Phillies in a heated battle for the first-overall pick

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 05: Tommy Joseph
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 05: Tommy Joseph /
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The Phillies recent winning could ultimately be a major loss

Rhys Hoskins, Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams and J.P. Crawford have been outstanding call-ups for the Phillies in a season of failures looking in terms of wins and losses. What could perhaps be the new “Core Four” in Philadelphia the young bats have combined to hit a combined .297 in just over 500 at-bats.

Philadelphia has won four of their last five games while outscoring opponents 32-16 during the stretch.

This recent success has driven the Phillies out of dead last in the standings with only two weeks left in the season. They’ve fallen one game behind the San Francisco Giants in the battle for last place, which would secure the first-overall selection in the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 12: Nick Williams
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 12: Nick Williams /

If the Phillies can secure the worst record in baseball it’ll be the second time in three years they own the number one overall pick. In 2016 the team selected high school outfielder Mickey Moniak, a pure hitter compared to Miami’s Christian Yelich.

Pitching is the biggest cog missing from the franchise’s treasure trove of prospects entering another offseason in a lengthy rebuild. Top pitching prospects Franklyn Kilome and Sixto Sanchez are at best one or two years away from being major league starters.

With the 2018 pitching rotation projected to feature Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Ben Lively, Nick Pivetta, and Vince Velasquez, Philadelphia must address their lack of top-shelf arms.

More from Phillies Draft

Left-handers are scarce in the organization at the moment, but unfortunately, none of the projected top arms in the 2018 draft are southpaws.

Keep an eye on high school senior Ethan Hankins, who’s committed to Vanderbilt unless he goes high in the draft.

Hankins dominated Korea in the U-18 Baseball World Cup with 14 strikeouts featuring a nasty fastball with dazzling late movement. His final high school season will be critical towards where he falls in the draft next year.

Next: Nick WIlliams being overshadowed

Even if the Phillies don’t get the number one pick, Hankins is my guy to watch for come next summer.

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