The last two years we had drafts that appeared to be just as many players deep as the Phillies pick. In 2013, it appeared there was a group of 16 players going at the top of the draft, the Royals then reached for Hunter Dozier allowing shortstops J.P. Crawford and Tim Anderson to fall to the Phillies and White Sox. In 2014, Aaron Nola was the clear 7th best prospect in the draft to me. I missed entirely on Schwarber, but had Jeff Hoffman over Nola, so once it got to the Phillies the pick became obvious. This year, the path isn’t as clear because you can argue about 20 players could go in the top 10-12 picks.
So rather than try and figure out which player will be available at the #10 pick, let’s start out previews with the players who won’t be around for the Phillies. Let’s also operate under the assumption that if any of these players fall to the 10th pick will be the Phillies pick.
Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt
If Swanson doesn’t go #1, he will go #2 because he is really good. He should stick at shortstop as a professional, and that goes with a chance to be a plus hitter with average power and plus speed.
High: 1 Low: 2
Brenden Rodgers, SS, Lake Mary HS (FL)
Rodgers almost was the consensus #1 pick all year. He should stay at shortstop where he should be a good defender. He doesn’t have the hit tool or speed of Swanson, but he has plus power and is still an above average runner. There is still a chance Rodgers goes #1 and if he doesn’t he probably goes #2. However, if the Diamondbacks go off the board, Rodgers could fall to #3 or #4, but no further.
High: 1 Low: 3
Dillon Tate, RHP, UC Santa Barbara
There was a chance that Tate would have gone #1 earlier in the year, but he has been up and down late this spring. He has big upside (plus plus fastball, plus slider) and while he hasn’t been linked to either Chicago team yet, the idea he could fall there has only started to pop up. Hard to see either team passing on him if he is there.
High: 1 Low: 9
Tyler Jay. LHP, Illinois
Jay has been a bit of a pop up because he has been used out of the bullpen all year. His stuff has played in longer outings, and the stuff is special with with a mid-90s fastball, a plus slider, and changeup and curveball that are also well regarded. There have been rumors anywhere from #1 to #8. The White Sox have been rumored to covet him, so there is almost no chance he gets passed them.
High: 1 Low: 8
Alex Bregman, 2B/SS, LSU
Bregman might be a better hitter than Swanson, but is a grade worse defender at shortstop, which likely bumps him to second base in professional ball. Bregman is the perfect pick for the Phillies, but the Red Sox covet him at #7 and he may not make it past the two Astros picks.
High: 2 Low: 7
Carson Fulmer, RHP, Vanderbilt
If there is a player on the list that could fall to the Phillies it is Fulmer. It seems like he is behind Jay and Tate right now in the pitcher pecking order. However, it seems like White Sox will go college arm, the Red Sox could go arm if Bregman isn’t there, the Rockies or Rangers could grab Tate or Jay, and the Cubs aren’t going to watch value go by. Flumer has the stuff to be a near elite starter, but some evaluators are scared of the delivery and the size.
High: 3 Low: 8
Now this isn’t ironclad that no one in this group slips, but it will take multiple teams going off the board to have a player fall. If true, these six players would leave only 3 spots for the rest of players to go. This leaves an interesting group of players to choose from. But we will get to that in part 2.