This season, the MLB draft is taking on a different shape. The 30 teams will only be conducting a draft that is only five rounds with undrafted players able to sign with any team they want for up to $20,000. The purpose of this is not to debate whether or not you believe this is a good or bad thing, you can feel free to do that on your own. What we’ll try and do here is look around at some of the mock drafts that are beginning to float around and give a little deeper look at the players that are in the range of the Phillies pick at #15.
Now, a short disclaimer: Cormican, who usually does these things, is currently extremely busy with his job right now so his usually highly informative draft previews may or may not be available this year. You’ll see me and my cohorts doing these, with no regular schedule, and just giving you an brief overall picture of what we see. None of us claim to be scouts, but we’ll try and roundup what we can find.
WIth that out of the way, let’s get to the previews, starting with a player that some see as a likely fit with the Phillies if he falls that far.
One of the first mock drafts to come out was via MLB Pipeline, who had the young outfielder going to the Phillies when they pick up the phone at #15. He’s an outfielder who bats and throws left-handed. Perfect Game has the following to say about him:
Robert Hassell III is a 2020 OF/LHP/1B with a 6-2 190 lb. frame from Franklin, TN who attends Independence. Lean high waisted athletic build, lots of physical projection and room to get stronger. 6.54 runner, moves well in the outfield with light feet and good overall athleticism and bounce, can use his lower half more throwing. Left handed hitter, wide slightly open stance, has fast hands he uncoils well to start his swing, uphill swing plane with good extension out front, projects power, ball jumps when squared, loose and easy swing. Also pitched, quick compact delivery with a clean and fast arm stroke, high 3/4’s with some whip out front, some spinal tilt to get his arm through. Fastball topped out at 90 mph, shows a tight slider that bites hard and that he has feel for, flashed a change up. High level athlete with plenty of projection left, could end up as a two-way player if he goes to school. Good student, verbal commitment to Vanderbilt. Named to play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic.
Here is some video of the youngster:
It’s pretty obvious who his swing reminds you of. It’s a near carbon copy of Bryce Harper, down to the load with his front leg. It’s pretty clean, without much of a hitch anywhere. He looks like a skinny dude, but the frame looks like it could add some good weight to it, especially in those legs. Must be nice to have a good metabolism.
He’s a dual threat, having clocked high 80’s/low 90’s on the mound, so this should bode well for his ability to make the throws from the outfield. Looking at the video of his pitching, the first thing you would notice how wild he is, but he’s also 18 years old. The command can be taught, something he was showing on some batters, especially when he was dotting the corner on the left handed hitter. His fastball had good life to it and the slider he was biting.
MLB pipeline called him “the best HS bat in the draft”, so if the Phillies were able to land a bat that has this kind of power projection and hit tool at #15, that could be a steal for the team.