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Phillies 2018 Draft Preview: Other Options

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2017 Division I Men's College World Series - Florida v LSU - Game 2 Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

I’m done all my big previews, but the prospects moved around so much in terms of projections that I have notes and half written previews for guys now projected to go 5, 10, 15 picks after the Phillies choice. So this write-up is a bit of a note dump for guys who used to be projected much higher. The Phillies won’t take any of these guys, but if you’re following along on draft day you can refer to what’s here for a snack size take on who these guys are.

Jarred Kelenic, OF, 6’1”, 195 lbs
High School (Wisconsin)
Casey Mize has been the presumptive 1:1 for what seems like the entire draft season, but Mize got shut down for forearm tightness last year and even early this season there were still rumors linking the Tigers to Kelenic. Unfortunately for Kelenic none of the other Top 10 teams got linked as strongly to him, so he’ll likely go somewhere in the 10-15 range. At present Kelenic has above average speed a plus arm and is a plus Defender in Center. Projections have him possibly getting too big and slow for Center and potentially gaining plus raw power that would play in Right Field. He projects as a potentially plus hitter, but it’s incredibly difficult to judge that for a kid playing in Wisconsin against lower competition and shorter seasons (compared to Florida kids who can play all 12 months, if they so desire).

Nolan Gorman, 3B, 6’1”, 210 lbs
High School, Arizona
Going into the year scouts were really big on Gorman and his 70 grade power (which could potentially grow to even 80 grade as he fills out his frame further), then he started playing this season and scouts got worried he’s already out-growing Third Base. Gorman’s arm is plus, his hit tool is roughly fringe average and his speed is fringe average. The hit tool is a big red flag as Gorman struggled with breaking balls and it doesn’t matter how good your power is if you can’t recognize and properly respond to a breaking ball. Gorman will still go top 20 because his power is probably top 5 in this class, with potential to end up the best power in the class.

Ethan Hankins, RHP, 6’6”, 200 lbs
High School, Georgia
Continuing a theme, Hankins was in play for a top 3 pick early this season before a shoulder injury shut him down for several weeks. There is no scarier phrase to associate with a Pitcher than “shoulder injury”. Hankins’ was apparently “minor”, but his Fastball lost velocity, his Curve lost shape and his previous pinpoint control was gone. If healthy Hankins is the mold for a frontline Starter, 3 potentially plus pitches, plus control and a workhorse frame. If he never gets back to where he was or if there’s a real issue with his shoulder it will be a terrible shame because the potential is special.

Jackson Kowar, RHP, 6’6” 185 lbs
University of Florida
No offense to Vanderbilt, but Florida is the new school you need to watch to see the best Pitchers. This will be their third straight year with a Pitcher taken in the First Round and they’ll almost certainly have two taken. Kowar is, for my eyes, a safer pick than Singer. Singer’s arsenal and arm slot scream Relief Pitcher to me. Kowar’s quietly says mid-rotation Starter with potential for more. His best pitch is a plus change-up. He backs that up with a plus Fastball and a slurvy Curveball that has above-average to plus potential, but needs quite a bit of work to get there.