Go ahead, don’t be over Jayson Werth. Stand in the right field section of Nationals Park wagging a sign with some kind of “Werth/worth” pun and piss of the D.C. sportswriters with soundless aggression. Nod your head as you feign interest in your wife’s daily exploits over dinner as you picture our former right fielder knocking on your front doorstep, hat in hand, wondering if its too late to accept arbitration. Convince your therapist you’re making progress but then tear his office apart when you notice he’s decided to start growing a beard.
Because as the upcoming draft dictates, Jayson Werth is still infecting everything we do.
If you’re not all kinds of jazzed about watching Bud Selig mutter into a microphone, check your pulse, because if you can make it through the first 38 rounds without flatlining, you’re in for a white knuckle thrill ride.
We don’t pick in the first round because we signed Cliff Lee; we don’t pick until the 39th selection (and then not again until the 66th) because Jayson Werth signed with Washington. Then, its nap time until the 90th.
So, who do these low picks land us with? The Phillies have informed the public that they plan to “…pick the best available player,” which, as far as draft strategies go, is right up there with “Remember to sit at table; speak quietly into telephone.”
The Phillies’ main interest seems to be in shortstops, catchers, a couple outfielders, with a smattering of pitchers from either side. Here are the young men being ogled with particular ferocity:
Cameron Gallagher, C, Manheim Township High School
“…a heckuva ballplayer.”
–Eric Zeigler, head coach, Spring Grove High School (recently slaughtered by Gallagher in district semi-finals)
Kevin Comer, RHP, Seneca High School
“I wouldn’t do something with Kevin that the Phillies wouldn’t do with Roy Halladay.”
–Seneca HS coach Sean Cassel
Jake Hager, SS, Las Vegas High School
“He showed up most every day with a lunch pail and worked.”
–Sierra Vista baseball coach Nate Selby
Brad Miller, SS, Clemson University
“… he’s worked really hard, he’s got a great attitude, he loves to play, plays with a lot of energy, he’s had a great offensive year, and really a great defensive year, he’s gotten better in both areas, he’s coachable, fun to be around, and we really missed him when he was out of the line up.”
–Clemson coach Jack Leggett, making sure no compliment went unused in his description of his clear favorite
Austin Hedges, C, J Serra Catholic High School
“Austin Hedges of San Juan Capistrano JSerra acts as if catching is as therapeutic as spending a day at the beach.”
–Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times
Andrew Chafin, LHP, Kent State University
“The first pitch he threw [in front of 30 MLB scouts], in my mind, I thought it was going to go over the backstop — adrenaline, nerves, scouts in the stands, all the things around it. I was nervous for him. I didn’t know how he would perform. But the first eight pitches he threw were strikes, all of them were fastballs and none of them were below 94 mph.”
–Kent State coach Scott Stricklin
Charlie Tilson, OF, New Trier High School
“Tilson would be the first position player taken in the first round out of an Illinois high school since Jayson Werth in 1997.” [EDITOR'S NOTE: You see? YOU SEE?!]
–Mike Helfgot, Chicago Tribune
Jose Fernandez, RHP, Alonso High School
“Just more than a year ago, Fernandez was in cold, dark water, in the middle of nowhere, fighting 8-foot waves and thinking he just might die.”
–John C. Cotey, St. Petersburg Times