Where will the Phillies go in the MLB Draft? No one really seems to know.
With the Major League Baseball Draft about one month away, mock drafts are coming out and there’s no consensus on who or what the Phillies are targeting.
The baseball draft is so much different from other leagues because baseball players can take several more years to develop in the minors, unlike the NFL or NBA where they’re starting right away.
Like both those leagues, teams are drafting talent, not needs. Right now the Phillies could use a left-handed starter, but that might not be the way they opt to go if the board tells them to take a power-hitting catcher or speedy outfielder.
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The most recent mock drafts have given very different opinions on where the Phillies will go.
MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis projects the Phillies to use the 14th overall pick on Texas Tech third baseman Josh Jung. This pick would be the second-consecutive collegiate third baseman taken by Philadelphia after selecting Alec Bohm, now their top prospect, third overall last year.
"Though Jung hasn’t driven the ball as much as a junior as he did as a sophomore, he’s still one of the best offensive prospects in the college ranks and has a track record of production."
Jung is a career .352 hitter for the Red Raiders with 27 home runs, including 12 last season.
ESPN’s Keith Law (subscription required) also projects Philadelphia to take a college player from the south, except this time he goes with an SEC southpaw, Kentucky’s Zack Thompson.
"Thompson has shown top-10-pick stuff this year, but after he missed a lot of 2017 with elbow soreness, he’s probably going in the 11-20 range. I’ve also heard the Phillies with Gunnar Henderson."
Thompson was drafted in the 11th round back in 2016 by Tampa before going to the Wildcats. There he owns a career 3.08 ERA, but he’s currently in the midst of his best season with a 1.88 ERA in 11 games, two of which were complete games.
Baseball America has Matt Klentak and co. going with JuCo pitcher Jackson Rutledge, who pitched for Arkansas before tearing his hip labrum.
So as you can see, the projections are everywhere one month out from the draft, and some of that is on the drafter’s talent evaluation. Philadelphia’s front office has traditionally taken hitters in the first round and they’ve leaned towards college bats lately, if that’s any indication of where they could go in 2019.