The MLB draft is in the rearview mirror. All those mock drafts that you saw are now in shambles and people have to collect themselves and see what they got. So, as we shift from mock draft season, we move into the next most fun part - draft grade season!
Inherently, grading drafts right away in any sport is foolish. Even the best of the best are going to have their struggles and thinking that they will make an immediate impact is an exercise in futility. Even in football, the top overall pick in this year’s draft might take a year or two to fully acclimate himself to the speed of the NFL game. In baseball, it’ll take longer for Spencer Torkelson to even debut, let along make the impact he’s expected to. Nevertheless, we just can’t help ourselves. We have to know what other people think of us right now, right away, satisfying that need for validation that most of us have. So, let’s scroll around and see what people are saying about how the Phillies did.
CBS Sports seems to believe that the Phillies did a good job, giving them a “B” overall:
The Phillies hit a home run by landing prep right-hander Mick Abel in the middle of the first round. He has all the makings of at least a mid-rotation starter, albeit one who will require developmental time. Their other notable pick was third-round shortstop Casey Martin. He has first-round tools, but slipped because of poor pitch recognition and a glove that’s likely to land him in center field when it’s all said and done. This class is high on risk, and high on reward.
Bleacher Report gave the Phillies an “A” and reviewed them as one of the best drafts this year:
Since Bryce Harper is locked in until 2031, it makes sense the Phillies are thinking long term with their draft strategy. Even still, they made the most of their four picks this year, grabbing righty Mick Abel at No. 15 and picking up shortstop Casey Martin at No. 87 overall—despite being ranked No. 30 by MLB.com....Philly grabbed another pitcher in the fourth round in Carson Ragsdale, but will need to be patient after Tommy John surgery ended his 2019 season early. Time is no matter right now. The club has a chance to open a large championship window, and all eyes are on the future.
Prep righties are the riskiest demographic in the draft and they get even riskier when there’s no spring season, and with financial adjustments to the draft, prep players in general get tougher to sign. Combine that with Abel’s last public looks being a slightly diminished version of himself late in the summer, and this was a hard selection to get off the ground. One scout described to me all of the hoops you have to jump through internally to take a first-round prep righty this year and compared it to turning around an aircraft carrier.
I love the pick because all the track record and talent and upside elements say Abel would’ve and should’ve gone in the top 10, while all of the political/process factors say he should’ve dropped further. A daring pick by the Phillies was a great move here, as seeking risk is my kind of strategy when it comes with history, tools and performance.
Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs chimed in with some notes about the Phillies in his “Odds and Ends” column:
Pound for pound, Philadelphia’s draft had the most upside because of Mick Abel and Casey Martin’s ceilings. Fourth rounder Carson Ragsdale has good vertical separation between his fastball and curveball but he’s 6-foot-8 and I’m not sure if the angle his size creates best suits that style.
We’ll update this as more come in.