Phillies Set to Pick Eighth in Tonight’s MLB Draft
The Phillies do not have the first overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft as they did in 2016, but the Phillies enter draft night in position to land a really nice player. While the Phillies play the Red Sox in Boston, the Phillies will make their first pick. Here is a look at who the Phillies might take in the draft.
The Minnesota Twins pick first. Many analysts projected the Twins to pick two-way player Brendan McKay from Louisville. McKay could be drafted as a first baseman or a pitcher. But news broke that the Twins are going to take Kyle Wright from Vanderbilt. MLB analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo both had Wright going down as far as six or seven.
In the MLB mock draft, Mayo picks the Phillies to take first baseman Pavin Smith from the University of Virginia. Callis, meanwhile, thinks the Phillies will take a different player from Virginia in Adam Haseley, an outfielder. Keith Law of ESPN also felt that the Phillies would take Smith.
The Phillies might get lucky and see a player fall further than people expected. Last season the Phillies were linked to Kyle Lewis, A.J. Puk, and Jason Groome as possible first overall picks. Lewis went 11th, Puk sixth, and Groome 12th overall.
Here is a quick rundown of the consensus top 10 picks in this year's draft:
- Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville
McKay is a good bet to not be around when the Phillies pick. Teams rank him among the top one or two position players, while at the same time separately ranking him as one of the top one or two pitchers. A team will snatch up McKay hoping he works out in one way or another.
- Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame High School, California
With a 102-mile fastball, teams will be interested in Greene as a pitcher. But he's a very strong defender and power bat, too. Greene is just 17 years old, so teams are enthralled by his potential.
- MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville High School, North Carolina
Gore compiled a 41-2 record and a 0.35 earned run average in his four years of high school combined. Gore may not make it to the Phillies.
- Royce Lewis, IF/OF, JSerra High School, California
Another high school student, scouts are not yet sure what position Lewis will end up. Some see him as a middle infielder and others a center fielder. His high school coach sees him as a shortstop.
- Keston Hiura, IF/OF, UC Irvine
Hiura has been an interesting player and where he will be selected varies greatly depending on who you ask. Athletics Nation thinks that Hiura will be picked by the Athletics if he makes it to number six. Hiura is a righty who batted .442 at UC Irvine. Despite many thinking he is not Athletic enough to go in the top of the first round, Hiura's name keeps appearing.
- Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt
Wright is reportedly going to the Minnesota Twins as of Monday afternoon. The Vanderbilt baseball program is one of the top in the nation, producing pitchers the likes of David Price. Vandy247 wrote that the Twins were watching very carefully as Wright pitched. Wright is seen as being less of a risk but containing some upside.
- Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia
Smith is a left-handed power bat at first base, who provides solid defense in addition to offense. Smith batted .342 and hit 13 home runs in 59 games in 2017. Besides MLB.com, FanGraphs also projects Smith coming to Philadelphia, but others see him going to the Diamondbacks the pick before the Phillies.
- Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson High School, North Carolina
Beck was tied to workouts with many teams to be a pick in the first round, but the Phillies were not one of them. Some see Beck going before the Phillies pick, as the Oakland Athletics and Atlanta Braves are reportedly high on him. The Phillies may not wish to take a high school outfielder in consecutive years, as there is risk attached to high school players.
- Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia
The Phillies may be looking at a college outfielder for the aforementioned reason. Haseley is said to be a well-rounded outfielder with a high on base percentage. Baseball America sees Haseley going as late as 19th overall; other mock drafts see Haseley going to the Braves, Athletics, or Diamondbacks, the three teams who pick before the Phillies.
- J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina
Bukauskas was drafted in the 2014 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks who took a flyer on drafting him in the 20th round even though Bukauskas told all teams he would not sign. Instead of signing, Bukauskas went to college at North Carolina, and many feel he will be most likely be picked in the upper part of the first round. Bukauskas is best known for his strikeouts; he struck out almost 13 players a game
How do eighth overall picks done in recent years? Here's a reminder:
- 2016 Cal Quantrill, Padres
- 2015 Carson Fulmer, White Sox
- 2014 Kyle Freeland, Rockies
- 2013 Hunter Dozier, Royals
- 2012 Mark Appel, Pirates
- 2011 Francisco Lindor, Indians
- 2010 Delino DeShields, Jr., Astros
Of the batch, the biggest name is Lindor, a 2016 All-Star shortstop with the Cleveland Indians. It's too early to see what Quantrill and Fulmer are, but Freeland is having a very strong season starting for the Colorado Rockies. Dozier had a cup of coffee with the Royals, but remains a prospect.
DeShields was picked by the Texas Rangers in the Rule 5 Draft (while they simultaneously exposed Odubel Herrera) and has has shown to be a Major League pplayer. Appel did not sign in 2012 and ended up going to the Astros first over all in 2013. Appel, of course, continues to struggle for the Phillies in Triple-A.