Last week, I reviewed the pitchers the Phillies took in the 2012 draft, which was the area they clearly focused on. Three of their first four picks were pitchers, and only 15 of their 42 total picks were position players. It’s clear that they’re expecting a lot from last year’s class which was very hitter-friendly. Now that the draft signings are rolling in, each team’s draft strategy is starting to emerge. Teams like Toronto took a handful of high ceiling players and a lot of college seniors to offset the costs. It appears that the Phillies’ draft strategy didn’t change much. Most of their bonuses don’t deviate too far from the recommended values. As of now, only two of their picks in the first 10 rounds, Alec Rash and Zach Green, haven’t signed. The recommended value for these picks totals is $874,400, and they have an extra $263,700 thanks to other signings below the recommended value.
What’s holding up Rash probably isn’t a contract offer but simply his high school schedule. Iowa’s season runs right up (and through) the signing deadline, so it’ll probably take a while for him. Only 17 of the Phillies’ 42 picks have signed so far, an unusually low number. Two of them are relatively high picks still playing in the College World Series and will sign when they’re eliminated. Three others went to four-year universities; one’s a senior and should sign, and the other two are juniors taken pretty late. They don’t have much leverage and could sign. The quantity they ultimately end up with will probably depend on what the junior college players decide. There are five of those remaining, and they could go either way. If the high schoolers besides Rash and Green won’t sign for $100,000, they could be difficult to fit in.
To wrap up some draft thoughts, I thought Houston did very well in their first draft led by Jeff Luhnow. Yes, part of that is certainly having the #1 pick, and not only did they get who I think is the best player, Carlos Correa signed for nearly $2.5 million less than the recommended value, giving them a lot of wiggle room to sign some of their other picks. They took a number of players that slipped due to bonus demands, such as Lance McCullers Jr., Rio Ruiz, Brett Phillips and Hunter Virant. Being able to lock down these players could go a long way in getting the franchise back to respectability. In terms of the changes baseball made to the draft, the commissioner’s office has to be happy. Although teams found ways to make the most of their limited bonus caps, aggregate spending is still down which is what they always wanted. One of their stated goals was to make sure players get drafted in the order of talent, not signability. That generally happened in the first couple rounds, but after that? Not even close. Now for the pick reviews.
8. Josh Ludy, Baylor, Bats Right, Throws Right, 5’10 220, 22.12 Y.O.
Baylor’s senior catcher really developed in his final season of eligibility, and he’s going to be a nice catcher to have in the organization. He’s a leader behind the plate with good receiving skills, and he has experience handling one of the deeper pitching staffs in the country. He was tied for 15th in the nation in home runs with 16, a significant spike in power from previous seasons. He has a good approach and can hit to all fields, making him the ideal college catcher in the middle rounds.
24. Chad Carman, Oklahoma City University, Bats Right, Throws Right, 5’10 189, 23.06 Y.O.
Carman has been the top defensive catcher in NAIA baseball for a couple years ow with a strong arm and good receiving skills. He shared the catching duties with Dane Phillips, a second round pick by San Diego, but Carman got a majority of the time because Phillips isn’t a good defensive player. He was a first team All-NAIA player because of his bat as well, hitting .383 with 11 home runs and having more walks than strikeouts. Because of his age it’s tough to call him a prospect right now, but he’s an extremely accomplished player who has had success with wood bats in offseason leagues.
34. Darrell Miller Jr., Servite HS (California), Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’2 205, 18.67 Y.O.
The son of a former Major Leaguer and nephew of former Pacers guard and present bad television analyst Reggie Miller, Darrell certainly has some nice bloodlines. His dad is now an executive with MLB, helping to run the league’s Urban Youth Academy in Compton which his son grew up in. He’s also the teammate of Richard Bielski who the Phillies already signed, so maybe that could play into Miller’s decision a little bit. He’s shown a strong arm and power in showcase events, so the tools are there. Unless the Phillies go after him hard, he’s likely headed for UCLA.
36. Charles Galiano, Commack HS (New York), Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’0 180, 18.03 Y.O.
Galiano was selected by the Phillies’ scouting staff to take a trip down to the Dominican Republic last year and play against the team’s Dominican Summer League players. They’re obviously familiar with him and his abilities, but so is Fordham, where he committed very early in his recruiting process. It seems likely that their selection of Galiano was a courtesy, and they’ll see where he is after three years at Fordham.
4. Christopher Serritella, Southern Illinois, Bats Left, Throws Right, 6’3 205, 22.28 Y.O.
Serritella missed all of 2011 with a broken wrist, and that can spell trouble for a hitter’s career. He bounced back immediately though, leading the Missouri Valley Conference in batting average and home runs. He’s a non-athlete that has to improve his defense at first, so he’s going to need that metal bat power to transfer to the pro ranks. College first basemen face an uphill battle to become prospects, but at the very least he’ll pack some punch into the middle of Williamsport’s lineup.
38. Geordy Smith, Highlands Ranch HS (Colorado), Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’2 200, 17.82 Y.O.
Like Drew Anderson last week, there’s a major lack of information about Smith. Fortunately since he’s a 38th rounder, it’s safe to assume he probably won’t sign, and it doesn’t matter.
26. Evan Van Hoosier, Green Valley HS (Nevada), Bats Right, Throws Right, 5’11 185, 18.44 Y.O.
On his Twitter account, Van Hoosier said he was expecting to be taken by the Mets, but when he told them he planned on going to school, the College of Southern Nevada, the Phillies took him. His brother already attends CSN as a second baseman, and he’s a pretty accomplished player there. Evan is lauded for his competitiveness, defense and hitting ability.
3. Zach Green, Jesuit HS (California), Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’3 185, 18.24 Y.O.
A year after pouring a lot of money into improving infield depth in last year’s draft, it clearly wasn’t as big of a priority this year. Green would still be a solid addition though as their 5th player chosen in the draft. With his size, at some point he’s going to have to move to third base, and that means his bat will have to develop. His frame should allow him to develop above average power, but his swing can get a bit lengthy. He’s not a great athlete but does have the arm for the hot corner. Green is committed to Oregon State, but if the Phillies took him this high, they probably know what it’ll take to get him signed.
21. Tim Carver, Arkansas, Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’0 185, 23.02 Y.O.
Carver was a very light hitting utility player in his early years with the Razorbacks, but he developed into a player that can hit for an empty .300 as a senior. He has some speed but for some inexplicable reason was incredibly inefficient stealing bases this year, only being successful 58% of the time after going 33/38 his previous two years. He’s a very good defender with a strong arm, and the pitchers will appreciate his ability to save hits.
6. Cameron Perkins, Purdue, Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’5 205, 21.68 Y.O.
Over the last two drafts, the Phillies have sunk a lot of high picks into college third basemen, and Perkins is their latest attempt to find a player that sticks. He was a key cog in the best team in Purdue’s history that was one of 16 regional hosts. Thanks to his size and strength, he has the potential power to profile at third base. He’s not a very patient hitter, but he has a knack for putting the ball in play and making consistent contact. He has a shot to stick at third base, but it’s not a sure thing. If not, he would be able to play right field.
11. William Carmona, Stony Brook, Bats Switch, Throws Right, 6’0 230, 21.23 Y.O.
Stony Brook is the storybook team of the College World Series. As a four seed (equivalent of a 13 seed or lower in March Madness), and a northeast team from a small conference, they’ve defied all the odds to reach Omaha. Carmona is their #3 hitter in the lineup, a lineup that’s one of the best in college baseball. He has a patient approach from both sides of the plate and regularly makes hard contact, hitting for power too. He plays third now, but he’s clumsy at the position and non-athletic, so he’ll have to find another home.
2. Dylan Cozens, Chapparal HS (Arizona), Bats Left, Throws Left, 6’6 225, 18.00 Y.O.
Cozens was an early surprise pick by the Phillies, going way off the board for a troubled, yet talented outfielder. He had to change schools due to a physical confrontation with a coach in his junior year, and he wasn’t eligible to return to the diamond until this spring. Had he not signed, he would’ve played defensive end and baseball at Arizona, but the Phillies signed him away for the recommended value of his pick. He has big power potential that the Phillies hope can translate to the pros. They also hope he’s athletic enough to remain in the outfield, but some scouts say he’ll end up at first base where there will be a lot of pressure on his bat to perform.
5. Andrew Pullin, Centralia HS (Washington), Bats Left, Throws Right, 6’0 185, 18.68 Y.O.
In high school, Pullin was a switch pitcher, but his future is in the outfield. He has a smooth swing that should generate a lot of contact, and he has a little power potential despite not being very big. He’ll probably be limited to left field, so the onus will be on his bat to produce. He complements his hitting ability with a nice plate approach, something the organization could certainly use. Physically and skill-wise, he reminds me a bit of current Lakewood outfielder Brian Pointer. He has already signed, and he’ll start his career in the Gulf Coast League.
12. Zach Taylor, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Bats Left, Throws Right, 6’3 215, 21.08 Y.O.
After spending two years at a junior college in Florida, Taylor went to this Division II school and became an All-American and conference player of the year. He played left field for the AASU Pirates, but he was a two way player in high school, so he probably has enough of an arm to play right field as well. He also stole 21 bases in 25 attempts, which is not only very efficient, but that athleticism suggests it’s possible he can play center in a pinch. He slugged .699 with 15 home runs, making him one of the leading power hitters in DII baseball.
13. Steven Golden, St. Francis HS (California), Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’3 180, 17.72 Y.O.
Golden signed quickly for $100,000, so he won’t count against the team’s bonus cap. There isn’t much scouting information available for him online, but he’s been to various showcase events and played for USA Baseball at one point, so he’s not unknown to scouts. He’s athletic with the kind of frame to add strength, so while he’s a bit of an unknown now, he’s probably worth keeping an eye on.
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