Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association continue to send proposals back and forth about restarting Major League Baseball.   While that is taking place, there is still going to be a Major League Baseball amateur draft.  The draft will take place tonight at 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on MLB Network.  This draft will be unlike others in the past.

First, it is important to note, that this year's draft has been shortened by 40 rounds to just five. The Phillies surrendered a second-round pick for signing Zack Wheeler this offseason, so they will have just four picks.  The Phillies are scheduled to pick 15th overall.  But this is a complicated draft.

Players are usually drafted at the following points: After their senior year of high school, after their freshman year of college, after their junior year of college, or after their senior year of college.  However, we were completely without high school and college baseball in 2020.  The Phillies, and of course all other teams, will have to make their assessments based upon play from last year.

Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic spoke to Phillies scouting director Brian Barber.  Like much of the world, Barber has been doing his work via Zoom, interviewing potential draft picks.  And even though players send in their videos, it will be hard to make a perfect judgment without seeing them play in live game action.  Barber notes that he has plenty of scouting reports from last year.

As such there has been very little chatter about who the Phillies are considering.  Montemurro has some names:

At No. 15, the Phillies could take a college player but are considering a variety of options. However, they have not been connected to high school pitchers for their top pick and are unlikely to go that route. Barber said the Phillies are working off a pool of about 10 to 15 players who could still be on the board. The Phillies have been linked to high school outfielders Austin Hendrick and Pete Crow-Armstrong, high school shortstop Ed Howard and Oklahoma right-hander Cade Cavalli, among other players, at No. 15.

Read about the aforementioned potential draft picks here:

Also on the Athletic, Keith Law has the Phillies selecting Howard in the first round.   Howard plays baseball at Mount Carmel High School.  If that school sounds familiar to Philadelphia sports fans, it is the alma mater of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Law also suggests the Phillies could potentially select pitcher Slade Cecconi, Pittsburgh Pirates website Rumbunter profiled Cecconi back in April as a potential Pirates draft pick.

Players who are not drafted may be signed for a $20,000 signing bonus.  This is one area in which the Phillies can take advantage of their financial position, signing a large number of players in the hopes that one of them bears fruit.  Many may return to college ball if not selected in the hopes of being drafted next season.

More than ever, this MLB Draft is not going to be an exact science.  But this year's draft certainly bears watching as the Phillies hope to strike gold with their 15th pick.  The last time the Phillies had the 15th overall pick they selected someone named Chase Utley.  Perhaps this will work out as well.

Brian Barber
Former Royals pitcher Brian Barber leads the Phillies scouting efforts (Andy Lyons /Allsport)


More From 97.3 ESPN