The Philadelphia Phillies are evaluating a college outfielder as a possibility for the top pick in the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft.
Since back in October, I’ve been profiling college and high school players that the Phillies might potentially select with the #1 overall pick in the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft this coming June.
It’s sometimes difficult to muster up excitement for baseball in the midst of the cold winter. These features on potential impact players for the Phillies future are designed to help get us through the offseason lull. After a disappointing 2015 season, it’s an opportunity to look ahead to a bright future for the Fightins.
Our own Matt Veasey wrote a piece yesterday on the seven Phillies prospects currently featured on the MLB.com top 100 prospects list. That’s more than any other team in Major League Baseball.
Some of the names on the list included former #1 overall pick Mark Appel, who the Phillies acquired from Houston in the Ken Giles trade at #70, Cornelius Randolph, the Phillies top pick in last year’s draft at #84, and their 2014 top pick J.P. Crawford is featured at #5.
Crawford is one of the young prospects that the Phillies will showcase at big league Spring Training in a few weeks. Then we truly begin to get a glimpse at what eventually could be in terms of a rising new core of homegrown talent to help the team work its way back towards the success of 2007-2011.
In addition to the seven players listed above, the June draft will be crucial. Having the first overall pick allows the club a chance to select a player that can truly make a big impact during the Phillies rebuild.
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Ray has excellent contact hitting ability, and power potential. He plays all three outfield positions well and has a strong arm. He also is considered a fantastic baserunner with plus speed.
He could become a great leadoff off hitter, but also could become a middle of the order bat. Ray hit .325 with 11 home runs, 56 RBIs, and 34 stolen bases during his sophomore season at Louisville in 2015.
The one knock on Ray is a tendency to strike out at a high clip. Plate discipline would definitely have to be a focus for him as he develops further in the minor leagues.
In a scouting report from Fueled by Sports, Ray is described as a potential, “left-handed Andrew McCutcheon.” I think Phillies fans would take an MVP caliber player like that any day.
Whomever the Phillies select with the first overall pick in this MLB Amateur Draft, there is no denying that they are going to find some elite talent. Hopefully that player will fully reach their full potential, and join an exciting core of young talent that will bring meaningful baseball back to the Bank in the next few years.