Phillies fans are dying to see a mature bat in the lineup. Can they find one in the MLB Draft?
Baseball America, one of the industries’ premier scouting networks, recently released their third MLB Mock Draft, in which the Phillies draft eighth overall.
After going with Vanderbilt pitcher Kyle Wright in mock draft 1.0, Baseball America has now projected the Phillies to take the same player in back to back mock drafts.
Virginia first baseman Pavin Smith has been the hot name connected to the Phillies despite his lack of power and recent in-conference struggles.
Through 51 games this year for Virginia Smith is a .343 hitter with 10 home runs, 31 walks, and just 10 strikeouts.
The K/BB ratio is the biggest sticking point to drafting Smith, who has struggled against the higher collegiate competition. His batting average falls .060 points against ACC competition to .288, which is still respectable.
I’ve personally advocated for a collegiate pitcher over a hitter, which the Phillies have taken in the first round in three of their last four drafts.
First base is a puzzling position within the Phillies organization going forward. Tommy Joseph does not look like the long-term answer, and Rhys Hoskins is knocking on the door in Triple-A.
Taking a player like Smith with Hoskins practically major league ready doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but the organization is severely weak beyond Lehigh Valley.
Unless the Phillies view Smith as a development guy who could transfer to the outfield, taking him straight out of college may not be in their best interest.