MLB Draft Preview: Part 2 – Who Could Be the Pick

In part one of the our preview I looked at the six guys who will be off the board by the time the Phillies pick at #10.  Now let’s think about who could be there with the Phillies’ pick.  I have broken it up into guys who have a very good chance to fill those last 3 spots in the Top 10, guys who will almost certainly be available, and guys who would be a bit of a reach.

Might Not Be There:

Kolby Allard, LHP, San Clemente HS (CA)
Allard was the top prep pitcher in the draft early this spring, but an injury (back) dropped his stock, though he now looks healthy now.  The short LHP has a plus FB (up to 96) and a plus curveball, to go with advanced command for his age.  The talent is worthy of the #10 pick, but the Phillies track record with short HS pitchers is non-existent (they have not signed a HS SP at 6’0″ or under in at least 6 years).  Even if he is there I really doubt he would be the Phillies pick based on past picks and system needs.

Kyle Tucker, OF, Plant HS (FL)
Tucker is about as automatic a pick for the Phillies to make as anyone who could be there.  Tucker is almost a lock to be gone by 10, but he could fall if teams go for Cameron, Benintendi, and Allard.  Tucker has a chance to stick in centerfield and has shown a good feel for contact to go with plus power.  He has the baseball bloodline, and has better raw tools then his brother Preston.  There is a good chance that Tucker doesn’t make it past the Astros at #5.

Andrew Benintendi, CF, Arkansas
Benintendi is a draft eligible sophomore who broke out this year and tore up the SEC.  He can stick in centerfield with plus speed.  Benintendi also has plus power and a good approach at the plate.  The big questions for Benintendi are his size (he is 5’10” and not overly physical) and his short track record so far.  It seems likely that he goes #9 to the Cubs, but could go to any team in the Top 10 that decides they want a college bat.

Daz Cameron, OF, Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (GA)
Cameron is incredibly polished for a HS outfielder.  His defense is very solid in centerfield, though he is not a burner.  He doesn’t have elite tools, but he has great feel for hitting to go with great bat speed.  The hit and power tools may only be average, but could get to plus eventually.  He has been picked apart all spring so there is no real feel for where each team has him.  It is also believed that he won’t be an easy signing either which has caused his stock on public mock drafts to be all over the place.

Probably There:

Tyler Stephenson, C, Kennesaw Mountain HS (GA)
The Phillies, and specifically Amaro apparently love Stephenson and it is not hard to see why.  He is everything you want to dream on, a giant catcher with big raw power and a plus defensive profile.  I think there is a significant faction in the front office that would take him and a significant faction that doesn’t want to.  Ultimately I think he may be in their top 10 players, but not sure he will be the top player available.  Even if he is the pick, he is a big time talent with the offensive skills to stick elsewhere if moved off catcher.

Walker Buehler, RHP, Vanderbilt
Buehler has 4 pitches of which three (fastball, curveball, changeup) have plus potential.  He is not as small as Fulmer, but 6’2″ 175lbs he is not a physical arm.  He had elbow soreness to start the year which gives some pause for his long term health.  Overall, he has mid-rotation upside and is similar in raw stuff to Aaron Nola, however he does not have Nola’s feel and command.  If it weren’t for the injury and physicality he would be the safe pick here.  However, if the Phillies want a polished pitcher, Buehler is likely their pick.

Ian Happ, IF/OF, Cincinnati
Happ just hits, and that makes him the safest bat in the class.  The big question for Happ has been where he plays of defense.  He is either going to be in left field or at second base.  He has a chance to be a plus hitter with average power, and that is very valuable player at second base.  In left field that is more of an average regular, not a bad pick at 10, but not great value.  If the Phillies think Happ can play second base he is likely one of the top people on their board at #10.

Kevin Newman, SS, Arizona
There are a lot of different opinions on Newman coming into the draft.  He should be able to stick at shortstop, if not he should be a very good defensive second baseman.  He can make a ton of contact, but college pitchers were able to neutralize what little power he has.  He is an above average runner, but he isn’t going to give a lot of value with his legs.  If you believe there is more power in the bat and that he is a good defender, then he is a Top 15 pick, if not he is a back of the first round value.

There is a chance the Phillies go further off the board, but right now it seems they are looking to see if anyone falls and then likely weighing the safety and quick impact of a player like Ian Happ or Walker Buehler vs the huge upside of Tyler Stephenson.

 

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman
Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.

11 comments

  1. My dream is Tucker, I think the likely pick is Stephenson, and I’d be happy with Happ. I wouldn’t be mad about drafting Whitley, but those kind of picks can get you fired.

  2. Keith

    If Cameron falls to 10, and Phils pick him, but fail to sign him because he wants to go to school and won’t take slot or slightly above, do the phils get the #11 pick next year as compensation?

    If so, wouldn’t that make sense for them to try? Next year’s draft is supposed to be significantly better and then we would have two picks in top 11.

    Sounds like a Hinkie move.

    I must be missing something. Why wouldn’t this work?

    • Matt Winkelman

      They would get the #11 pick. It is a strategy that could make sense for an established GM with job security. If you are a FO that might be gone at the end of year, not signing your top pick can be your death sentence. Next draft is deeper, but I am not positive that at #11 that you are going to get a significantly better player than Cameron.

      This is a great strategy if you are say Rangers at #4 and you think it is a 3 player draft with a huge step down to you, and next year you project there to be 7 to 8 guys.

      • Romus

        One plus on Ian Happ…he is a switch-hitter already…Phillies need not try to convert him into one.
        I would hope as a 2nd baseman he can be serviceable. Not sure why Cincinnati moved him to the OF, I believe after his freshman year.

      • Reason number 112 they should have either extended or fired Amaro when they committed to the rebuild.

  3. scott

    Matt – i think Allard is a lefty.

    • Matt Winkelman

      Yes he is, thank you. It turns out that if you continue to use flawed notes all subsequent uses of those notes are also flawed.

  4. Kurdt Kobeyn

    I like the Phils to draft G Whitley @ 10. They might even get him as underslot pick and use that extra $$ to go overslot picks in the middle rounds.

  5. Stephenson would be a great pickup for us. Always demand for catching position.

    • Romus

      If Stephenson is gone, you still may be able to get a catcher like Betts in the 2nd round.