I’ll break this into two parts. The first one, or this entry, will be about the hitters the Phillies took in the 2011 draft. They decided to focus on position players in this draft, so that’s why I’ll talk about them first. I’ll separate them by listed position on mlb.com. Of course, those guys won’t play those positions in the majors or even their first day at the Carpenter Complex, so if there’s some discussion that a guy might not stay at a position, I’ll mention it. Available information for these players fluctuates wildly based on predraft buzz, so some players might be a bit lacking here.
6. Zach Wright, East Carolina, Bats Right, Throws Right 6’1 205
Wright hit 27 home runs over the last two seasons, but his slugging still dropped dramatically from 2010 to 2011 like a lot of college players. He strikes out a lot and doesn’t make great contact, so he may not hit well as a professional. In 2010, he struggled using wood bats in the Cape Cod League. He’s said to be pretty good behind the plate with a good arm, so he should be a nice compliment to some of the younger, less experienced catchers in the lower levels. Wright should sign quickly and be in the mix at Williamsport. He has a little experience at other positions from when he wasn’t catching at ECU.
9. Logan Moore, Northeastern JC, Bats Left, Throws Right 6’3 200
At the JC level, Moore didn’t hit for much power. His .321 BA was 3rd among regular players, and he hit .352 in his first year at Northeastern. Lastoffseason, he moved behind the plate to catch for the first time in his college career, and coaches were impressed with his ability. He’s committed to Tennessee, but that’s a program in flux right now, so although he was initially promised playing time, he could be more signable than previously believed.
19. John Hill, Concordia, Bats Left, Throws Right 6’2 195
Hill wasn’t much of a hitter on Concordia, the 2011 NAIA champions. In his junior year, he hit much better, but I’m not sure what changed. He previously attended Long Beach State University but transferred after three years. He threw out a decent percentage of basestealers at Concordia.
20. Riley Moore, San Marcos HS (California) Bats Switch, Throws Right 6’2 175
Moore should have been drafted 15-17 rounds sooner, and it’s likely that he dropped due to signability concerns. As of now, he’s mostly a defensive catcher. His best tool is his arm, and he’s supposed to be an advanced receiver for a high school catcher. He’s a switch hitter, but he’s much better from the left side. His bat is the question, and his development at the plate will determined how far he can go. He’s committed to Arizona, and any high school picks drafted this late are hard to sign. He’s definitely a player to watch by the signing deadline on August 15th.
31. Kyle Olsen, Jackson HS (Washington) Bats Right, Throws Right 6’2 195
I truly can’t find much about him other than he played football in high school.
43. Austin Knight, Sumrall HS (Mississippi) Bats Right, Throws Right 5’11 200
There’s already a professional baseball player named Austin Knight, so safe to say google searches bring back a lot of results for him and not thePhillies draft pick. He was an All-State selection and committed to Meridian CC.
46. Scott Tomassetti, Sierra Vista HS (Nevada) Bats Right, Throws Right 6’1 195
He needs a lot of work behind the plate. He’s an All-State selection. The Phillies probably would’ve liked last year’s top catching prospect from Nevada, Bryce Harper.
30. Mike Marshall, Lubbock Christian, Bats Right, Throws Right 6’3 235
Unfortunately, Marshall is the son of former outfielder Mike Marshall, and not former pitcher and current eccentric instructor Mike Marshall. He pitched and played first base at LCU, but the Phillies drafted him to hit. He transferred from Stanford where he didn’t see much action. He was actually a decent pitch at LCU with 101 strikeouts in 75.1 IP. At 1B, he hit 13 home runs and slugged nearly .700, so at the college level, he showed the power teams want from 1B.
40. Brendan Hendriks, Vauxhill HS (Canada) Bats Left, Throws Right 6’3 186
Hendriks is committed to Midland College in Texas, and he’s trying out for the Canadian National Junior team. Another site lists him as committed to the University of San Francisco. Apparently his high school was built to combine talented baseball players with quality education.
48. Kewby Meyer, Kamehameha HS (Hawaii) Bats Left, Throws Left 6’1 195
Meyer was an All-State selection with a solid .656 OBP. This was a very good year for baseball in Hawaii in the draft. He was apparently a key player on a team in the Cal Ripken World Series which is from my understanding, different from the Little League World Series that’s on TV every year.
47. Andrew Amaro, William Penn Charter School (Pennsylvania) Bats Left, Throws Right 6’1 175
Ruben Amaro’s nephew is committed to Maryland, where he’ll compete against another of the GM’s nephews drafted by the Phillies, Rob at Virginia.
2. Roman Quinn, Port St. Joe HS (Florida) Bats Right?, Throws Right 5’10 170
Right off the bat, there are some simple discrepancies with Quinn. He’s listed as a right handed batter, but he’s been attempting to learn how to switch hit. It remains to be seen if the Phillies stick with that, but it wouldn’t hurt to try unless he’s just not acceptable from the left side. He’s listed as a shortstop now, but many assume he’ll eventually make the move to CF. He supposedly has the arm strength to stay in the infield, but he’s one of the fastest players in the draft this year, so that might work out better in CF. According to Baseball America, he has surprising power from the right side. He’s committed to Florida State, but there’s nothing to indicate he’s particularly unsignable.
5. Mitchell Walding, St. Mary’s HS (California) Bats Left, Throws Right 6’3 190
Despite his size, it’s possible that Walding remains at shortstop. He has average arm strength now, but if a mechanical issue is corrected, that could improve. For his size, he’s pretty athletic, but it is possible and even likely that he has to change positions as a pro. For a high school hitter, he’s pretty polished at the plate with a nice approach, and he’s shown the ability to hit the ball the other way. The power isn’t present, but scouts believe it’ll come. Walding won’t necessarily be an easy sign, but it shouldn’t be extraordinarily difficult either. He’s committed to Oregon, and the Phillies signed Jesse Biddle away from the Ducks last year.
10. Jake Overbey, University School of Jackson (Tennessee) Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’2 180
One of a number of talented football players the Phillies drafted, Overbey will give up football to play baseball at Ole Miss with his brother. Mississippi usually doesn’t produce top high school talent, and in this case, it’s raw and probably not ready for professional baseball. He’s athletic, but right now none of his tools jump out at scouts, and he’s a player that could use the refinement that college baseball provides. The Phillies will make a run at him, otherwise they wouldn’t have used the pick, but he’ll be a tough sign.
11. Tyler Greene, West Boca Raton Community HS (Florida) Bats Right, Throws Right 6’2 175
Tyler Greene was considered to be about a 3rd round pick by many analysts, so it’s a bit puzzling why he fell. The best guess would be signabilityconcerns, but I haven’t read anything about that other than he’s committed to Georgia. A Palm Beach Post blog entry says he’s been extremely focused on becoming a professional, even moving to Boca Raton specifically to get noticed by scouts. He has great bat speed and athleticism, and his arm is good enough to stay at shortstop. He’s considered to be a bit of a project, but if the Phillies go overslot to get him, he could be worth it.
16. Taylor Black, Kentucky, Bats Right, Throws Right 6’1 180
Black is the first college senior the Phillies drafted, and they’re always the easiest signs. He’s considered to be a good fielder, and the 16th round is a big improvement over being taken in the 28th round in 2010, although his bonus probably won’t be any better. He struggled in the Cape Cod League, and he’s probably not going to be much of a hitter. He’s considered to be a good defensive player and played shortstop exclusively at Kentucky, but he’ll probably be in a utility role with Williamsport.
34. Brandon Pletsch, Rancho HS (Nevada) Bats Right, Throws Right 5’11 175
Pletsch is committed to UNLV with two other players from his high school. His dad was his high school coach, and teams always love sons and relatives of baseball personnel.
2. Harold Martinez, Miami, Bats Right, Throws Right 6’3 208
Martinez is a player that never really lived up to his potential… yet. He was drafted by Texas out of high school in 2008 but didn’t really have a shot at signing. He was expected to go to Miami and become a highly touted player, and it didn’t happen. In 2010, he showed nice power, and although he does have raw power, the new bats took it away, and he slugged less than .400 in 2011. If he improves his plate approach and makes better contact, he can be scouts’ expectations, but that often doesn’t happen for guys coming out of college. He’s a good defensive third baseman, and he can also fill in at all the corner positions. Signing Martinez won’t be a problem, and he’ll be headed to Williamsport in a couple weeks.
4. Cody Asche, Nebraska, Bats Left, Throws Right 6’1 180
Asche’s best tool is his power which has plus potential. His power actually improved despite the introduction of new bats in college, and he improved his stock despite playing on a bad team this season. His plate approach has improved at Nebraska, and he should make good contact as a professional. He played 3B with the Cornhuskers, but he probably won’t be able to stay at the position as a professional. He’s likely headed for a corner OF position, but Baseball America says some scouts believe he could be tried behind the plate. He should sign quickly and report toWilliamsport.
14. Trey Ford, South Mountain CC, Bats Right, Throws Right 6’2 200
Ford is a former shortstop, but he doesn’t have the ability to stay there. Unfortunately, he doesn’t really profile at 3B either, so his future is cloudy. He’s athletic and according to Baseball America plays the game hard, so there should be a place for him somewhere. His team hit five total home runs this year, and he had two of them. He’s committed to Texas Tech, but their coaching staff believes he’ll sign with the Phillies.
18. Drew Hillman, UC Irvine, Bats Right, Throws Right 6’0 205
Hillman was an important player in UC Irvine winning the NCAA Los Angeles regional over the weekend. He played left field in his first year at Irvine, but he moved back to his natural 3B this season. He hit five of his team’s 13 home runs. Hillman was a bench player in the Cape Cod League and did not see much action. At Orange Coast College where he attended before Irvine, he set numerous school records. He’ll sign quickly and come off Williamsport’s bench.
1. Larry Greene, Berrien County HS (Georgia) Bats Left, Throws Right 6’0 235
Greene may not have been the 39th player ranked on analysts’ draft boards, but the Phillies didn’t make a very big reach since it’s possible he wouldn’t have been around at their 2nd pick, 66th overall. There is one thing that isn’t up for debate with Greene: he has great power. Some consider him the most powerful high school hitter in this draft, and that’s a tool a bit lacking in the Phillies system. After that, the picture gets a bit murky. How athletic is he? How’s his arm? Those that believe in him feel he has enough quickness and a good enough arm to play left field. Those that don’t believe in him feel he’ll be confined to first base. Greene has the power, but he’ll have to develop the rest to become a major leaguer. He should sign fairly quickly and get his pro career started with the GCL team in Clearwater.
15. Ryan Garvey, Palm Desert HS (California) Bats Right, Throws Right 6’1 190
Ryan’s dad Steve Garvey had a very good ML career and was a key player in their successful run in the late 70’s and early 80’s. He was expected to go higher in the draft, but signability concerns dropped him down to the 15th round. His future position is uncertain. He played CF in high school, but that’s not a realistic option as a professional. Third base is a possibility, but LF or 1B is more likely, and at those positions, his bat would really have to carry him. He swings and misses too much now, but scouts believe he can make better contact in the future to go along with his above average power. Steve says he’s more signable than teams believe despite his scholarship to USC.
21. Matt Holland, Texas A&M Corpus Christi Bats Left, Throws Left 6’3 210
Five year seniors are easy signs, and he’ll be headed for Williamsport to back up some players with higher ceilings than he has. After transferring from Iowa Central CC, Holland became one of the most productive hitters in college baseball. In 2011, he hit for the cycle in one game, completing it with a 9th inning grand slam. He hit nearly .400 and slugged over .600 with 10 home runs after hitting just three the previous season.
33. Brock Stassi, Nevada, Bats Left, Throws Left 6’2 190
Stassi’s younger brother is a prospect for the A’s, and although he doesn’t have the prospect status of Max, he was an extremely productive college player. He was a two way guy at Nevada, and he was one of the best pitchers in the conference. He’s listed in the outfield, but he mainly played 1B and DH when he wasn’t on the mound. This season, he struggled on the mound which is why he was considered a hitter in this draft. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him at first base as a pro.
49. Jonathan Knight, Sebring HS (Florida) Bats Right, Throws Right 6’3 175
He’s committed to St. Petersburg College, which I think is pretty competitive at the JC level. The coaches there rave about his athleticism and tools.
When the Phillies said they were trying to improve catching depth before the draft, they weren’t kidding. They took seven overall, and three of them should be pretty quick signs. With a couple players at Williamsport and GCL drafted out of high school to catch, they’re going to have to spread innings around among a number of players, especially if they can somehow sign some of the catchers they drafted late on day two or three.
Fans wanted them to address shortstop and 3B in the draft, and it’s tough to say they’re not trying after this draft. They drafted six shortstops and four third basemen, and even if they can’t all stay at their current positions, it’s a possibility for many of them. They went the HS route for many of their shortstops, so fans will have to be patient as they try and develop their future shortstop. On the other hand, they were college-heavy at 3B. Some players won’t be able to stay there, but they’re more advanced hitters. Their first base selections are either unlikely to sign or roster filler, and it’s possible Larry Greene ends up at first in the future.
This year’s draft was light on outfielders which makes sense since they’ve invested so much in OF prospects in recent years. Eventually, they had to stop, and that was this year. Of the five guys listed as outfielders, two will be difficult signs, and two of them are questionable out in the outfield. The GCL team in particular will be interesting. They’ll need some UDFA signings or players out of Latin America to join Greene.
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