Phillies and the Draft: What Could Have Been

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2003: no first round pick

This was the Jim Thome year. Having signed Thome as a free agent meant that under the old rules in place at the time, the team forfeited its first round selection (18th overall) to the Cleveland Indians, who used that choice on college outfielder Brad Snyder. Snyder went on to a non-career, amassing -0.1 bWAR.

While it is almost always ill-advised to forfeit a first round pick, it’s hard to argue with the club’s thought process at the time. With the team moving into a new ballpark the following year, it was well-known that the Phillies needed a drawing card outside of Citizens Bank Park to bring fans in. Thome’s power and fantastic personality was a great fit at the time, exactly what the franchise needed. While his signing did end up blocking Ryan Howard for a time, there really is not much to argue against here.

Notable players drafted after Phillies’ pick: Chad Billingsley, Carlos Quentin, Adam Jones. Of these, having Jones roam centerfield for his whole career would have been nice, but remember that Seattle was the team drafting Jones, and the Mariners then traded him to get Erik Bedard.

Next: Phillies Draft 2004: What Was and Could Have Been