Since these things need text here are some last minute thoughts on prospects here.
There seem to be only 2 or 3 sure things in the First round this year: The Cubs will do something unexpected at #4 (a self fulfilling prophecy, since if they now do what everyone expects, that would be unexpected), the Blue Jays are taking Jeff Hoffmann with their second pick and the Phillies will take Aaron Nola (provided he's available).
Nola is far outside the Phillies wheelhouse. I don't think the Phillies have drafted a player from the SEC in Round 1 since Carlton Loewer in 1994 (who became the second best Carlton to pitch for the Phillies in the last quarter of the 20th Century). In fact in 20 year the Phillies have drafted outside of their hotspots of Cal, Texas, Florida, Pacific Northwest and Northeast just 5 times, with pretty awful results (Wayne Gomes, Loewer, Reggie Taylor, Gavin Floyd and Larry Greene, Jr. All but one of those guys would be considered pretty big busts). The Phillies made a point of publically stating their intent to alter Draft strategy and this would be a big change in many, many ways.
Or, it could all be a smokescreen. Or a guy could drop to them that they just can't resist. Rumor has it Alex Jackson is dropping due to contract demands. Will he drop to #7? I doubt it, but I'd almost be wiling to punt on several College Senior picks in order to get Jackson.
Other guys rumored at #7:
- Nick Gordon - Seems a near lock to either the Twins at 5 or the M's at 6. Boy, would he be nice to get though.
- Kyle Freeland - Freeland is dropping like a sack of bricks due to an elbow injury in High School (combined with the relative depth of the class). The Phillies took him in 2011, could be in play here
- Trea Turner - No rumors here, I'm just a big Turner fan
- Jake Gatewood - possibly the highest ceiling-lowest floor combo in the draft. If the Phillies take him, we need to talk about holding an intervention and telling the Phillies how much we love them and their actions hurt us. The Phillies were reportedly quite high on him this Spring
- Sean Newcombe - The College Lefty could honestly go anywhere from #4 to #24 and it would not be at all surprising. That's just how deep and even the talent is in this class
Of course there are a myriad of other ways this could shake out and the Phillies could take an underslot guy and hope Freeland falls all the way into Round 2 or one of the other guys drops that far and can be bought out of a College commitment.