The Philadelphia Phillies will certainly look closely at a college righthander for the top pick in the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft.
As I continue my look at players whom the Phillies might select with the #1 overall pick in this June’s MLB Amateur Draft, it’s easy to picture the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of this team’s rebuild.
While the last few seasons have been disappointing to say the least, the Phillies have same promising young players climbing through the minors and a few of them will hopefully be ready to contribute during the 2016 season.
Top prospects like J.P. Crawford, Nick Williams, Mark Appel, and Jake Thompson will be showcasing their stuff at big league spring training in a few weeks. While it is highly unlikely that any of them will break camp with the team, it would not be surprising if at least one of them made their MLB debut later this summer.
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After a couple of years of excellent draft work combined with some great trade returns, the Phillies are about to see some of the pieces fall into place in terms of returning to contending status. A big piece of that puzzle will be the player they select at 1:1 this June, and it would come as no surprise if that player turned out to be University of Oklahoma right-handed pitcher Alec Hansen.
Hansen stands 6’7 and weighs in at 235 lbs., a dominating presence on the pitching mound. His fastball can reach 100 mph and sits easily at around 95. He also features a solid change, and an improving curve that could evolve into a true out pitch.
He posted a pedestrian 3.95 ERA during his junior year, but Hansen did manage to strike out 94 batters in 82 innings pitched. He definitely has swing and miss potential, and some work in the minors can help him evolve into an ace caliber pitcher.
I’ve stressed repeatedly that a surplus of good pitching is crucial to any team aspiring to make a playoff run. I’ve made specific reference to the success of the defending NL East champion New York Mets. Their resurgence has been fueled by a rotation of young, flame throwing arms. that propelled them to the World Series when they weren’t even expected to win their division.
Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, and Jacob deGrom are all front of the rotation power arms that the Mets are throwing at teams every night. They have the ability to throw in the mid 90s with ease, and feature fantastic off speed pitches.
If Hansen reaches his full potential he could follow in their footsteps, and lead a Phillies rotation that includes the polished and poised Aaron Nola and surprise success story Jerad Eickhoff back to the playoffs in a few years.