Scouting Director Marti Wolever and the Philadelphia Phillies stocked up on collegiate players in the 2014 draft. Some names have already had an impact in Williamsport and Philadelphia’s other minor league affiliates, most notably Aaron Nola. They’ve recently missed out on high school outfield bats in both the draft and trades, but one is climbing up the system in Kelly Dugan.
Dugan, 23, currently plays for Reading and is heating up after a return from injury. The Phillies have had distinct troubles in developing outfielders from the draft over the past decade. Only Michael Bourn and Dominic Brown have made significant contributions for the Phillies since the 2003 draft. The Phillies have numerous outfield prospects to keep track of right now that have major league potential including Dugan, Aaron Altherr, Carlos Tocci, Jose Pujols and Roman Quinn, who moved to centerfield from shortstop a few weeks ago.
Below is a list of all the outfield prospects the Phillies have selected from the 2003-2009 amateur draft. Some have been dealt in deals to improve the major league club and a few top picks haven’t developed, especially the recently released Anthony Hewitt and Zach Collier, who currently plays for Reading.
|Kelly Dugan||Anthony Hewitt||Matthew Spencer||D’Arby Myers||Jermaine Williams||Greg Golson||Michael Bourn|
|Kyrell Hudson||Zach Collier||Michael Taylor||T.J. Warren||Jeremy Slayden||Sean Gamble||Javon Moran|
|Aaron Altherr||Anthony Gose||Cedric Johnson||Darin McDonald||Aja Barto||Andy McFarlane|
|Jake Stewart||Damarii Saunderson||Carlos Moncrief||Riley Cooper||Ryan Frith|
|Michael Dabbs||Jay Miller|
|Carl Uhl||Domonic Brown|
Kelly Dugan brings a natural hit tool that should excite Phillies’ fans and executives in the organization. He is not going to be a star and no one should expect him to be that, but he gives Philadelphia an option as a reserve outfielder and possible starter during the impending rebuild. Entering Tuesday night’s action, Dugan holds a career .819 minor league OPS, and has progressed with slugging percentages of .539 and .460 in High A and Double A respectively the past two seasons.
Dugan is on the Phillies forty man roster and could receive a promotion to Lehigh Valley near the end of the minor league season. He needs to stay healthy and that could be in part to his less than filled out 6’3”, 215 pound frame. If Dugan can tack on another 10 pounds that could do wonders to the possibility of enduring the length of a full season.
“There’s explosion in the hands and leverage in the swing, enough that I’ve got the power graded out as fringe average and project it to solid average. Dugan’s bat path is very vertically oriented, kind of like Freddie Freeman’s, but he doesn’t have Freeman’s elite hand-eye coordination and so I think there’s going to be some swing and miss here. I’ve got a 40 on the bat now with a 50 ceiling. For the uninitiated, those hit and power grades project him to hit about .250-.270 with 17-25 homers on an annual basis. Despite his somewhat advanced age, the projection of Dugan’s hit tool is up for debate. He’s only been hitting left-handed full time since 2012 and there are scouts who think there’s more room to grow in this department than I do.”
The similarities between Dugan’s minor league performance compared to other Phillies successful minor league outfielders are obvious, shown by the chart below.
Although he’s hitless in his past two games against Trenton, Dugan has come on strong over the past ten games. He’s accumulated five extra base hits in 32 at bats for a .344/.400/.625, all together a 1.025 OPS. The hit tool has been there at every level in the minors for Dugan in the system, it’s about continuing that and he could definitely have an opportunity at the major league level sometime in 2015. There will be plenty of holes to fill post trade deadline and for the future. Dugan is a player to keep an eye on for the rest of the season even though he’s being talked about at a minimal amount.