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2016 Phillies Draft Preview: Options for the Second Pick

Someone will fall out of Round 1, it happens every year. Of course predicting who it is will be tough, so I just picked 3 guys I really like to start with.

Eh, what the hell, close enough.
Eh, what the hell, close enough.
Tom Hauck/Getty Images

This preview is a mix of High School and College players with ties to the Northeast. As with many of my previews I'll give the basics and some breakdown of skills, but these are going to be quick summaries from here on out with 3-4 players each. Ask questions in the comments and I'll answer what I can. Also, feel free to request folks, I even previewed a fourth rounder last year. I'll do what I can.

Ian "Aqualung" Anderson - The nickname is totally just made up by me and probably lost on anyone under 40. Ian is an 18 year old Right Handed Pitcher from upstate New York (in the typical meaning of upstate: everything other than NYC). He stands 6'3" and weighs in ~170 lbs. He's a potential future teammate of Jason Groome with a commitment to Vanderbilt next year. He has a Fastball that ranges 91-94, touching 95 somewhat consistently. The Fastball is a bit straight, with a little movement to the arm side, but he hides it well with his motion, so hitters can't get a good jump on it. His command isn't quite there yet, as he can leave the pitch high. He has a Changeup which exists (like many High Schoolers it needs a decent bit of work) and a Curve that some rate higher than Groome's. The issue with his Curve is really control, his break and movement is reported as a bit more consistent than Groome's, but not as dramatic. Groome though has better present control of his Curveball. Even when the break is consistent on Anderson's the location dances a bit (if you're an optimist I guess you could argue that if the Catcher doesn't even know where it's going what chance does the hitter have?).

In Ian's favor, he is very athletic in his delivery, has room to add muscle and has the raw stuff to mold into a good Starting Pitcher. There's a lot of projection here and Anderson had an abdominal strain warming up last month that caused him to miss some time, so perhaps that combo spooks some teams. Ceiling is hard to project, but probably a mid-rotation arm if everything comes together. Think Shane Watson (sans injury and other issues) as a decent comp. He's a cold weather Pitcher, so there isn't a ton of mileage on the arm, but that lack of Pitching time also likely means more development time, so he's a guy you'd expect to get a full 5-6 years in the Minors to get ready. Video below from Baseball America.

Nolan Jones - You may have heard or Nolan Jones, heck, you might live down the street from him. He's a 6'4" 200 lb Shortstop from Langhorne, PA who goes to Holy Ghost Prep. He's a left handed hitter and right handed thrower. He's draftable as both a hitter and Pitcher, but he's better as a hitter. Just in case you're wondering he has a low 90's Fastball, a Curveball that would need quite a bit of refinement and a Changeup that's quite far away. So let's forget the Pitching, aside from that Fastball. Remember the Fastball, because that makes him playable anywhere on the field. Scouting reports are rarely definitive. There's a lot of "might be able to" and "can potentially", leading to a good bit of interpretation. Reports on Jones fairly universally state Jones may be able to stay at Shortstop. I think it's likely that Jones moves to Third Base fairly early in his career. As a hitter Jones has a fast bat, Plus raw power and good speed. The focus on the previous sentence is really the word raw. The tools are quite good, the frame looks like it can carry another 20-25 pounds of good weight, the comp I see most has been Corey Seager. That's enough to get you salivating a bit at the potential, but there's a long road to get there in all likelihood. It's possible a team jumps on the potential in the First Round, but it's equally likely that teams go for safer College players, as this draft is very deep in College arms, and Jones is available at the top of the Second. If he is, he's a good overslot option for the Phillies. Video below courtesy of Prospect Pipeline.

Cal Quantrill - Quantrill's name should sound familiar to longtime Phillies fans who might remember his Father's time with the Phillies. Paul Quantrill was a good back of the rotation starter/long reliever for 14 years, but a very bad Pitcher for 2 years in Philly. Paul was very good at limiting Walks, but rather bad at limiting hits. Cal is a 6'3" 185 lb Starter at Stanford University. Like his Father, he has impeccable command, but with better Pitches. Quantrill's best pitch is his Changeup, which may be the best one in this draft. He has an Above-Average Fastball, that Plus Changeup, an Above-Average Slider and a Below-Average Curveball. Quantrill is a good, smart Pitcher who can locate his pitches and knows how to sequence them. He reminds me a bit of Aaron Nola, which may cause you to ask why I am bothering to preview him for the Second Round. Well, it's because Cal hasn't pitched since last Spring after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. If you take him 2:1 it would be almost like getting two top 10 picks in the same year, assuming he recovers to previous levels, which is not a 100% guarantee. What I really enjoy about the video below is the steady diet of Changeups, Sliders and Curveballs with his Fastball being the change of pace pitch he sets up with the off-speed stuff. Video courtesy of the Prospect Pipeline.