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2015 Phillies Draft Preview: Outfielders

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Three High School and one College bat all reviewed in one place.

Serious, important stuff happening here.
Serious, important stuff happening here.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

With the draft approaching a pile of players left to review, I'll give some quick summaries on a few bats who could be options at the 10th pick.

Kyle Tucker, OF

It's looking unlikely that Tucker will be available at the 10th pick, as the Astros have been strongly linked to him and have 2 picks ahead of the Phillies to spend.He's a 6'4" 175 lb. OF from Tampa, FL. His Brother, Preston is currently playing for the Astros, so the interest in him isn't out of, uhmm, Left Field (sorry). He's a Left Handed hitter and while he has the arm for Right Field reports on his route running suggest he may be better suited to Left. That's his one foible compared to the other Prep bats in this class as they all project as above average of better Defenders, and there's potential Tucker could end up more average in a position pretty far down the spectrum. That said, his speed (average), athleticism (good for his size) and arm could make him a bit like Alex Gordon in Left. The bat is what gets scouts drooling over Tucker. No one in this draft has the combo of hit tool and power potential that Tucker has. Both could end up Plus, and he's reputed to have a good eye, so he should draw Walks too. The video below is from Prospect Pipeline for last year's Perfect Game Showcase, and you can see every tool on display, but it's mostly for the hitting at the end. Tucker has a very upright stance, takes a smooth, but long stride, stays level and generates loft with a very, very quick bat. His hand load goes straight back and is fairly quiet. It shouldn't be an issue. Potential for a Middle of the Order bat.

Nick Plummer, OF

Plummer's stock has been dropping of late, so he'd be an underslot option at 10. Plummer has a few things working against him: His arm is Below Average, he's sub-6 feet tall and he lives in Michigan. For context on each of those: His arm is his weakest tool. He can play in Center and should be an average or better Defender there because of his reads and quick first step. However, if he bulks up and slows down, he limited to Left Field, which hurts his stock. The sub-6 foot thing... well there aren't a ton of power hitting corner OFs who aren't over six feet tall and there's a bit of bias there. As far as Michigan goes, it sucks for baseball. There hasn't been a player from Michigan selected in the First Round in over a decade. It's not an area any team focuses resources, so he doesn't get seen as much, combined with concerns about level of competition. Last Summer Plummer exploded on the scene when he showed up at the Area Code games and left scouts gushing about a potential Grade 70 Hit Tool and 60 or better grade power. The hit tool is legit, but Plummer battled Mono this Spring and lacked some of his previous Pop. Best Comparison I saw is that he could be Shin Soo-Choo at the plate (but the exact opposite of him in the OF). Exciting guy I'd love to draft, about 10 spots lower. What I like about the video below from MaxPreps is that you a lot of pitches, you can see his patience in waiting for his Pitch and not just jumping on things.

Garrett Whitley, OF

Whitley is 6'2" 195 Lbs and possibly the most athletic OF in this draft. He's from New York state and has a College commitment to Wake Forest. He features Plus speed that could end up Plus-Plus. He has above-average arm strength that could also top out at Plus-Plus. His fielding is Plus and could end up near Elite in a premium position (Center Field). His Power projects as Plus as well. So, you're thinking "Wait, 4 tools that could end up Plus or better at a premium position. How would this kid ever possibly be available beyond the First pick?" This kid may remind some of Anthony Hewitt, who similarly had 4 potentially Plus or better tools, but proved incapable of hitting anything (including cut-off men, though that's not a noted problem for this kid). Whitley goes to a small school (he'd be the first ever player drafted from his town). Until he went to the Area Code showcase last summer he'd never seen a ball travel 90 mph, even from a pitch machine. He's extremely raw with the bat due in large part to his level of competition. His bat speed is almost otherwordly, last summer in Area Code games he recorded the second fastest bat speed at 108.7 mph (highest was 108.9).I have to admit the hit tool scares the bejesus out of me, but listen to the video below from Prospect Pipeline and tell me the ball doesn't have that special sound leaving his bat. My god, I'd love this kid in Round 2. Highest ceiling in this draft, though also one of the lowest floors in the Top 2 or 3 rounds. The Phillies have been a rumored suitor.

Andrew Benintendi, OF

A pretty confounding player in many ways. He's a Draft eligible Sophomore (he turns 21 within 45 days of the draft), which makes him older than some of the Juniors in the draft. He's shorter than Plummer at 5'10". And he's a one-year wonder who never played in a Collegiate summer showcase. He played fine as a Freshman .278/.368/.333 in the SEC, but nothing that was going to get him discussed for the draft. Last summer he stayed in Arkansas to work out with the trainers and added 15 pounds. This year his slash is .411/.501/.768 with 18 HR and he maintained the speed to play Center. He was a solid prospect coming out of High School, so he's not a complete unknown. I don't expect he'll be a power hitter as a pro, but he does have gap power that should lead to plenty of doubles and 20-20 potential is there as he does have above average speed and should end up with Average power. Again, another guy I would LOVE late First or Second Round, but feels a bit underwhelming at 10 overall (that said, I doubt he makes it past mid-First where the Reds would likely take the hometown kid they drafted out of HS). Video courtesy of Arkansas Razorbacks.