Monday, June 12, 2017

Phillies look to improve rebuild efforts through MLB Draft

Philadelphia Baseball: J.B. Bukauskas is a name the Phillies may target
The Philadelphia Phillies have the eighth selection tonight in Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft. It's an inexact science, but a process that can ultimately dictate the trajectory of a franchise for years to come.

Tonight's draft marks the fourth consecutive time the Phillies will have made a top 10 selection.

"It's never an easy thing, so much goes into the entire process," said Phillies amateur scouting director Johnny Almaraz. "It's exciting, but we need to do our homework on a lot of guys."

The Phillies have roughly $7 million in draft pool allotment, so it's plausible the club spreads the allotment over their first three selections rather than going all-in on any one prospect. The Phillies utilized this strategy last year and netted Mickey Moniak with the first overall pick and subsequently selected Kevin Gowdy and Cole Stobbe in the following rounds to stretch the allotment pool.

With seven teams drafting in front of the Phillies tonight, it's a challenge to know what top prospects will remain on the board when the time comes.

"We're going to stay our course as far as I believe in taking the best player in the draft at that point in time whether he's high school or college, whether he's a position player or pitcher.," Almaraz said.

“I’ve never been the type of person to go out and take a player who I feel is not a baseball player first, so the guys that we get are going to be players who can execute the fundamentals of the game, go out and play, and if they have the ability that will define what type of impact they’re going to have at the major league level, of course on how they progress in the minor leagues. But for me, they have to be baseball players first."

Here are some names that may potentially be available for the Phillies with the eighth pick in the draft:

Shane Baz, RHP
Age: 17 | 6’3 | 190 | R/R | Concordia Lutheran HS, Tomball, Texas | TCU
Fantastic arsenal of pitches with plus velocity. Secondary pitches are outstanding. Throws strikes and has a solid makeup. Best high school pitcher in Texas this season. Committed to play at TCU next year as a pitcher and third baseman.

Austin Beck, OF
Age: 18 | 6’1 | 200 | R/R | North Davidson HS | North Carolina
Great bat speed and plus tools all around, plus-plus power. Overcame a torn ACL to put together a strong senior campaign. One of the top three high school bats in this draft class.

J.B. Bukauskas, RHP
Age: 20 | 6’1 | 196 | R/R | North Carolina | D-backs ’14 (20)
Pitched for the USA Collegiate National Team and tossed 21.1 innings of shutout baseball, striking out 21 and walking three. Nasty stuff, including a plus-plus fastball that sits in the mid-90s.

Alex Faedo, RHP
Age: 21 | 6’5 | 220 | R/R | Florida | Tigers ’14 (40)
Projects as a #2 or #3 starter. Slider is his best pitch. Similar to Aaron Nola in his polish. Not the best in the class, but could be the first to see MLB action.

Adam Haseley, OF
Age: 21 | 6’1 | 195 | L/L | Virginia | Never drafted
Hard contact and rarely strikes out. Consistent hitter that can grow into 15-18 homer potential. Tall and athletic. Decent defense with an above-average arm. Projects as a CF.

David Peterson, LHP

Age: 21 | 6’6 | 242 | L/L | Oregon | Red Sox ’14 (28)
Tremendous strikeout to walk ratios. Fastball sits in the low 90s, but benefits from a plus sinker and an arm slot that's on the side and not straight. Projects as mid-rotation starter.

Trevor Rogers, LHP
Age: 19 | 6’6 | 185 | L/L | Carlsbad (N.M.) HS | Texas Tech
Velocity in the low-to-mid 90s, but secondary pitches need a bit more polish. Nice frame, but a bit less major league ready than some other pitchers likely to be available. Weak local competition in high school.

Pavin Smith, 1B
Age: 21 | 6’2 | 210 | L/L | Virginia | Rockies ’14 (32)
Power is growing and a plus defender. Polished at the plate and hits for average. One of the more consistent bats available in the draft. Only knock is on speed.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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