Phillies 2012 Draft Class Comprised of Best Friends, Californians

Here at TBOH, we’ve offered you almost no draft coverage whatsoever.  It’s almost like we were barely aware it was happening.

But that’s where you’re wrong.  We’ve got names.  We’ve got positions.  We’ve got places.  We’ve got all the after-the-fact vitriol you can’t possibly need.  So maybe you should have paid attention when this was all happening the first time.

Shane Watson, RHP, Lakewood, CA

When you say “Brett Myers” in Philadelphia, several images flash through our heads.  Tossing his glove in the air as the Phillies clinched 2007 playoff berth on the last day of the season.  Taking ball four from C.C. Sabathia in the 2008 NLDS.  Punching his wife.

Now, when the Phillies say “Brett Myers,” and when don’t they, they want you to see “Shane Watson,” their first pick and 40th overall in the draft.  It’s an “honor” bestowed upon the 18-year-old, who is apparently a real cut-up in interviews, a presence the Phillies have been lacking as their spirits are routinely crushed every evening before our very eyes.

Also they both have curveballs.

“My curveball is my best pitch.  It is kind of like my Visa Express card, I can use it whenever I want.”

Shane Watson

Whoa, back up, everybody make room for the razor sharp wit of future Phillies star Shane Watson and his unhittable curveball.  USC is sniffing around Watson’s future, but it seems that all it would take to keep Watson focused on going pro is a number over a million dollars.  Do the Phillies need a slick, charismatic starter grabbing the mic and saying things like his best pitch is “strike one?” (Which is odd, because as we’ve learned, plenty of terrible things can happen after strike one)

Yes we do.  And in 27 years when Watson is deemed eligible for Major League play by Supreme Philadelphia Baseball Overlord Ruben Amaro, we will see just what we paid probably less than a million dollars for.

Mitch Gueller, RHP, W.F. West High School

Thanks to Raul Ibanez leaving as a free agent, the Phillies got to select Gueller as the 54th overall pick in the compensatory round.  In a way, the right hander will be Raul’s legacy with the Phillies; a parting gift already with a ton of pressure on his shoulders to perform as well as a slow 39-year-old out”fielder.”

Straight out of W.F. High School, which has churned out former Major Leaguer Dave Dowling and Starbucks CEO Orin Smith, as well as the 3rd best fast pitch softball team in the state of Washington in 2010.  Washington State has Gueller’s signature on a letter of intent, which apparently carries as many legitimate intentions as the Phillies offense.  However, the seductive allure of Phillies baseball may be prove to be too much for the senior, and he has not yet determined whether his six-foot frame will be used for good in our farm system or for evil as he tries to further his education or something.

A 6-0 record and 0.80 ERA with 70 K’s in 40 2/3 innings was enough for the Phillies to at least try, and they’re hoping his 90 mph fastball can find a home in the NL East, or if Cole Hamels stays on to be the grizzled vet looking to settle one last score, Gueller can be taught to hurl that fastball into people’s spines unprovoked.

Dylan Cozens, OF, Scottsdale Chapparal

Onward to the 70th pick, a smoking hot offense-man from a school whose mascot is the “firebird.”  He took on alumni Paul Konerko’s single season home run record this year and won, receiving little fanfare and an autographed bat from Konerko himself for his troubles.

Cozens’ road has been paved with a brevy of options.  He was poached from his high school football team after one year of defensive ending by the University of Arizona, and was apparently offered a $2 million deal from a Japanese baseball team.  His final dinger of the 2011-12 season, a walkoff to win the championship 5-3, had people demanding his autograph.

Ruben Amaro started salivating as Cozens mercilessly crushed 10 home runs during a recent workout, and was so excited about drafting him that he gave actual answers to several questions, claiming Cozens was the “..guy I’m most excited about.

Alec Rash, RHP, Adel DeSoto Minburn High School

The state of Iowa remained in rigid silence after many picks of players in the MLB draft not from Iowa.  However, when the Phillies announced their selection for the 95th overall pick, Iowan Alec Rash, the state finally got its due in the most thrilling moment in since the naming of Bluebunch Wheatgrass as the state grass.

Rash was noticed during a pre-draft showcase in which he hit 95 mph, not because he has the name of the antagonist from a Rob Schneider movie.  His future plans are a bit foggier than those of a Shane Watson, as he was on the phone with coaches at Missouri when selected by the Phils.  There will now be a long period of inner conflict for Rash as he decides what his next move will be, mostly like by sitting rebelliously backwards on the seat of a tractor while overlooking a windswept field of corn at sunset.  Will he be the greatest Iowan athletic story since Nile Kinnick won the 1939 Heisman?  Only time will tell.

As a childhood Cubs fan, Rash had to scramble to find reasons he loved the Phillies in order to get in quick with the fans.

“I like (Phillies first baseman) Ryan Howard. They’re a fun team to watch.”

–Alec Rash


Zachary Green, SS, Jesuit High School

125 picks in, the Phillies inserted themselves into the life of Oregon State recruit Zachary Green, a skilled communicator and batsman.  Scouting points to Green’s swing and body being capable of power now, and allowing potential to be developed for further power in the future.  Which raises the question, could Zach Green become too powerful?  Yes he could.

Green was still weighing his options when Phillies scout Joey Davis confidently announced he would be a Phillie.  After promising more money than his draft position would dictate, Green’s decision suddenly became an easier one.

“I feel confident I am ready to play pro baseball right now and jump-start my career.”

–Zach Green

This quote was far more welcoming than Green’s previous statement, which had analysts and therapists alike raising their index fingers in curious concern.

“When I woke up this morning, I was a Beaver.”

–Zach Green

Well, it’s not exactly “we’re the team to beat,” but Green’s got plenty of time to develop his skills as the outspoken Phillies shortstop of the future.

Chris Serritella, 1B, Southern Illinois University

I read in Moneyball about how much of a risk it is to use a draft pick on a high school pick.  Teenagers are less predictable, and tend to make decisions based on the latest episode of True Blood, rather than the wheelbarrows of money being rolled into their bedroom by sexy chicks wearing Phanatic heads.

Or they’ll choose their “education” over pro baseball or some stupid thing.  Whatever.

The Phillies waited a long time before drafting a college kid, but with the 158th overall pick, they got him, and even had a verbal contract agreement in place before uttering his name into the microphone.  It was Chris Serritella, who suffered a broken wrist last season, only to be drafted by the Royals, ignore them, and re-enter the draft after a year at Southern Illinois.

As the defending Missouri Valley Conference batting title champion, Serritella’s offensive output was exciting to watch, hammering 13 home runs in the midst of a .389 average and 61 RBI in 58 games.  The first Illinois native to go in the draft, the entire state was forced to once again come to terms with the fact that not everyone can play for the Cubs, and in fact, it’s probably better that way.

Andrew Pullin, OF, Centralia High School

Pullin, the left-handed, outfielding speedster and Phillies’ 189th pick, was told he was drafted during class, and excused himself.  If it was anything like that time my dad pulled me out of algebra class to tell me the cat had had a miscarriage on my baseball card collection, I’ll bet Pullin’s momentary glee of being pulled out of class was quickly replaced by shock, disgust, and confusion.

But the most critical info on Pullin is that his high school, Centralia, is the direct rival of second pick Mitch Gueller’s high school.  Will this create a wave of conflict in our minor league system, as enemies from their amateur days collide, only this time, wearing the same uniform?  Will it be necessary for some kind of monumentally, unifying event to take place, like the death of a shared mentor, or an agreement on which Star Wars movie was the best?

“Pullin and Gueller played on rival teams for all four years of high school, but they are friends, Pullin said, and have played against each other since they were in elementary school.”

Meg Wochnick, The Olympian

My god.  We’re dealing with an opposite situation.  If they enter the farm system as friends, they can only become enemies.  This is even worse.  Our only option is to make them bitter nemeses prior to playing for us so that an unlikely bond can be forged.  Quick, somebody kill both their mentors.

Cameron Perkins, OF, Purdue University

Much earlier in the draft, the Mets took Purdue’s Kevin Plawecki.  Was this move dictated by the knowledge that the Phillies would be seeking outfielder and fellow Boilermaker Cameron Perks, and the desire to pit two former teammates against each other in divisional play?

We’ll never know, unless we speculate wildly.  So let’s say, definitely.  Plawecki announceed he will definitely sign with the Mets.  Looks like the Great Post-Purdue Boilermaking Rivarly rests on the decision of Perkins, who, selected 218th overall, as a junior could return to Purdue for his final year.

Perkins spent this past season leading things.  He led his team in home runs with nine, he led the Big Ten in RBI with 61, and he led in votes for All-Big Ten First Team position players with the simple formula of “unanimous.”  He is also the current leader in being drafted by the Mariners six years ago and choosing to go to Purdue instead.

Hoby Milner, LHP, University of Texas

Hoby is one of those guys whose dad was a Major Leaguer that never really accomplished anything but you feel obligated to mention in order to fill up more space under his name.  So thank you, Brian Milner, catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays for two games in 1978.

After that, we say that Milner is a Texas lefty with an impressive pitching resume in 2011 whose non baseball interests include majoring in physical culture and minoring in educational psychology.  He’s been drafted by the Nationals before, putting him in the same realm as Bryce Harper.  As a freshman at Texas, he made the Honor Roll, and as a sophomore he made the Academic All-Big 12 Baseball Second Team, which is one of those honors that gets less interesting the more words you add to it.

And then we kind of fade into the late, late rounds, when dreams are harvested of those who weren’t sure they’d even get a phone call; whom we dare to “MAKE US CLAIM WE’VE HEARD OF YOU!”

Tags: Mlb Draft

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