The Draft Philes: Draft Day 2 Recap

Day Two of the MLB Draft is done, and the Phillies now have their ten picks that represent the total sum of their overall draft pool. In rounds 3-10, the Phillies continued to go after the college prospects, selecting six more four-year college/JUCO players along with the two chosen Monday night. They also split their eight picks between pitchers and hitters, not favoring one side of the ball. Their first pick of Day 2 is the safest bet to hit his ceiling. There is one other player that intrigues me a lot out of the Day 2 bunch. It’s not the most inspiring bunch, partly because in my opinion, they could have gotten more great talent early on, had they had gotten creative with their 1st round pick. But it’s still a good group of solid depth players who have a chance to contribute as bench bats or relievers if they hit their ceilings. Not to mention that many of these guys could take under slot deals, leaving the Phillies with the chance to sign others over slot in the epic Day 3, which covers rounds 11-40.

Connor Seabold, RHP, Cal-State Fullerton (3rd Round)

The one thing you need to know about Cal-State Fullerton pitchers is that they have great command command/control. Seabold struck out 120 and walked 22 in 122.2 IP this season, and posted a 1.41 BB/9 and 9.56 K/9 in 275 IP during his career, impressing scouts similar to current Phillies prospect, Tom Eshelman. Seabold has exceptional command of his 88-90 mph fastball similar to Eshelman, but there were games this year where he operated in the 91-93 mph range, so he has more velocity when needed. His fastball sinks and cuts and he can pound it anywhere he wants down low to generate groundouts and strikeouts. His change-up has good fade and plays off his fastball well, though he only uses it and his fringy curveball, which is a bit loopy, to throw hitters off balance. Early in his career, he will rely heavily on variations of his fastball. Mechanically, he is fluid with a high leg kick in the wind-up. The tilt back makes his arm swing get long, but it does not seem to affect him much. While he may be at risk of injury because he brings his elbows above the shoulders (“inverted W”), Seabold has the talent to rise through the system quickly and is poised to become a back-end starter.

Jake Scheiner, 3B, Houston (4th Round)

If you want to read good scouting reports, Steve Givarz of Baseball Prospectus should be your next follow. With no video and no ranking on any scouting sites, Givarz’s eyewitness report is extensive on the Cougars 3B .

Scheiner played just one year at Houston after spending two productive years at Santa Rosa JUCO. With Houston, he hit .346/.432/.667 with 18 HR in 285 PA, with a 9.4 BB% and 14.4 K%. He performed well last summer with a wood bat posting an OPS of 1.076 in 123 PA. The arm bar swing and overly aggressive approach are a bit concerning, and so is the question of position, but he’s got a good future to be a power bat of the bench that can crush LHP.

Ethan Lindow, LHP, Locust Grove HS (GA) (5th Round)

The Phillies, who lack great project-ability in their system with southpaws, finally took one in the 5th round. Lindow’s fastball ranges 88-92 mph, and weighing only 185 lb at 6’4″, he has the chance to fill out and sit in the low 90s more consistently. His curveball is his second best pitch with good spin and depth. His change-up is his least used and will likely be no better than average. He goes into a drop and drive delivery and his arm swing gets long on the tilt back, so command could be a future issue. A lefty specialist is his floor, but his ceiling is a back-end starter. He does have a strong commitment to UAB, but my guess is the Phillies will go over slot to take him away from there.

Dalton Guthrie, SS, Florida (6th Round)

Dalton is the son of 15-year major league reliever Mark, who was a member of the 1991 World Series champion Twins. Dalton is a wiry 6’0″ middle infielder who at the next level will be an average hit tool with little to no power, but he will have plenty of highlight reel plays like these:

He dealt with nerve damage in the elbow this season which may have affected his offense this season. He may need to switch to second depending on the damage to his arm, but he can still play either position in the middle of the diamond. His ceiling is a bench utility player who can use his speed and barrel control skills to knock singles off the bench.

Nick Maton, SS, Lincoln Land CC (7th round)

Nick, whose brother Phil made his MLB debut with the Padres recently, had a decent freshman year at Eastern Illinois in 2016 after being a 40th round pick by Oakland in 2015, hitting .299 with an .808 OPS. He ended up transferring to Lincoln Land Community College to be draft eligible, and it paid off (.408/.507/.722, 29 XBH (8 HR), 34 BB/27 K in 215 PA). This could be an interesting high upside play, because in two years he has shown solid discipline and potential pop for a middle infielder. Brian Sakowski of Perfect Game called him a twitchy SS with a plus arm, so he could stick at SS, but I would not be surprised if he moved all over the diamond. Maton is so far my favorite pick of the draft, because I like the upside he presents in the 7th round, where he could be an average shortstop with solid power production and a floor of a versatile extra base threat off the bench.

Jhordany Mezquita, LHP, Dominican Republic (8th Round)

Apparently the Phillies were going to sign him as an international free agent in the winter, but somehow they lucked out after it was discovered he attended Hazelton High in PA and was eligible for the June First Year Player Draft. My guess is that they were going to give him at least the 8th round slotted value of $166K anyway, but this is much better because it saved them money from their international pool. The only info on him was provided by Jim Callis who said he has a loose arm and throws 90-94 mph, while amateur scouting director Johnny Almaraz talked about his “outstanding breaking ball and ability to pitch”. They got a potential starting southpaw whose floor is a two-pitch power reliever, and they were planning to get him months ago anyway.

Jack Zoellner, 1B, New Mexico (9th Round)

Zoellner was a consistent performer during his four years in college, hitting a career .333 with a .963 OPS. He has a patient approach with swing and miss to his game, though this season he ended up walking more than he struck out (37/26 BB/K). The power showed up for him more consistently as a senior (12 HR, 32 XBH). He performed poorly when he played with wood bats in the summer, though those both came after each of his first two collegiate seasons. He is a bit undersized at 1B, standing 6’2″, but the Phillies announced him as a 3B, so he must be athletic enough to have that versatility. Power will be his calling card, and I see a guy who could come off the bench and give a good at bat vs RHP.

Connor Brogdon, RHP, Lewis-Clark State

The final pick of Day 2, Brogdon, did not have much more information than statistics to go by. He was a 40th round selection by the Braves in 2013, but ended up going to Fresno City College where he had a 1.97 ERA in 151 IP, but also walked 62 in two years. He then transferred to Lewis and Clark State, where he continued his success. In his 26 G (22 GS) over two years, he had a 27.1 K% and a 6.4 BB% and 2.87 ERA. The walks will be a concern when he faces better hitters. But at 6’6″, 185 lb there seems to be a lot of project-ability left where he could have an interesting ceiling. But for now, I see a power reliever who has control issues.

Author: Jeff Israel