Phillies 2018 draft class graded by Baseball America

The Phillies 2018 draft class was graded by Baseball America’s Ben Badler. He brought up some interesting names to keep an eye on moving forward.

Baseball America opened up their MLB draft class rankings Tuesday, starting off with the Phillies and the rest of the teams in the National League East. Ben Badler wrote the article for the Phils and he provided some interesting tidbits on the team’s draft class.

Of course, No. 3 overall pick Alec Bohm was mentioned several times. Bohm didn’t get off to a great start as a professional, but his offensive prowess coming out of college offers a lot to like moving forward. Badler listed Bohm among the best pure hitters, best power, and the closest to the majors.

Listed alongside Bohm in the best hitter category was fifth-round pick Matt Vierling from Notre Dame. The outfielder got off to a hot start to his professional career with an .860 OPS, seven home runs, and 26 extra-base hits in 62 games between short-season Williamsport and Low-A Lakewood. Badler also noted Vierling’s raw power in the best power section.

23rd round pick Logan O’Hoppe was the other player included in the best pro debut section. The 18-year-old catcher hit .367 with a .943 OPS, two home runs, and 21 runs batted in in the Gulf Coast League. Badler named O’Hoppe Philadelphia’s best late-round pick and the best defensive player in the draft class. He has a strong arm and is a good receiver behind the plate, giving him good defensive potential in the future.

The other position players mentioned were sixth-round pick Logan Simmons, 18th-round pick Matt Kroon, 22nd-round pick Luke Miller, and 24th-round pick Corbin Williams. Simmons was praised for his athleticism while Kroon and Miller both were among the best power hitters in the class. Williams took the honors as the fastest player in the class with true 80-grade speed.

Turning towards the pitchers, ninth-round pick Dominic Pipkin, 12th-round pick James McCarthur, and 16th-round pick Tyler McKay all displayed the best fastballs in the class. All three righties have plus fastballs with McKay and McArthur both running it up to 96 mph.

McArthur was also praised in the best secondary pitch category for his above-average curveball. Badler brought up both Colton Eastman’s curveball and changeup. He said some scouts view his changeup as his best secondary offering, while the team points to his curveball. The fact that there is a debate over which one of his secondary pitches is the best is a good sign for his overall future.

Badler listed 39th-round pick Matt Nelson as the one who got away for the team. He was one of the players on the high school team coached by Roy Halladay before he passed away last year. Nelson has a tattoo in honor of Halladay. He will fulfill his commitment to Florida State and potentially get selected higher up in the draft in the coming years.