The Phillies’ draft strategy on emphasizing college players also applied to the hitters, and in an era where the pool of college bats keeps getting worse and worse, maybe it’s not too wise. It’s difficult to see them getting a big impact from these players, but maybe there can be some contributors.
18. Sean McHugh, Purdue, Bats Right, Throws Right, 5’11 200, 22.12 Y.O.
McHugh started at Purdue as a walk-on, and he became a key player as his career wore on. He threw out 48% of attempted base stealers, and he was second on the team in average, on-base percentage and first in slugging. His 14 doubles and four homers led the team.
23. Joel Fisher, Michigan State, Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’3 235, 21.39 Y.O.
It didn’t take long for the Phillies to go back to the B1G for a senior catcher. Fisher threw out 48.3% of attempted base stealers, just edging McHugh for the conference lead. His five home runs were tied for the team lead, but he batted just .264 and struck out 40 times.
34. Scott Tomassetti, College of Southern Nevada, Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’1 195, 20.91 Y.O.
After a couple years at UNLV, Tomassetti transferred to CSN where Bryce Harper played four years ago. He batted .299 with almost no power, but he did break his hand, and they also use wood bats there. When he was drafted by the Phillies three years ago, he needed more work on his defense.
36. Blake Wiggins, Pulaski Academy (Arkansas), Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’1 195, 18.25 Y.O.
Wiggins had the talent to be drafted much earlier, so it’s likely that he’s headed to Arkansas. He played third base and catcher as an amateur, and it’s not certain where he fits best. He has nice power, but it’s only to the pull side and has to learn how to hit to right field too. He has a strong arm that works at either position.
5. Rhys Hoskins, Sacramento State, Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’4 225, 21.21 Y.O.
Drafting a college first baseman in the middle rounds is a mixed bag. Sometimes you get Ryan Howard, but most of the time you get Matt Rizzotti. Hoskins showed nice power at Sac State, hitting 12 home runs and totaling 30 extra base hits. He also walked in nearly 15% of his plate appearances.
In the Cape Cod League, he got it done with wood bats too, finishing second in the league with seven home runs. He’s first base only, so he’s really going to have to hit to make it.
20. Derek Campbell, California, Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’0 175, 22.93 Y.O.
Campbell bounced around the diamond in his Cal career, and he’s doing the same for Williamsport in the infield. He wasn’t much of a hitter until 2014 when he developed an all or nothing approach. He batted .266, right around his career average, and led the team in home runs and slugging percentage, but he also struck out in over 16% of his plate appearances. I don’t know if that’ll work as a pro, but at least he’s versatile.
21. Tim Zier, San Diego State, Bats Right, Throws Right, 5’9 195, 22.82 Y.O.
Zier was a decent college performer for four years, but it’s not good that a college senior is only being assigned to the Gulf Coast League. He has no power, but he owned a career .390 OBP with the Aztecs, and he showed some baserunning instincts too.
7. Emmanuel Marrero, Alabama State, Bats Switch, Throws Right, 6’0 180, 21.04 Y.O.
It’s a bit of a stretch to call a potential utility player a steal, but Marrero may be the best defensive shortstop in the class. He has a strong arm for the left side of the infield, and he also has the requisite quickness and range to play up the middle. He improved at the plate in his junior season, but he’s not going to hit for any power. He’ll have to rely on making hard contact and finding ways to get on base.
11. Drew Stankiewicz, Arizona State, Bats Switch, Throws Right, 5’10 180, 20.95 Y.O.
Stankiewicz is kind of the quintessential college shortstop. He’s described as a grinder everywhere, he was pretty productive, and he’ll eventually have to play second base as a professional. He led the Sun Devils in average and was third in OBP, and he stole 13 bases in 16 attempts. His energy will make him a nice player to have in the organization.
29. Al Molina, Red Bank Catholic HS (New Jersey), Bats Right, Throws Right, 5’11 190, 18.54 Y.O.
Some teams apparently felt Molina was a better fit on the mound, but obviously the Phillies weren’t one of them. It seems likely that he’ll honor his commitment to Coastal Carolina where he could play two ways, but he also sounds amenable to signing if the Phillies make a good offer.
40. Jesse Berardi, Commack HS (New York), Bats Left, Throws Right, 5’10 185, 18.18 Y.O.
Every article about Berardi seems to describe how hard he plays the game. He’s committed to St. John’s, and I’m sure he’ll end up going there.
17. Damek Tomscha, Auburn, Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’2 220, 22.76 Y.O.
This is the fourth time Tomscha has been drafted, and the second time the Phillies have. His power was down from his junior season to senior season, but he still led the team in home runs, OBP and slugging. He also walked more than he struck out. Despite the power dip, he has a track record of hitting home runs, and he has the strong arm for third base.
3. Aaron Brown, Pepperdine, Bats Left, Throws Left, 6’2 220, 21.95 Y.O.
The Phillies choosing Brown as an outfielder rather than a pitcher may be going against the grain of consensus, but he’s still a legitimate talent. He hit 13 home runs and 29 extra base hits, but despite hitting .314, he struck out 52 times and walked just nine. That’s a ton of swing and miss for a good college player, and he’s going to have to improve his approach.
He’ll eventually settle in as a right fielder with his arm strength, but it’s entirely possible that by the time he reaches the majors, it’s on the mound.
10. Matt Shortall, Texas-Arlington, Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’3 215, 23.64 Y.O.
Shortall is even older than the usual college senior because he had to sit out a year after transferring from Tulane, but he was extremely productive his last two seasons at UTA. In his last year, he was first on the team in home runs (10) and extra base hits (39) while ranking second in average and slugging. Like Brown, his approach isn’t great with 48 strikeouts to 15 walks, but he has improved since his younger days.
14. Chase Harris, New Mexico, Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’0 195, 22.84 Y.O.
It’s hard to tell exactly how productive Harris was at New Mexico because it’s a favorable place to hit, but in two years there, Harris posted a career OBP of .402. He played right field there, but so far for the GCL Phillies, he’s played only center field. He doesn’t really have the power for right field, and his style of putting the ball in play (strikeout rate under 10% his last season) and getting on base fits better in center.
32. Tom Flacco, Eastern HS (New Jersey), Bats Left, Throws Right, 6’1 187, 19.58 Y.O.
Tom is the fifth and final Flacco brother to graduate high school. Like three of the other four, he seems to be on his way to play college football rather than sign with the Phillies. As a Quarterback, he has a scholarship from Western Michigan, and even though they do have a baseball program there, nothing mentions that he plans to continue playing more than one sport.
35. Thomas Gamble, Moorestown HS (New Jersey), Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’0 185, 18.96 Y.O.
Gamble is the son of the Eagles personnel guy, so apparently nepotistic favors in the MLB draft extend beyond baseball now. Apparently he does have speed, and he’ll be playing baseball at Monmouth.
39. Keenan Eaton, Chaparral HS (Colorado), Bats Right, Throws Right, 6’0 195, 18.17 Y.O.
Eaton was originally committed to Vanderbilt quite early in the process, but he later switched to Wichita State because it’s not as rough on the wallet. He has some speed, but it looks like he’s almost certainly going to school.
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