With MLB draft drawing ever closer, it’s time for prognosticators to get in their final mock drafts, basing it off of the latest knowledge that they have. The top pick in the draft figures to be Spencer Torkelson to the Tigers, but even at number two, there is some intrigue. Any number of high talent players could fall, thanks in part to the nature of this year’s draft. So, let’s look at what some people see when they gaze into their amateur crystal ball.
- At CBS Sports, the Phillies are seen as being keen on taking Cade Cavalli, a right hander out of Oklahoma. We’ve talked about Cavalli before, so this shouldn’t be too surprising. Here is what the author has to say:
As tempting as it would be to take [Nick] Bitsko, a local kid from just north of Philadelphia, the Phillies haven’t been connected to high school pitching much this spring, and they’re short on cash after surrendering their second rounder (and more than $1 million in associated pool money) to sign Zack Wheeler. Cavalli offers considerable upside thanks to his premium stuff, and there’s belief he’ll really take off now that he’s pitching full-time after spending his freshman and sophomore years as a two-way player. Our R.J. Anderson ranked Cavalli the No. 16 prospect in the draft class.
Interesting thought process here, as Bitsko, who is available in this mock, gets passed over by the Phillies.
- Over at Fangraphs, Eric Longenhagen takes his second stab at what will happen in the draft. This time, he changes his mind and has the Phillies selecting Cavalli as well. His reasoning?
Again, two value college picks. Some of the industry think Cavalli is in a college pitching tier of his own after [Reid] Detmers. I think [Tyler] Soderstrom is also a possibility at either of these picks.
Soderstrom. Hmmm, a name that we haven’t seen mocked to the Phillies too often here this season, but that’s about to change.
- Keith Law at The Athletic gives us his third attempt at a mock draft and guess what! He’s on the Cade Cavalli train as well!
Cavalli boosted himself this spring in the brief college season, looking more advanced once he was no longer also trying to hit, and he probably fits in the teens here. The Phillies seem open to any player type except high school pitching.
There has to be a significant amount of smoke to the Phillies and Cavalli if this many people see the team going in this direction. While ultimately mocking a draft is just a stab in the dark, this is multiple folks saying that this is where the team should be going.
- Yahoo Sports also jumped in on the action and guess who they have the Phillies picking? No, not Cavalli. They believe that Austin Hendrick, a high school outfielder from West Allegheny, will be the choice.
The Phillies have been linked to California backstop Tyler Soderstrom here but high school catchers are fickle and Hendrick profiles as one of the best power bats available. Committed to Mississippi State, Hendrick is expected to be signed over slot value if he does opt to skip college for the majors.
I haven’t seen much of Hendrick being picked by the Phillies, mostly because he is chosen by a team ahead of Philadelphia by the time it’s their turn. He’d be a nice pick for the team, giving a nice, high upside bat in a system that doesn’t have too many of them right now outside of Alec Bohm.
- Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com gives his third shot at picking. Remember when I said Soderstrom was about to change? Here it is. He believes the young high school catcher Tyler Soderstrom will be the name given by Rob Manfred.
The next wave of bats starts coming into play here, with UCLA’s Garrett Mitchell on the college side and Hendrick on the high school side in consideration. Soderstrom is one of the best all-around high school bats in the country and could go higher than this.
Again, this is all a shot in the dark. It’s interesting that Nick Bitsko isn’t put together with the team at all, considering he’s a local kid and has all the analytical tools that the team has started looking for in prospects. Ultimately, as tempting as he would be, with the concerns about his signing demands and the fact that the Phillies don’t have as large a pool thanks to signing Zack Wheeler, they’ll forgo his talents and go with Cavalli or Garrett Mitchell of UCLA.