The Phillies have only taken one player with the 15th overall pick in franchise history.
After finishing with an 81-81 record the Phillies have secured the 15th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, one spot behind where they picked last year and the lowest they’ve picked since 2013 when they took J.P. Crawford.
Just once have the Phillies taken a player 15th overall, and it’s fair to say Chase Utley was a pretty good pick. Utley finished sixth on our 50 greatest Phillies of all-time list after finishing his career fifth doubles, sixth in home runs, sixth in runs scored and seventh in RBI in franchise history.
Philadelphia has focused on taking Major League ready college players, using their last three first round picks on collegiate prospects after taking a high school player 12 times over 13 drafts.
A lack of success in the draft combined with the loss of first round picks for signing marquee free agents and low draft picks has played a major role in the Phillies recent struggles.
From 2008-17 only 4 of Philadelphia’s 11 first round picks have reached the big leagues: Aaron Nola, Jesse Biddle, Crawford, and Adam Haseley. The jury is still out on Mickey Moniak, and there’s little hope for Cornelius Randolph. That stretch came after 17 consecutive first round picks made the big leagues, including five straight picks who played at least 240 big league games.
General manager Matt Klentak has taken four collegiate position players since his first draft in 2016 with two outfielders and two infielders.
Baseball America (subscription required) ranks 6 of their top 10 collegiate players as pitchers. Given the depth of college pitchers (mostly in the SEC) and the lack of pitching depth in the Phillies system, it would make sense for the club to take a pitcher 15th overall.