Both Baseball America and Fangraphs put up their first mock draft. The goal here is more about the players who are expected to go in the range mixed in with some rumors. So without getting into it too much, here are what they have to say about the Phillies at #10:
10. Phillies – Tyler Stephenson, C, Kennesaw Mountain HS (GA), Georgia Tech commit
The Phillies had four scouts, including GM Ruben Amaro in to see Stephenson two nights ago when he caught both games of a double header and hit two homers. They had Pat Gillick in southern California to see another prep catcher, Chris Betts, last week. The Phillies are also on Tucker and he and Stephenson will both go quickly if the Phillies don’t take them here. Amaro saw another Georgia prep product, 3B Cornelius Randolph, earlier in the day Wednesday before Stephenson’s game; Randolph won’t get past the 21st pick most likely, so he could also be an option here if their board blows up.
Amaro saw Vanderbilt vs. Florida last night, so there’s some talk that Carson Fulmer could be a target here. There’s also a (kinda crazy) rumor that the Phillies are looking at Stephenson’s teammate CF Reggie Pruitt for one of their top picks as well. It wouldn’t shock me if they were on Whitley, too. What I’m saying is scouts don’t know what Philly is going to do.+.
The industry expects Philadelphia to go for a raw, toolsy player both in keeping with its recent tradition and due to Johnny Almaraz, its new scouting director and former international director for the Braves. The Phillies are strong in Texas, which they have tapped repeatedly in drafts over the last decade and which is where Almaraz is from. The Phils were rumored to be the high team on Kyler Murray before he withdrew from the draft to focus on his Texas A&M commitment. With Murray out, Dallas area outfielder Trenton Clark checks both the Texas and toolsy boxes.
Selection: Trenton Clark, Richland HS, North Richland Hills, Texas
Just for completion here is where the players are selected in the other draft.
Other than Jay, the player with the most helium in early May is Georgia prep catcher Tyler Stephenson. Could he fit the Braves any better? Atlanta has gotten many of its old scouts back together, including special assistant Roy Clark, who nailed two prep catchers when he was scouting director in Jarrod Saltalamacchiaand Brian McCann.
Selection: Tyler Stephenson, c, Kennesaw Mountain (Ga.) HS
9. Cubs – Trenton Clark, LF, Richland HS (TX), Texas Tech commit
The Cubs have been tied to a number of players at this pick, either college pitchers (RHP Jon Harris, RHP Carson Fulmer, RHP Walker Buehler) or prep hitters (Cameron, Tucker, Clark). The buzz is a little stronger that they go bat here and the Clark rumor has been around for awhile, but I hear they really like Harris as well.
So it appears the Phillies are on HS hitters. This makes sense because the draft at #10 looks like one college hitter (Happ), 1 HS arm (Nikorak), some college pitchers with #3 ceilings, and then a host of HS bats. As much as it would be nice to have a Swanson or Bregman, they just aren’t going to be there. Before everyone panics at the thought of the Phillies with a toolsy athlete at 10, the HS hitters (especially the OFers) all have good hit tool grades. Clark has been said to have plus hit potential, the same with Kyle Tucker, and Whitley has some safety by being a center fielder. Stephenson has some risk because he is a HS catcher but there is a lot to like with Stephenson as well between the defensive profile and big power.
I don’t feel entirely comfortable like I did last year when we knew they were probably going to take Nola and that he was a plug and play major league starter. However, despite the crappiness of this draft, it looks like the Phillies will get a good player of some sort at #10, it just won’t be a quick moving hitter to join the first group of prospects arriving.