Who do experts predict Phillies will take in latest mock drafts?

In just a few short weeks, the 2024 MLB Draft will be upon us as teams look to find their future stars. Could the Phillies potentially find the next Paul Skenes with the 27th pick?
Iowa's Brody Brecht delivers a pitch during a NCAA Big Ten Conference baseball game against Nebraska, Friday, April 21, 2023, at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City, Iowa.

230421 Nebraska Iowa B 009 Jpg
Iowa's Brody Brecht delivers a pitch during a NCAA Big Ten Conference baseball game against Nebraska, Friday, April 21, 2023, at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City, Iowa. 230421 Nebraska Iowa B 009 Jpg / Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen /
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With the MLB Draft fast approaching, speculation continues to build about where the top high school and college athletes will land.

Some of the Philadelphia Phillies' key contributors to their recent success, such as Alec Bohm, Bryson Stott, Aaron Nola and Orion Kerkering, are all examples of players who the team drafted and groomed on their way to making an impact at the major league level. While the Phillies are in a win-now mode, it's also the perfect time to build the farm and replenish the system with some high-potential talent.

Who do experts predict Phillies will take in latest mock drafts?

Since MLB's last mock draft, the Phillies have gone from taking a top-prep arm to a high-potential high school bat and Gatorade's Arkansas Player of the Year.

After their deep run into the postseason in 2023, the Phillies are slotted to select 27th in the upcoming draft. With that pick, Jim Callis of MLB.com projects them to select Slade Caldwell, an outfielder from Valley View High School in Arkansas.

The 18-year-old lefty has quickly started to receive comparisons to one of the league's rising stars last season, Corbin Carroll. MLB.com has Caldwell ranked as the 27th-best prospect with a 55-grade hit tool and above-average to elite speed and fielding tools.

Caldwell finds himself in a very similar situation to the Phillies last first-round selection, Aidan Miller. He was playing well in the pre-draft showcase circuit before breaking his fibula in August.

Standing at only 5-foot-9, the Mississippi commit won't have the pop like some other prospects but has advanced hitting instincts and top-tier on-base ability that could make him a staple at the top of the order. Caldwell has a mature approach for his age and lightning-quick hands that help him consistently make contact and spread the ball around the diamond.

Seeing as though he's only 18 years old, it would be tough for him to find his way into the current lineup anytime soon. That being said, Caldwell projects to be a typical leadoff hitter and with his on-base ability, could find success hitting almost anywhere in the lineup.

Baseball America predicts a Skenes-esque starter for the Phillies

Baseball America has previously projected the Phillies to select a pitcher in the first round recently, and nothing changes in this rendition.

With their No. 27 pick, the Phillies are projected to take Brody Brecht (subscription required), a 21-year-old right-handed starter from the University of Iowa.

The first thing that jumps off the page when looking at the Iowa native is his plus pitches. In MLB.com's scouting report, within the first two paragraphs Brecht's fastball and slider are compared to another one of the games top young stars in Paul Skenes.

With a fastball that sits between 96 and 99 mph, that can touch upwards of 101, and a wipeout slider graded at a 70, Brecht could be a potential ace in the near future. His problem lies with control as he can be all over the place at times, leading to his elevated walks per nine at 6.8.

Many believe that the Iowa baseball program had an influence on the command issues as multiple scouts reported that Iowa messed with Brecht's pitches and mechanics. That was even more confirmed after Brecht made his own independent adjustments and finished his season strong in 2023.

At this point, the big right-hander is a two-pitch pitcher utilizing his fastball and slider, with his splitter being scarcely used and even more sparingly controlled. In 2023, the Phillies selected a similarly modeled player in George Klassen, with whom they worked hard and is now having an incredible season in his first year in professional baseball. He came to the Phillies with major control issues and now finds himself as one of the top pitchers in the organization, pitching to a 0.96 ERA across 47 innings in 2024.

It's exciting whenever a player has stuff compared to a former No. 1 overall draft pick and Rookie of the Year favorite. If the Phillies are able to hone his top-level stuff and develop the confidence and poise on the mound, the 21-year-old would not only be a great fit, but could find himself rising up the minor league system quickly.

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