Phillies MLB Draft: Best way to approach the June Draft
The Phillies are connected to every player in the MLB Draft, but which way should they go?
I’m of the philosophy of the Phillies buying their bats and drafting, developing your pitching through the minor leagues and always trying to get a pitching prospect in a deal. Throwing over $200 million into a starting pitcher with several seasons of wear-and-tear is a huge risk. One Tommy John surgery can destroy your bottom line for years to come.
Philadelphia is in a great sports town that can draw in free agents, although the record would say otherwise. The system is stocked with talented young prospects such as Mickey Moniak, JP Crawford, and Jorge Alfaro and the pitching has taken a big step forward in 2017 with the likes of Sixto Sanchez, Nick Pivetta, and Franklyn Kilome.
Add to the fact that they are a big market franchise where payroll is a non-factor. No big money deals will interfere with the team’s pursuit of big-name free-agent over the next few years.
The name most connected with Philadelphia for the upcoming MLB draft is Virginia’s first-basemen Pavin Smith, someone who’s well-deserving of a high first-round grade. As a junior, his numbers are breath-taken, .349/.423/.606. He has a mature approach to hitting for a 21-year old, which should allow him to move swiftly through any team’s system. The negative is that, although Smith has played the outfield, he will function as a first-baseman only the major-league level.
The Phillies need to find a more premium position with the eighth overall selection. Adam Haseley, Smith’s teammate at Virginia, listed as CF and pitcher, would be an excellent fit for Philadelphia. Haseley is a better overall athlete, a good contact hitter with a great eye, and a bat that’s developing power. As a starter, he posted a 1.73 ERA over 13 starts, tossing 78 innings. The team could use this summer to decide on Haseley’s direction in the Gulf Coast League.
Over the next few seasons, the Phillies will finally be a contender. Their ownership will not allow the current state of the big club to continue. Either the young players develop, or they will find free-agents that will take their place.
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Selecting a college player, closer to big-league ready would be the proper move in 2017. Haseley is my selection, but if he is taken, a college arm such as Griffin Canning, out of UCLA, would also make sense.