Today, the embargo on Undrafted Free Agents from the 2020 MLB Draft was lifted — meaning teams are now able to negotiate and sign those that went unselected for a maximum bonus of $20K.
Here’s a complete list of those they’ve signed thus far:
Day One: (06/14)
LHP Jake McKenna, 18, Ocean City High School: (signed 06/14) (Rank #434 on BA Top 500)
A 6’7” lefty is certainly not a bad start to the day!
McKenna boasts a big, big frame, and a fastball that sits between 88-92 with room for major growth. He also throws a 12-6 curve, which will aid him in keeping hitters off balance.
We’re likely looking at a reliever more than starter here, but it’s far too early to be certain.
LHP Jordan Fowler, 21, University of Central Missouri: (signed 06/14)
Fowler stands at 6’3”, 180 lbs — and showed significant progress in his Junior year.
There’s not much out there about him, except the fact that he pitched a 2.01 ERA across 31.1 innings in 2020, with 29 K’s to a measly 8 walks.
Former Ole Miss lefty, spent his junior year at Central Missouri this spring. Good Size and athleticism, scouts buy more projection there, low 90’s with some traits, nice under the radar signing who has some upside. #MLBDraft https://t.co/mxuI0jSV9k— Brian Sakowski (@B_Sakowski_PG) June 14, 2020
RHP Sam Jacobsak, 22, Northeastern University: (signed 06/14)
Jacobsak is a 6’5” starter/reliever hybrid who had an excellent 2019 out of the ‘pen. He tossed 21.2 innings of 1.66 ERA ball with a 12.5 K/9.
He was being tested as a starter this past year, and, in a COVID-shortened season, pitched 24.2 frames at a 3.65 ERA clip.
Overall, he’s a guy with a projectable build and solid stuff, but very little results to go off of. Definitely an interesting pickup.
Day One Recap:
The Phillies have continued on with their trend of signing the tallest guys in the room.
In all seriousness, this strategy is relatively safe — especially following a disease-shortened season. Tall pitchers often have untapped potential lying around, and you can never go wrong with a big-bodied, athletic kid (especially for the criminally low value of $20K.)
The Jake McKenna signing wins the day for sure — getting a 6’7” lefty (that’s still growing) and has leagues of potential is a big win, and the front office did an excellent job recognizing his lifelong ambition of joining the Phillies and acting upon it.
I’m sure tomorrow, being a weekday, we’ll be flooded with many, many more signings than we were today — so keep your eyes peeled!
Day Two: (06/15)
LHP JP Woodward, 21, Lafayette College: (signed 06/15)
The Phillies continue to pursue the tallest men in the room, as they snag 6’6” lefty JP Woodward.
He’s had a tough college career, but Woodward’s selling point seems to be his durability alongside his strikeout stuff. He’s grown into a BIG and muscular frame, one that likely projects moreso as a reliever than a starter.
That said, he was a starting pitcher for most of his college career, so we’ll have to see how the Phillies choose to track him.
RHP Noah Skirrow, 21, Liberty University: (signed 06/15) (Rank #249 on BA Top 500)
Skirrow, known as Liberty’s ace, is a true pitcher, featuring a solid 4-pitch arsenal, headlined by a lauded power-changeup.
Noah had an exceedingly successful college career, turning in a sub-3 ERA in 2019 Summer Ball, and followed it up with a sub-2 in a shortened 2020 stint.
He stands at 6’3”, 225 lbs, and is, by all accounts, a true competitor.
This one sounds like a knock-out for the Phils.
RHP Billy Sullivan IV, 21, University of Delaware: (signed 06/15) (Rank #326 on BA Top 500)
Previously drafted by the Phillies in the 28th round of the 2017 MLB Draft, Sullivan has had it rough over the last two years. He missed most of the 2019 season due to injury, and hasn’t pitched at all in 2020.
That said, the Redshirt Sophomore had an excellent Freshman campaign in 2018. He put up a 2.97 ERA across 14 starts (77.1 frames) striking out 105(!) batters in the process — 21 of which were K’d looking.
There’s some worry over his health, but there’s no denying this kid’s stuff.
RHP Chase Antle, 23, Coastal Carolina University: (signed 06/15) (13 on BA Top 25 Seniors)
Oh boy, this is a big one.
Antle was perhaps one of the crown jewels of the NDFA signing period. He boasts an electric fastball that touches 99, and has the potential to be a very real bullpen piece — and very soon.
It would not be far off to say that Antle could impact the big club as early as this year. His fastball will definitely play at the big league level, and he’s the perfect candidate to fasttrack quickly thru the system.
He reportedly had “multiple” offers after going undrafted — and I’m sure glad he chose us.
RHP Jonathan Hughes, 23, Georgia Tech: (signed 06/15) (19 on BA Top 25 Seniors)
Another really solid get for the Phillies here. Hughes was previously drafted in the second round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles, but chose to test his luck at Georgia Tech, where he saw some unfortunate injury struggles.
Still, Hughes boasts a solid, spin-heavy 4-pitch mix, featuring a fastball that sits around 92-94, as well as a slew of secondaries that are all relatively effective.
He was having an excellent year before the Pandemic shut down his season, as he boasted a K:BB of 20:6.
Again, the Phillies are annihilating the NDFA pitching market.
Day Two Recap:
If it wasn’t at all obvious — the Phillies are prioritizing pitching. They picked up FIVE more talented arms today, bringing their total to 8/8 on pitchers.
They are having what is perhaps the second best NDFA signing period in the league, trailing only the Royals, who have picked the position player market clean.
Two signings really stand out from today; those being Chase Antle and Noah Skirrow, both of whom could have easily been taken in the Draft proper.
The only complaint any fan could have about this haul of players thus far is the lack of positional variance — which I’m sure will be addressed in the coming days.
This day was a really, really good one.