largely pushed to DH and First Base for playing time. Likely an org. player unless he suddenly makes dramatic improvements.

Adam Morgan - I sometimes forget how high a pick Morgan was. He's a future mid-rotation starter if his partial rotator cuff tear isn't a harbinger of doom. Morgan isn't dominating, but he has good control/command and gets a solid percentage of ground balls. Morgan got hit hard before and after the injury, but if he's healthy and returns to previous levels of performance he'll be a really good rotation piece for years to come.

Cody Asche - Well, we all know who Asche is at this point. This is looking like a damned good return for the least heralded Third Baseman the Phillies selected in this draft. The value of volume.

Mitch Walding - Now for the guy who really seemed to be the most heralded Third Baseman the Phillies selected in 2011. To this day scouts still seem to like Walding. In person you can see why. If you were casting the role of star baseball player you would contact agents telling them you were looking for a Mitch Walding type. Tall, athletic, smooth in the field, pretty swing. The production just isn't there. Walding has great patience at the plate, but reports from 2013 raised concerns he may be too passive as a hitter and let good pitches get past him, missing opportunities to drive pitches and instead he ends up with too much weak contact and groundouts. The tools are all there and Walding is only 21 (just turned 2 weeks ago), so there is time to develop and watch out if he does put it together, but pretty disappointing so far.

Zach Wright - Did not sign and went back into the 2012 draft, where he was selected 6 rounds lower. That's the gamble College guys take.

Kenny Giles - Coming into 2013 Giles was a favorite prospect of mine. His arm is electric, reaching triple digits commonly. Sadly he doesn't have much control over it and has a nearly 6 BB/9 rate which is unsustainable in any role. Honestly, Giles may be best to slow it down 3-4 mph and locate the pitches better. As Aroldis Chapman learned throwing triple digits is really cool, but mighty useless if everyone simply waits for ball 4 to roll to the backstop so they can walk to First.

Austin Wright - I also was quite a fan of Wright. He doesn't have pronounced splits and he has swing and miss stuff and seemed to develop control. I really thought he might be a mid-rotation starter (something similar in quality, if not profile, to Kendrick and Worley), but control evaporated in a hurry in Reading and Wright got hit hard. The Phils moved him to the bullpen, where he was still awful, but in shorter bursts. Today is Austin's 24th Birthday, so as much as I'd love to see him Starting in 2014 in case he can work out the control kinks again, the development clock probably requires that he find a role and stick with it at this point.

Logan Moore - I suppose the best way to describe Logan is as the Tuffy Gosewich of this draft. He's got a pretty good walk rate, he's a fine Catcher, but he's essentially cannon fodder, because someone needs to Catch at the levels where top prospects aren't at and to fill in on off days and catch guys in the bullpen when they're warming up.

Jacob Overbey - Didn't sign, will be eligible again for 2014 Draft.

Tyler Greene - Tyler was a pretty highly regarded pick at the time. Athletic, he'd play Second and between him, Walding and Quinn you'd see a great infield progress through the minors. Sadly, Greene had a complete lack of offensive ability, with a K rate close to - and occasionally over - 40%. He had a respectable walk rate. His brief promotion to Lakewood in 2012 is emblematic of the issues as he K'd or walked in over 56% of his plate appearances. I would say perhaps he didn't even swing, but a .263 BABiP suggests he made some contact. Greene was cut loose early this summer after looking awful in a handful of games in Lakewood.

Ryan Garvey/Riley Moore - The lottery tickets of the draft. Clear top picks who dropped as they were believed to be unsignable. They, indeed, proved to be unsignable. Still, it was worth a shot.

Jesen Therrien/Braden Shull/Yacksel Rios - Big prep arms with potential, but raw. Shull is still quite undercooked, as he has a grand total of 4 professional innings to his resume after 2 full years. Jesen has fared better and profiles as a relief arm capable of producing grounders, but his stats don't really stand out as much more than fungible MiLB bullpen arm.For Rios, see the comments on Jesen though with a fly ball tendency.

This draft went 50 rounds, but for the Phillies the future rests pretty much entirely on the first 6 picks (though picks 8 & 9, Giles and Wright, respectively, could end up adding some value). If Roman and Morgan end up contributing to the club significantly, this will look like a pretty decent draft.