MLB Draft projections continously point towards the middle of the Phillies infield
Phillies fans have endured losing baseball for five years, which is as many years too many for this town. One of, if not the sole, benefits of rebuilding in sports is the opportunity to own some of the drop picks in the MLB Draft.
Philadelphia will pick third overall and own a top-10 pick for the fifth-consecutive year, dating back to Aaron Nola going seventh overall in 2014. Between two general managers (Ruben Amaro Jr. and Matt Klentak) the organization has added Nola and outfielders Cornelius Randolph, Mickey Moniak, and Adam Haseley to the organization.
Klentak enters his third year as the top man in the front office, and currently owns the third overall pick. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com released his latest mock draft and projects the organization to select Oregon State middle infielder Nick Madrigal in the first round.
Oregon State lists Madrigal at 5’8 160 lbs with a career-batting average of .370, successfully boosted by a .455 average this season. The former 17th round pick of the Cleveland Indians has walked 46 times in his career while striking out just 30, matching the mold of Moniak and Haseley.
Madrigal did suffer a hairline fracture in his hand in Februrary while sliding into home plate, forcing him to miss several weeks.
Here’s what Mayo had to say about the Beavers infielder just two months away from the 2018 MLB Draft:
"Madrigal won’t be for everyone as an undersized middle infielder who could be best-suited to play second, one who missed a good amount of time this year with a broken wrist. But he has a track record of flat-out raking, and came back from his injury swinging the bat well. There are other college bats to consider here, including Bohm and Swaggerty. Mize and Singer, obviously, would be of interest here as well."
Madrigal is the second infield prospect mocked to the Phillies this week by highly respected publications. Baseball America mocked Alec Bohm, a junior third baseman from Wichita State University to Philadelphia last week.
Infield doesn’t feel like a need with J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery projected to man the middle infield going foward. Unlike the more highly-touted NFL Draft, it’s tough to draft specifically for need in baseball. Some blue chip prospects only need a year in the minors before getting called up, while others need five years before they arrive to The Show. It’s purely centered around tools and predictions for baseball scouts and executives, who may never get to see their draft picks play during their tenure.
Personally I’d address the starting pitching in the Phillies organization despite the improvements made by top prospects Sixto Sanchez, Adonis Medina, and Franklyn Kilome in recent years. Klentak has played it safe since taking over for Amaro Jr. going with the two steady outfield bats.
High school right-handed pitcher Ethan Hankins caught my eye last year, but a minor shoulder injury pushed him down draft boards. If he proes to be healthy, he’s a potential candidate for Philadelphia.
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Without knowing about future trades, prospects, signings, or injuries, here’s how the Phillies rotation could look in a couple of years with just homegrown talent.
- Sixto Sanchez
- Aaron Nola
- Adonis Medina
- 2018 Draft Pick
- Franklyn Kilome
That would be a dream scenario for the Phillies, however unlikely.
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