Phillies news: MLB Mock Draft projects them to take Doylestown native
A new MLB Mock Draft has the Phillies taking a local pitcher in the 2020 MLB Draft
With the MLB Draft being cut down to just five rounds, there will be a greater emphasis on the Phillies for scouting and finding the right players.
A new mock draft by Baseball America (subscription required) has the Phillies using the 15th overall pick on a local prospect, Nick Bitsko, a right-handed pitcher from Doylestown who attended Central Bucks East High School.
Previous MLB Mock Draft’s have had the Phillies taking high school outfielder Austin Hendrick from the Pittsburgh region; Robert Hassell, an outfielder from Independence High School in Tennessee; and Cade Cavalli, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Oklahoma.
Here’s what Baseball America had to say about the Philadelphia-area native
"Our last mock draft didn’t have Bitsko in the first round. Now he’s 15. Quite the swing, right? Like Mitchell, Bitsko continues to be difficult to peg thanks to the lack of a spring season, his reclassification from the 2021 class and questions about his signability. He could be a player who slides and still gets paid at a lower pick, but we’ve heard the Phillies specifically tied to him recently and there’s little chance he’s either available or signable at their next pick at 87 in the third round. It would also be slightly surprising to see Bitsko off the board before Abel or Kelley, but that’s how the chips fall in this mock."
Neither of MLB Pipeline’s last two mock drafts had Bitsko going in the first round. It’s interesting to see a player make a big jump right now especially because there’s nothing new to look at.
There are no games, no showcases, no opportunities to grow your value other than interviews or perhaps just being a diamond in the rough.
Perfect Game talked about him reclassifying to qualify for this year’s draft, which could be why he’s now coming up on drafts.
Coming out of Central Bucks East would certainly be a diamond in the rough. CB East alum Robbie Welhaf pitched four years at Elon before signing with the Tigers in 2018 and J.D. Reichenbach was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 20th round in 2006, but he never made it past Double-A with the Indians.
Central Bucks West grad Kevin Ward was drafted by the Phillies in the sixth round of the 2006 draft and played 125 games for the Padres in the early 90s.
Historically the Philadelphia-region, and Pennsylvania as a whole, has not been a hotbed for baseball prospects, Del Ennis is perhaps one of the most notable local prospects to reach the big leagues, appearing in over 1,900 games in a 14-year. career mostly spent in Philadelphia.
The Phillies have taken local products in the MLB Draft before.
The Phillies have gone with local players in the first round before, most memorably taking pitcher Jesse Biddle out of Philadelphia’s Germantown Friends High School in 2010. Biddle was the first and only player drafted by the Phillies from a Pennsylvania high school or college since 1965.
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Of course, that did not work out as planned and Biddle moved on to be a journeyman reliever after one good season with the Atlanta Braves.
In other years the Phillies have used late-round picks to take the children of former players or employees. During the 2015 MLB Draft they took Ruben Amaro Jr.’s nephew Andrew Amaro, Mickey Morandini’s son Griffin Morandini, and broadcaster Tom McCarthy’s son Tommy McCarthy in the 35th, 39th, and 40th rounds, respectively.
Phillies need to draft pitching, but is this the best option in the MLB Draft?
I’ve advocated for the Phillies taking a pitcher in the 2020 MLB Draft, but I’d prefer a college arm over a high schooler. We’ve seen with players like Aaron Nola coming out of college that they’re much more developed and could help the big league team quicker than a high school arm.
That’s no knock against Bitsko, but I’d prefer someone like Cavalli or another collegiate arm that could move into the big league rotation as early as 2021 and help the team compete now.
A young starting rotation with Aaron Nola, Spencer Howard, and a first round pick from the 2020 MLB Draft would be a great way to regenerate the Phillies rotation.