The Phillies hold the top pick in tonight’s MLB Amateur Draft, and there is wide-spread speculation as to whom the team will select.
As history has shown us, there’s no telling whether the Phillies will get the next great player in team history, an Utley for instance, or whether time will prove this to have been a wasted opportunity, with a Brink-like selection, even though the club is holding that first overall pick.
This will be only the second time in franchise history that the team makes the top overall pick in the MLB Amateur Draft. The last time, they famously hit on “Pat the Bat” back in the 1998 draft process.
There is tremendous speculation as to which way the Phillies will go tonight: pitcher or hitter, college or high school. Legitimately, it would go any combination of those directions.
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When the team has “hit” big with their first rounder, such as with a Luzinski, Hamels, Myers, Burrell, or Utley it has often ultimately meant something very big for the ball club. Each of those first rounders helped lead the team to a World Series crown.
But when the team has missed, such as they did frequently in the late-1980’s and into the early 1990’s in trying to put together a young, winning pitching staff, it has led to a long period of losing for the team.
While the outcome with this first overall pick may not necessarily be make-or-break with a team like the Phillies, an organization filled with high-level prospect talent, it remains important. The player could be a key in a few years to something special, or a dud who becomes a missed opportunity.
In honor of the crapshoot that is the MLB Amateur Draft, I thought we’d revisit some of the studs, thuds, and duds that have held the honor of being the top pick of the Phillies over franchise history in each particular year’s draft.
Next: PHILLIES DRAFT HISTORY: THE STUDS