Phillies take two on night 1 of draft – Phillies Nation

Phillies take two on night 1 of draft

On the opening day of the 2012 MLB amateur draft, the Phillies had two picks and used them in a familiar manner.  With their selections, the team stuck to their usual style and chose a pair of high school players.  With the 40th overall pick in the draft, the Phillies chose Shane Watson out of Lakewood High School in California.  Additionally, the Phils took Mitch Gueller with the 54th overall selection out of William F. West High School in Washington state.

Watson and Gueller, both right-handed hurlers, are committed to play college ball…Watson at the University of Southern California and Gueller at Washington State University.

Watson’s pitch repertoire features a fastball that is steadily clocked at 93 MPH and climbs into the mid-90’s at times, a great curveball as well as a cutter and a change up.  Watson stands 6’4″ and weighs around 200 pounds.

As a pitcher this season, Gueller posted a 6-0 record with 2 saves and a 0.80 ERA.  Reports also state that Gueller surrendered just 12 hits all season while striking 70 batters. The 6-foot-3-inch 215-pounder is armed with a fastball that generally gets clocked in the low-90’s, with a good curveball and change up that offers a variance of 10 MPH or more.

At the plate, Gueller, who also played outfield in high school, drew some attention as well.  He sported a .323 batting average with five home runs and 19 RBI while racking up 29 walks.

In recent years, the Phillies have been notoriously partial to high school players with their earliest picks, taking Larry Greene Jr., Jesse Biddle, Kelly Dugan, Zach Collier and Anthony Hewitt with the organization’s initial draft pick in the past four seasons.

Watson isn’t the first Lakewood High School product taken by the Phillies in the first round (supplementary).  Catcher Travis d’Arnaud, 37th overall pick in 2007, is a product of the same school.  d’Arnaud was traded to Toronto in the December, 2009 Roy Halladay deal.


Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site,

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  1. Ryne Duren

    June 5, 2012 at 9:38 am

    i guess there wasn’t any hitters at all by their turn? i would have picked a college position player with a knack for getting on base and and low s.o. numbers, a contact hiter if you will. the college power hitters numbers to me are inflated cause of those stinkin aluminum bats! well i guess high schoolers also! unless a guy had really hugh power. whatever. just more pitchers we’re never gonna see they’ll be in the low minors for at least 5 years till they become perfect! that’s what the phils do with all their minor players wait till they become perfect! why can’t they actually instruct them? i’m beginning to think they need an overhaul in the coaching at the minor league levels. it’s uncanny how they pick these toolsie players and they all end up the same way. and the people who evaluate these guys case in point ( dom brown) a guy with his obvious tools can’t field or catch a ball correctly? if i was in the phils minors i’d want to get out cause the only way to the show is if they’re totally in a spot. they always have excuses for that players lack of this or that! (utley) pour fielder, howard bad fielder, blah blah blah. at this point i’d start shuttling guys up and give them a shot! can they do any worse than the players we have?

    • schmenkman

      June 5, 2012 at 10:13 am

      Yes — way way worse.

      Are we still talking about the team with the 3rd best offense over the last six weeks?

    • EricL

      June 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      No offense meant, and you should take this as nicely as possible: You’re absolutely horribly misinformed and you should probably refrain from forming opinions on things you clearly know nearly nothing about.

  2. Jeff Dowder

    June 5, 2012 at 10:42 am

    The draft is for three or four seasons from now – not for today. You know that.

    What does the so called “3rd best offense over the last six weeks” have to do with the future? Most of these players on the current roster will be retired or playing for other teams by the time this current draft class is ready to contribute.

  3. George

    June 5, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I believe Schmenkman’s comment was in response to the comment preceding that “at this point i’d start shuttling guys up and give them a shot! can they do any worse than the players we have?” and not to the future.

    I’m not sure I agree with Ryne Duren’s evaluation of the Phils’ scouting and development program, either. There are a number of ex-Phils farmhands currently on ML rosters. They must be doing something right or other teams wouldn’t have traded the likes of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, etc. for such badly prepared players.

    Part of a team’s system is always used for trades. Pitchers with upside are always in demand. Sometimes they’re even in demand by the Phils. Even though they appear to have enough pitching now, they may not have it in a couple of years.

    • Jeff Dowder

      June 5, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      As far as starting position players, Michael Bourn is the last player the Phillies drafted that has had a successful career. He was drafted in 2003.

      • EricL

        June 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm

        That’s kind of an odd standard; to just use position players who have had successful careers? I mean, they have a handful of draftees who are poised to make big impacts all over the place, and they have pitchers who have had fairly successful careers, starting with the dominant kid in the Nationals’ rotation. The failure rate on prospects is so high that I think they’ve done a pretty good job at producing solid contributors and potential solid contributors…it’s just that a bunch of those guys aren’t in the Phillies organization any longer.

      • George

        June 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm

        It took Bourn a while to make it. He wasn’t a regular until around 2008.

        In other words, a position player drafted in 2007 or 2008 has hardly had a chance to establish himself, let alone have a successful career. Wait a while, and I’m sure you’ll see more, like Michael Taylor, Travis D’Arnaud, Jonathan Singleton, and perhaps even Freddy Galvis, who, although not a huge star, has certainly been contributing in his first year.

        There are a number of other former Phils farmhands who are currently on ML rosters, and they’re not all pitchers. If success in player development means producing ML talent, the Phils have actually done pretty well.

      • Jeff Dowder

        June 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm

        Eric –
        It’s not a standard, it’s a pure fact. It’s not twisted in any way…it’s just presented as a fact.

        They have not drafted a position player that has had even had 500 PAs in a season (on the big league level) since the 2003 draft. That’s a long drought. I’m not even talking as All-Star type player…just a regular contributer. There have been any since Bourn. Is that in dispute? It really shouldn’t be.

      • schmenkman

        June 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm

        I don’t think that kind of “drought” is unusual:

        ARI: Upton in 2005
        BOS: Ellsbury in 2005
        CLE: Garko and Kouzmanoff in 2003
        COL: Tulowitzki in 2005
        HOU: Pence and Zobrist in 2004
        LAA: Bourjos in 2005
        LAD: Kemp in 2003
        MIL: Braun in 2005
        NYY: Gardner and Jackson in 2005
        OAK: Pennington in 2005
        PIT: McCutchen in 2005
        SD: Headley in 2005
        SF: Fred Lewis in 2002
        SEA: Adam Jones in 2003
        STL: Jay and Rasmus came close, otherwise Daric Barton in 2003
        TEX: Mitch Moreland came close, otherwise Kinsler in 2003
        TOR: Adam Lind in 2004

        Also, MIN: Before one-and-done Danny Valencia (2006), the last was Denard Span (2002)

      • schmenkman

        June 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm

        I see you had said PAs (not ABs); the ones who “came close” actually did reach the 500 PA threshold.

  4. The Original Chuck P

    June 5, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    The MLB draft is a crap shoot… it’s not like the NFL or NBA drafts where first and second rounders are expected to contribute sooner rather than later. You hope that guys will pan out but you really don’t have a clue where your talent is going to come from and any player that reaches the big leagues is a win for your team. Beyond that, you can also win by trading prospects. You might not qualify Lou Marson or Jason Donald as successful picks but those guys are in the big leagues and the Phillies used them to get talent on their major league roster… that is a win for the Phillies and a win for the Indians. Adrian Cardenas is another recent pick that has made it to the big leagues… didn’t live up to the A’s expectations but we nabbed Joe Blanton for him and now he’s on the Cubs roster (at the ripe age of 24). I give the Phillies brass a lot of credit for getting value out of their prospects and developing talent. Of the guys that we let get away, none are back-breaking losses. Gio Gonzalez… sure but he wasn’t our pick and we only had him one year. Joe Savery is a guy that was written off… he’s on the big league roster. Might not be a success by your standards but I’m sure he’s thrilled to be in the big leagues (and the Phillies are lucky to have him). There are plenty of guys in our farm system right now that will have an impact somewhere in the future.

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    June 17, 2012 at 7:01 am

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