The other day, we gave you the latest information about the Phillies and what people are hearing in our first mock draft roundup. Today, as we get within 48 hours of the actual event, we round up more of what people believe the Phillies (and the 29 other teams) plan to do once Rob Manfred officially puts Pittsburgh on the clock.
The Phillies have targeted super-high-upside high schoolers in the last few drafts, both pitchers and hitters, and Head stands out as a premium athlete with surprising pop and the innate ability to get the fat part of the bat on the ball. His speed is a difference-maker in center field and on the bases. Head’s approach needs to be refined, but he has the highest ceiling among players still available in our mock draft. Prep shortstop George Lombard Jr., son of Tigers bench coach George Lombard, also fits Philadelphia’s recent M.O.
I said in the mock 4.0 that I thought this was [Chase] Davis’ floor, but if he’s gone, I think they’ll go pitching. I’ve heard them a few times with Soto, who has one of the best three-pitch mixes in the draft; I haven’t heard them with Travis Sykora, but he’d fit their philosophy. If they want to go college in the wake of Andrew Painter’s latest setback, I could see them taking Joe Whitman as the top college lefty, hoping he’ll get to the majors faster.
Philly is rumored to be Davis’ floor, but the entire Morales/Troy/Bradfield group represents outstanding value in this portion of the first round.
I’m bullish on Velazquez as a proven polished power bat who has excelled against strong competition in Southern California. This Phillies farm system is in dire need of some impact offensive potential, and Velazquez is exactly that.
Philly is not afraid to take a prep righty, and Charlee Soto could be an option here, but I’m hearing them more about the power-first college bats of late. Davis is a better athlete than Wilken, so he gets the nod. I would expect a prep arm at one of Philadelphia’s next few picks.
As you can see, the thinking for what the Phillies are going to do is all over the place. Due to the fact they’ve taken a high school pitcher two times in the last three years (and a high schooler three years in a row) leads people to believe that that is the direction they’re headed. However, as many who know, there isn’t a lot of high impact bats near the top of the minor league system, so taking someone like Chase Davis who might be able to move quickly could make some sense for the team. The window to win is open right now, so waiting on high schoolers four years in a row could be an issue.
One thing is for sure. No matter who is available, the team simply needs to take what they think is best player available no matter the age.
Just please God don’t take someone because Andrew Painter got hurt.