With the hitters out of the way, it’s time to get to the pitchers taken in this year’s draft. It took them a few picks to finally take one, and it’s clear that the organization opted to focus on position players last week. This was interesting because the strength of this draft was considered to be the pitching, particularly in the college ranks. The Phillies opted to depart from the conventional wisdom, and in a few years, we’ll see if it paid off.
Right handed pitchers
7. Kenny Giles, Yavapai JC, 6’2 188
The team’s first RHP is going to be a reliever. He has to work out some command issues, but his stuff is what makes him interesting to teams. His fastball has improved to the mid 90’s range and has even hit 99 in the past. He’s working on a splitter and slider, and he has some potential if he can develop one of those pitches into a quality second offering. Despite being taken out of a junior college, he’s pretty raw and probably won’t advance through the system quickly. He struck out 67 batters in 38 innings for Yavapai last year, and although he’s committed to a very good program in Arizona, Giles should sign.
12. Yacksel Rios, Dra Conchita Cuevas HS (Puerto Rico) 6’3 185
Another recent pitcher taken by the Phillies out of Puerto Rico, Julio Rodriguez, is having soem nice success in the lower minors, and the Phillies hope they got another steal. He throws in the low 90’s now, and with his frame, he has projection and could add more velocity. There’s not much info on Rios’ secondary pitches, and the mlb.com scouting video only shows him throwing fastballs. He signed already, and he’ll start his pro career in the GCL. He could take some time to develop.
13. Colton Murray, Kansas, 6’0 195
Like Giles, Murray is a guy that’s definitely a pro reliever after making 80 relief appearances at Kansas. Despite being on the small size for a righty, Murray has some nice fastball velocity in the 91-94 MPH range. His career at Kansas was pretty mediocre. He allowed a lot of baserunners in his freshman and sophomore seasons with nice strikeout numbers, and it was on the Cape Cod League in 2010 where he really got on the radar with 25 strikeouts and one earned run in 19 innings. His junior year with the Jayhawks wasn’t quite as good as that, but he adds a slider to go along with his fastball and could move through a system quickly. He hasn’t signed yet, but he should soon.
17. Jesen Dygestile-Therrien, Ahuntsic College (Canada) 6’2 200
JDT was a 36th round pick by the Mets last year, and he went to college for a year and improved his fastball velocity. He’s committed to Howard JC in Texas, and because he’s still really young, he’s probably not guaranteed to sign. The Phillies probably got a look at him when the Canadian junior team faced the DSL Phillies in an exhibition. His fastball currently sits 88-90, and at his size, he could probably add a little more.
23. Cody Fick, Evansville, 6’0 200
Fick is a bit of an older player, already 23 years old. He’s had a great career as a two way player, leading his teams at the plate as a third baseman while also contributing in the rotation. His pitching career was sidetracked when he needed thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, and it took him awhile to get back to speed on the mound. In his senior year at Evansville, he posted a 2.36 ERA in 11 starts. His fastball sat in the 89-90 range and had a few too many walks, but it’s possible he improves as a professional as more time passes since his surgery. He already signed, and he could start for Williamsport or work out of their bullpen.
24. Matt Campbell, Florida, 6’2 195
Campbell wasn’t on the Florida baseball team when he enrolled at the university. He started off pitching for Florida’s club team, and he walked onto the real squad his junior year in 2010. He was drafted late by Cincinnati but returned to the Gators for another year. Statistically, he hasn’t been good in limited action in either season, so scouts and their coaching staff obviously see something that goes beyond his bad statistics.
25. Ryan Duke, Oklahoma, 6’0 180
Duke is another small right handed reliever selected by the Phillies. He has average velocity but commands it very well, and he compliments it with an above average slider. He started for the Sooners his freshman year, but they decided his stuff would play better in the bullpen. He recorded 35 saves in his Oklahoma career, but his statistics actually got worse after his sophomore season. In the Cape Cod League last season, he struck out 15 batters in 10.2 IP and only allowed two earned runs. He already signed, and he’ll pitch out of Williamsport’s bullpen.
26. Michael Rocha, Oklahoma, 5’11 210
Like his Sooner teammate Duke, Michael Rocha doesn’t have the body you’d expect from a right handed pitcher. For much of his first 2.5 years with the Sooners, Rocha didn’t live up to expectations. He spent some time in the rotation and the bullpen, and his erratic play led him to being left off the travel roster for a series against Texas Tech last season. That turned around his Oklahoma career, and he’s dominated since. He was great in 2011 and very durable, pitching 113 innings. He finished his career ranked 3rd in program history in wins, and even though he hasn’t signed yet, he should soon.
28. Ian Durham, California Lutheran, 6’4 200
Durham was mostly a reliever in college with a handful of starts mixed in throughout his career. He had 132 strikeouts in 132.2 career IP, but he was generally hittable. He signed already, and he’ll probably work out of Williamsport’s bullpen.
29. Paul Cusick, Penn, 6’3 195
Cusick is the first Quaker drafted since 2004. He grew up as a Phillies fan and was named Ivy League pitcher of the year. In his first three years at Penn, he struggled in a role that saw him pitch in relief and in the rotation, but it came together in his senior season. He cut down on his hits and walks and increased his K rate which was already very good. Cusick has already signed.
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