I think at this point we can say Almaraz drafts are going to be strange and unconventional. Unlike last year we had an added wrinkle that Pat Gillick was much more involved in the hands on scouting of players. He was spotted at games for some of the top players they took, but also JoJo Romero. It is hard to know what Gillick’s influence was on the draft, but he was definitely present. as for the Almaraz factor, the Phillies went HS early and they went with hit tools first. The Phillies also stayed up the middle with 9 of the 10 picks being up the middle (P, C, 2B, SS, CF) with the only player not qualifying being a HS SS moving over to 3B.
As for opinions on the draft, I love the Phillies first three picks. For some reason Moniak is #5 on all public big boards and is not being considered as an arguable #1 pick in the draft. Given that Lewis and Puk freefalled, I don’t think the industry agrees, I like Ray and Senzel but I don’t see how they are hugely above Moniak, they are all kind of the same tier for me, and I think Moniak might have the highest upside (probably highest risk too). There has not been a negative thing said about Gowdy, in fact there has been nothing but praise. Speaking of praise, I was not aware of Cole Stobbe before today, but he has also gotten nothing but accolades. The Phillies may have gotten a comp round talent at the top of the third round. Stobbe will move to third base in the pros and instantly becomes the Phillies best third base prospect. Stobbe won’t be a super star, but a first division regular ceiling is certainly reasonable.
Jojo Romero is an interesting pick in the 4th round, lefties with good changeups and fastballs that can touch 94-95 have major league futures. There is a lot of doubt about whether he is a starting pitcher because of his command and size, but given where the Phillies took him, they will give him a full chance to make it work. I don’t know what to think about Cole Irvin. Most sources are reporting that he was more 84-88 this summer, but MLB.com had him as touching into the 90s later in the year. Irvin has command and solid offspeed pitches, so if he can be around 90 he has a chance to be a back-end starter. He should move quickly, but reminds me a lot of when they took Brandon Leibrandt in 2014.
The more I read and hear about David Martinelli, the more I like. He has some holes (which is why he went in the 6th round), but he has the talent to go higher with MLB rating him as a 3rd round talent. He seems like he does everything well and if you squint a bit, all of the tools are average. If he can stick in center field, he could be an average regular, but more likely he could be a 4th outfielder. Henri Lartigue is your standard late Day 2 pick, a college performer with some issues (he might not be able to set behind the plate), but he hit really well in the SEC so he is at least interesting. Grant Dyer another stereotypical Day 2 pick, small chance he can start, but he could move quickly as an interesting reliever. Blake Quinn is more of the same with less of a chance to start and less control, but he is up to 95 and was better as a reliever. The last pick of the day was the most mysterious as the Phillies took a draft eligible sophomore in Julian Garcia. Garcia has good size, a low 90s fastball, feel for a solid curveball, and will show a changeup. He was able to fill up the strikezone while dominating at a small college.
I really like how the Phillies started off the day. After that it gets a bit murkier as is always the case as the talent comes off the board. Martinelli is really interesting to me. The Phillies did not save money late, but they should have plenty to spend on Day 3 of the draft.