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Looking back at how the Phillies did in the 2009 MLB Draft

It went... fine.

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at New York Yankees
The great success of the 2009 draft
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As I’m sure everyone is aware the Phillies built their 2008 Championship core largely through the draft (along with a few good Rule 5 picks, some International Free Agents and dumpster dives that paid off). They then had a string of really awful drafts, this one included. Let’s look back.

Round 1
No pick

The Phillies lost their pick when they signed Raul Ibanez. The Mariners took Nick Franklin who amassed 1.3 career WAR. Taken 2 picks ahead of the Phillies pick was Mike Trout.

Best players available:
[insert shoulder shrug emoji here] The most WAR accumulated with later picks is James Paxton, taken with pick 37. He’s had injury problems, but when healthy he’s an Ace level pitcher. The rest of the “best”: Garrett Richards, Rex Brothers and Chris Owings.

Verdict: Good “pick”. Ibanez was better than all of them, though perhaps you can make a case for Paxton

Round 2
Kelly Dugan, OF High School

Dugan reportedly wowed the Phillies in a BP held for him at Citizens Bank Park. Dugan was my long time favorite prospect, but he was frequently derailed by injuries, robbing him of valuable development time. The Phillies eventually added Dugan to their 40-man roster in 2015, but again, the injury bug bit and Dugan struggled in AAA. The Phillies DFA’d him and he signed with the Cubs, then signed in 2017 with the Diamondbacks, but retired after the 2017 season.

Best players available:
Nolan Arenado and Jason Kipnis went earlier in the round, the choices after Dugan were a little less impactful. The best picked after Dugan in the second round were DJ LeMahieu and Patrick Corbin. Will Myers and Kyle Seager were picked in the 3rd before the Phillies next pick.

Verdict: LeMahieu and Seager were 4 year College picks and would have been safer (though not from areas the Phillies usually drafted high from) and Corbin was a JuCo pick from Florida that would seem to fit the Phillies tendencies. All ended up providing more value than Dugan, but I don’t think there was a slam dunk obvious pick to take instead.

Round 3
Kyrell Hudson, OF High School

Hudson oozed athleticism, unfortunately he did not ooze hitting. He repeated Williamsport on 2011 and put up a “promising” .275/.322/.357 line with a career high 1 Home Run, outside of that one ray of sunshine he mostly spent his career hanging out at the Mendoza line.

Best players available:
No one of any note was selected after Hudson in the 3rd round. In the 4th before the Phillies next pick, again, no one of significant note. The best player selected would be Adam Warren (yeah, me neither).

Verdict: I was a bit of a Max Stassi fan who went a few picks later, but no real lost opportunity here.

Rounds 4-6
Adam Buschini, 2B College
Matt Way, LHP College
Steven Inch, RHP High School

Buschini was a Cal Poly product (a Phillies favorite well) who spent less than 2 years in the Org. He played some Indy ball, then signed with the Padres before retiring from baseball in 2014. A product of the gorgeous Sitka, Alaska Matt Way also spent just under 2 years in the Phillies Org. then also bounced around Indy ball for a few years. Steven Inch somehow spent an inexplicable 6 years of mostly very terrible baseball pitching in the Phillies Org.

Best players available:
Barondon Belt was a 5th round pick out of U of Texas in the 5th round. Nationals OF Michael Taylor was a 6th rounder (and a highly regarded prospect before largely face planting in DC). Dallas Keuchel and Khris Davis were picked in the 7th before the Phillies next pick.

Verdict: 3 wasted picks, but most in these rounds are, so no big loss, though it would have been nice to have Belt in 2012/2013.

Rounds 7-10
Brody Colvin, RHP High School
Jon Singleton, 1B High School
Aaron Altherr, OF High School
Josh Zeid, RHP College

All 4 either got us something in trade, was highly regarded or pitched this year in mop-up duty. Colvin was a former member of the terribly monikered Baby Aces. Colvin had some pretty good stuff, but never really figured out where any of it was going. Singleton went to the Astros with Zeid in the Hunter Pence trade. As much as everyone complained about that trade, Singleton is now retired from baseball for 2 years and Josh Zeid is Pitching in Mexico. We all know Aaron Altherr.

Best players available:
Paul Goldschmidt and Brian Dozier were selected just before Singleton. Yan Gomes went 7 picks before Zeid.

Verdict: Easily the best part of the draft for the Phillies and I can’t fault them for not taking a small College First Baseman or a small College Shortstop.

Notable picks the rest of the draft
15th Round - Austin Hyatt, RHP College
16th Round - Andrew Susac, C High School (Did not sign)
20th Round - Darin Ruf, 1B College
34th Round - A.J. Griffin, RHP College (Did not sign)
40th Round - Robert Amaro, 3B High School

Amaro was a courtesy pick who didn’t sign and went on to play in College. Hyatt hung around the Phillies org. for several fairly unremarkable, but serviceable seasons. Ruf had one tool. Fortunately for him it was good enough to get him to the Majors. Unfortunately for him it wasn’t good enough to keep him there. He’s now having a blast in Korea with Tommy Joseph. Susac was an overslot possibility who went to College instead and got drafted a few years later by the Giants. Griffin was the Closer for the University of San Diego until midway through the season when he got pulled into the rotation. Figuring a full year of success as a starter might get him drafted higher he did not sign and went to the Athletics the following year in the 13th Round.

Verdict: This was the club’s “best” draft in several years. They missed on a handful of future stars, but nothing you can really fault them for as an obvious error. Overall this was a pretty strong draft class, so it’s a bit of a bummer to come away with none of the big names (Aside from those mentioned this draft also had Strasburg, Minor, Leake, Pollock, Ackley, Shelby Miller plus some failures who did rank high in prospect lists like Donovan Tate, Wheeler, Jacob Turner, Storen, Aaron Crow and Alex White). That said, this draft essentially netted Ibanez, Pence, Ruf and Altherr.