Much attention from the Phillies’ third day of the 2015 first-year player draft was given to nepotism. With the team selecting relatives of its general manager, its television play-by-play man as well as the sons of two current minor league coaches, the coverage made sense. There were, however, other players worth highlighting.
With their initial pick of Wednesday’s final day of the draft, the Phillies selected 19-year-old catcher Edgar Cabral, a JuCo player out of Mt. San Antonio College in the 11th round. The righty batter posted a .331 average with five home runs and 32 RBI in 31 games this season, according to the Mt. SAC web site. The five-foot-11 205-pounder is said to show a lot of strength, which the Phils were high on.
Righty pitcher Skylar Hunter was the Phils’ 11th round choice. The 21-year-old was a closer for The Citadel, where he holds the team and conference saves records. As a junior this year, the six-foot-one 205-pounder tossed 53 innings with the Bulldogs, notching 13 saves while striking out 59 and sporting an ERA of 3.74. Hunter was a catcher in high school and had not pitched much before college.
In the 13th round, the Phils selected center fielder Zach Coppola, who is touted for his speed and ranks second all-time in steals for San Diego State University. In 55 games as a junior this year, the lefty-hitting 21-year-old sported a team-leading .373 batting average with six doubles and a triple while also converting 39 of 39 stolen base attempts.
The Phils took Penn catcher Austin Bossart in the 14th round. A strong defender, the 21-year-old sported a gleaming 1.000 fielding percentage in 37 games this year while also performing very well with the bat. The 21-year-old posted a team-best .357 batting average with four homers and 27 RBI.
Duke closer Ken Koplove was the Phils’ 17th round pick. His fastball clocks in the low-90’s and he touts a high-potential change up. This year for the Blue Devils, the 21-year-old right-hander notched a 1-2 record with 11 saves, a 2.13 ERA and a 13.15 K/9 mark in 21 appearances. Koplove, a Philadelphia native, also played shortstop at Duke, but he’ll move forward on the mound in the pro ranks. His older brother Mike, a UDel product, played in the big leagues for seven seasons.
In the 18th round, the Phils took Turnersville, NJ native Greg Brodzinski. The righty batting catcher grew up as a Phillies fan and will turn 24 years old next month.
After 11 straight college picks, high school pitcher Will Stewart was the team’s 20th round choice. A lefty hurler, who is five weeks shy of his 18th birthday, the six-foot-two 175-pounder has a lot of potential.
Sacramento State hurler Sutter McLoughlin was the team’s 22nd round pick. The right-hander stands six-foot-five and weight around 225 pounds. With a fastball clocked in the mid-90’s, McLoughlin sported a 0-1 record along with seven saves and a 1.83 ERA for the Hornets.
It’s not A.C. Slater’s and Screech’s best pal- the Phillies drafted a different Zach Morris in the 24th round. The lefty pitcher out of Maryland stands six-foot-five and is listed at 245 pounds. In 22 relief appearances this year, Morris tallied a 3-2 record with a 2.61 ERA.
The 3rd day picks that got the most attention were the 35th round selection of GM Ruben Amaro Jr’s nephew Andrew Amaro, the 38th round pick of Beau Brundage, who is the son of Triple-A IronPigs manager Dave Brundage, the 39th round pick of Griffin Morandini, who is the son of former Phils All-Star and current Double-A Fightins coach Mickey Morandini, along with the selection of the team’s 40th round choice Thomas McCarthy, the son of television broadcaster Tom McCarthy).