The 2016 Major League Baseball draft is six days away, and teams are finalizing their draft boards. The Phillies, who own the top pick in the draft, are on the clock and need to find a player they believe can have a major impact on the team and improve their online MLB sportsbook odds.
As of now, the Phillies are still trying to figure out which player they are going to take. On Friday, GM Matt Klentak said the team would use every bit of the remaining time before the draft to make their final decision.
Klentak said that the Phillies have met with several players and their advisors in the past week. He also said that the team isn’t targeting a specific type of player or position with their pick. Klentak said the team will select the player they believe is the best in the draft, who is also the player they feel will have the best career.
This will be the first time that Philadelphia has picked first in the draft since 1998. While the team is having a tough time deciding which player to take with the first pick, they also have to remember that they still have 39 rounds to go.
Although first rounder’s get all the big contracts and attention, teams have found great players in the later rounds of the draft.
Players like Mike Piazza (67th round, 1988), Albert Pujols (13th round, 1999), and Ryne Sandberg, (20th round, 1978), have gone on to have Hall of Fame careers despite not being highly sought after when they entered the league.
Going into the season, the Phillies were in full rebuilding mode, and weren’t expected to do much this season. Despite being written off this year, the Phillies have managed to stay competitive and hovering around .500.
Since the rebuilding process is going better than they anticipated, the success might impact the way the team approaches the draft.
Klentak, who has been preaching patience all season, said the team’s performance so far won’t have an impact on the way he approaches the draft. Klentak said he is still going to select the player he believes is the best in the draft, and ultimately finish with the best draft class he can possibly have.
Since becoming general manager, Klentak has stressed the importance of creating a culture of success in the clubhouse, which is something the Phillies believe they have done since hiring Klentak. Combined with their pitching and defense, the culture is credited for the success the team has had this year.
Klentak was asked if a player’s character would affect the team’s decision to take him with the first pick. He responded by saying that a person’s character and that of a team is very important to the culture he is trying to establish and matters a lot.
Klentak added that making sure they pick a player with good character is why area scouts are so important. The area scouts help the team know as much about a player as they can as well as the player’s family. Having the information helps Klentak figure out the players that will fit in with his club.