Here’s the thing about mock drafts. When you see them online, everyone gets worked up about replacing players that are already on the major league lineup. After all, drafting a college player at a position where you may lose a player to free agency is 3-4 years makes some sense. However, when you have a player that is mere months away from free agency, there is no college or high school player that is going to step right into that spot out of the gate.
So, as we enter the thick of mock draft season, you’ll see some people match players that could be taken to a team that might have a need. With the Phillies, it’s obvious: catcher. J.T. Realmuto might be exiting stage left in a few months, so let’s go ahead and draft his heir apparent. Right?
In this case, one of the thinner parts of the team’s farm system right now is behind the backstop. They have Rafael Marchan as a highly regarded prospect and that’s about it. So if they have the chance to add a talent at that position, it’s going to be something they will think about. Patrick Bailey seems to be that talent.
Weight: 192 lbs.
Age: 21 years old
Here is the Fangraphs scouting report on Bailey:
Bailey is a polished switch-hitter who performed throughout his entire college career (.302/.411/.568) and plays a premium position. He’s a capable hitter from both sides of the plate, utilizing a gap approach from the right side and more of a pull/lift one from the left. He’s a fine receiver and blocker, catching on one knee until a runner reaches base. Most of Bailey’s good pop times rest around 1.95, which is about average. He has a very good chance to be an everyday catcher but likely lacks the offensive impact to be star.
From that report, it sounds more like Bailey is more of a glove-first guy who has a competent bat that won’t be a superstar-level bat, which is perfectly fine. Most of the reports that can be found online seem to agree that the glove is ahead of the bat. It’s rare that someone of Realmuto’s caliber with the glove and bat comes along, but if the basic tools are there, which it sounds like they are, it would be worth taking.
From the sounds of it, Bailey has the basic tools to make an impact at the big league level. Even though the hit tool, from reports, lags behind the power at the moment, there is the chance he figures out that hitting ability and becomes a more well-rounded catcher. All in all, not a bad roll of the dice for the Phillies to take at #15.