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Phillies 2019 draft preview: Baty, Busch and Brennan

MLB: Spring Training-Tampa Bay Rays at Philadelphia Phillies Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Baty, 3B
Texas High School

Baty is old for a High Schooler, as he’s already 19 years old, but he’s got some unmistakable skills. He’s kind of this draft’s Nolan Gorman: big, double-plus power, probably destined for First Base and not fast enough to be a great corner OF option. What Baty has over Gorman just might be a better hit tool. It’s really tough to judge Prep hit tools, and even more so for an older player. Is he hitting so well because he’s more physically mature than his peers or his hit tool that good? There’s not any question about the power or the arm though. Never draft based on need, but it doesn’t really look like there’s a great need for an infield corner in Philly with Franco, Hoskins, Bohm and Walding (I kid), but you can always trade somebody later if you do end up with a logjam. Video from 2080 Baseball (boy that contact just sounds good).

Michael Busch, 1B/OF
University of North Carolina

Busch would probably be a reach at 14, but he has some definite skills in his favor. I trust the hit tool to be at least average, the power is generally graded as plus and his arm is average. He also has some clear drawbacks. He takes a long time to make his throws, he’s short for First Base if a team decides his future is there (though he is a very, very good defender there), he’s a slow runner and that makes him a fringe average defender in Left Field, at best. His ceiling in Left is probably Pat Burrell and his ceiling at First might be Carlos Santana. Neither is a bad outcome and for middle of the first round, I’d be okay to get either player. Video from Perfect Game.

Brennan Malone, RHP
Florida High School

Malone is a bit of a late riser. Early on rankings had Daniel Espino at the top among High School Pitchers, thanks to a fastball he can throw up to 100 MPH, and Malone at the lower end of the round due to inconsistent secondary pitches. Things have flipped. Malone isn’t ranked quite as high as Espino started the year, but he is ranked above him now. The reason for that is Espino is a little reminiscent of Tyler Kolek* who had a similarly huge fastball and basically nothing else (including much of an idea where said fastball was going). Meanwhile, Malone’s fastball is a tick behind Espino’s, but his slider shows much more consistent plus potential. His curve and change have also both improved. There’s a solid MLB bullpen floor, with a #3 starter ceiling (if you squint, maybe a #2 ceiling). Video from Prospect Pipeline.

*Just to be fair to Espino, who I’m not reviewing here, His fastball has more movement than Kolek’s flat heater. He also has significantly better secondary pitches and a legit #1 ceiling. His big downside is he’s 6’0”, has a really violent delivery and struggles on less than 7 days rest.