Phillies Mocked by MLB.com to Pick Outfielder in First Round

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Oct 26, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; General view of the press conference to introduce new Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 26, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; General view of the press conference to introduce new Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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MLB.com released their first mock draft for this year, and draft experts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo projected the Phillies to pick an outfielder.

The Phillies own the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft after picking first in the 2016 draft. They netted high school outfielder Mickey Moniak who instantly became one of the team’s top prospects. This year they will hope to do the same thing.

MLB.com released their first mock draft Tuesday, which you can read here. Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis both picked who they thought each team would pick. For the Phils, both went with an outfielder.

Callis went with Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall and gave the following explanation:

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"There’s talk that his swing-and-miss issues could drop him to the teens, but Kendall has the best all-around tools among college position players and a track record of performance, so this could be a steal."

Kendall is the No. 6 draft prospect on MLB.com’s Top 100 list and the top-ranked college outfielder. His best asset is his speed, which grades out as plus-plus. That speed benefits him both in the field and on the basepaths.

At the plate, Kendall has surprising power, but nothing that will blow pitchers away at the plate. He also has to work on his strikeouts with a 24% strikeout rate in his college career. However, his draft profile credits him with five-tool potential with a comparison to Jacoby Ellsbury.

Meanwhile, Mayo opted for a high school outfielder in Austin Beck from North Davidson High in Lexington, N.C. Here was Mayo’s explanation:

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"Many expect Beck to be gone by here, but if he’s around, Philadelphia will strongly consider his upside versus the higher floors of the college bats available."

Beck is the ninth-highest rated prospect according to MLB.com’s rankings and is the second-highest ranked high school outfielder behind shortstop/outfield hybrid Royce Lewis. Beck has plus speed and a plus arm, but his defensive instincts may force a move to right field in his future.

The right-handed hitting outfielder has “well above-average bat speed” according to his profile. His hit tool is given a grade of 50 and his power is rated as above-average at 55.

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One thing pointed out by his profile is the fact that he hasn’t shown success against quality pitching with a wood bat, something he will have to do as a professional. His swing needs some streamlining but Beck has the potential to hit 25 home runs and steal 25 bases a season.

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