May 192014

MLB draft 2014Unlike last week, none of these players will be considered for the Phillies’ first pick.  Drafts are more than one pick though, and right now, all eight could be options in the second round or maybe even a little later.  Between high school and college players, power and contact hitters, and a bunch of different positions, there should be a variety of players here for whatever direction the Phillies decide to go in.  Catcher is an exception though, because I don’t see them adding depth there early.

2B Brian Anderson, Arkansas

After N.C. State’s Trea Turner goes off the board in the middle of the first round, the college middle infield ranks are barren, and it can be argued Anderson doesn’t even belong there.  He’s tall and has a strong arm, attributes that make him better suited for third base or right field.  His athleticism allows him to handle himself up the middle of the field though, and that might be where his bat profiles best if he can’t add more power.

OF Dylan Davis, Oregon State

If the Phillies’ gaffe with Ben Wetlzer is going to cost them anything, Davis could be a good test case to see if Oregon State is doing anything to restrict access to the player.  With his tools, he could be a third rounder even if his production hasn’t matched his physical capabilities.  He shows impressive raw power in batting practice, but his in-game swing is more contact oriented to all fields.  He’s not much of an athlete, but he’s capable of playing right field, where his arm, one of the strongest in college baseball, will be an asset.

CF Michael Gettys, Gainesville HS (Georgia)

Gettys is the quintessential Phillies draft pick; he can run, he can throw, he can hit for power, but there’s a really good chance he never makes enough contact to utilize it.  He strikes out a bit too much even against high school pitching, but with his athleticism and power potential, a team is going to take him and hope he figures things out.  If that happens, he’s an All-Star.  If not, he can always try pitching with his mid-90’s fastball.

OF Jordan Luplow, Fresno State

College hitters that can play center field at the next level are pretty rare, and once San Francisco’s Bradley Zimmer goes in the top 15 picks, it’s going to be a while before the second one is taken.  That player could be Luplow as early as the third round.  He’s in the midst of a breakout year at the plate with almost half of his career extra base hits coming in just this season.  His plate approach has been improving, and although his swing evidently needs work, he has the bat speed and tools to be an everyday player.

OF Gareth Morgan, Blyth Academy (Toronto)

Morgan may have more power potential than Gettys, but he may also have more trouble tapping into it in games.  Another problem is he doesn’t have the athleticism or arm strength to fall back on like Gettys, but the Phillies haven’t shied away from a player with this profile before.  At 6’4 and 210 pounds, he has great size and tremendous pull power, more than enough to profile in a corner outfield position.  He has to learn to hit the other way and make consistent contact though, and it could be a challenge.

SS Milton Ramos, American Heritage HS (Florida)

The Phillies appear to have hit big time on J.P. Crawford last year, but shortstop is a position it’s important to stay deep at.  Ramos is the best defensive infielder in the draft with a legitimate plus-plus glove, so it’s not a product of a weak class.  Of course, since he’s not projected to be a top 10 pick, it means his bat leaves a lot to be desired.  His swing has improved this spring, but he’s small and won’t ever hit for power.  He’ll have to further refine his swing to make consistent contact to add anything at the plate.

SS Cole Tucker, Mountain Pointe HS (Arizona)

Tucker’s tools are only average to above average across the board, but he’s going to interest teams in the second or third round as a switch hitter with a chance to stick at the position.  With his instincts and energy, his average athleticism plays up in the field.  As he gets stronger, he could add some more power to his game, especially from the left side where he’s a better hitter.  He’s been an improved hitter this spring, and his bat could be good enough to profile at second or third base if he has to move off shortstop.

2B Forrest Wall, Orangewood Christian (Florida)

There are definitely plenty of all-or-nothing players on this list, and Wall represents a bit of a change from that.  He’s not going to hit for power, but he is a very polished hitter.  He has bat speed, a feel for contact to all fields and a patient approach to wait for his pitch.  If he had a stronger arm, he could play shortstop, but he’ll have to settle for being a strong defender at second base.  He’ll also steal some bases, so he does more than enough to make up for his lack of power.

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Scott Grauer writes for PSC and Bus Leagues Baseball – check him out!