The Phillies are high on LHP Justin Fall in this week’s MLB Draft
Major League Baseball is just hours away from the start of its two-day, five-round 2020 draft in Secaucus, New Jersey. And, unlike drafts in other leagues, it is hard to pinpoint which position, let along which player, the Philadelphia Phillies will select.
One player they could select in the draft, which was shortened from 40 rounds to five due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is from Toms River — left-handed pitcher Justin Fall.
Fall recently told NJ.com’s Joe Zedalis that the Phillies, along with their division rival New York Mets, are “high” on him: “I’m hearing my name should be called on Thursday. From what my advisors told me there are 10 teams really interested.”
He continues: “After interviews, the Mets and Phillies are high on me. I haven’t heard anything recently, though. But being selected by the Mets or Phillies would be pretty cool.”
Fall, a 6-foot-7, 240-pound southpaw, grew up a Yankees fan and is represented by Rosenhaus Sports. He has been praised by scouts for his fastball that reaches 96 miles per hour, as well as a “filthy, dancing, two-seam fastball” that runs between 93 and 96 miles per hour. His change-up reaches between 83 and 85 miles per hour, and his slider between 82 and 83. One National League scout even said Fall has a “great body” and “all the tools.”
According to Zedalis, Fall is showing no signs of nerves. And if he is drafted Thursday as he expects, it would be the same day as his 21st birthday.
“I’m in a good spot, so if I get picked, I get picked,” Fall told NJ.com. “If not, I go back to school and do it again next year. I can’t let myself stress over things I can’t control. I just want a team to believe in me. I feel like I set myself up well. I put the work in. I did well in the meetings and interviews.”
MLB.com ranks Fall as the No. 119th best prospect in the U.S. He was previously selected in the 34th round of last year’s draft out of Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey. He did not sign, instead attending Arizona State University, where he started four games before the pandemic ended the season; over 19 innings, he went 1-0 with a 5.68 ERA and 1.526 WHIP, allowing 16 hits, 14 runs and 13 walks while striking out 18. Opponents hit just .222 against him.
The 2020 MLB Draft will begin on Wednesday at 7 p.m. (Round 1), and Thursday at 5 p.m. (Rounds 2-5).