The Philadelphia Phillies embarked on a full team rebuild two seasons ago, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they currently have the worst record in baseball. With the team’s prospects for next season not looking very good, sportsbooks lines for Phillies next season should be very interesting.
Thanks to their failure last season, the Phillies ended up with the first pick in the 2016 draft. With the team currently having the worst record in baseball this year, they are likely going to end up with the first pick in next year’s draft as well.
The Phillies are no strangers to having the top overall pick in the draft, and the team currently has two in their system. Mickey Moniak was their top pick in last year’s draft, and Mark Appel was Houston’s top pick they acquired in a trade for Ken Giles.
Moniak still has a while to go before he is ready for the major leagues, but he has been playing well in the minor leagues. Even though he doesn’t seem on the fast track to the majors, he could still be a productive player for the Phillies down the line.
The Phillies had high hopes for Appel, but he has been struggling in Triple A, with an ERA that is over 5.00, which makes him more likely to become a bust and not a piece that will help turn things around in Philadelphia.
Before the Phillies selected Moniak, their last top pick in the draft was Pat Burrell in 1998. The selection paid off for the Phillies because Burrell was a mainstay in left field and hit 251 homeruns in nine seasons with the team.
Teams like the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals have benefited from having the top selection in the draft. The Nationals were able to get Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper in consecutive drafts, while the Astros were able to get Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman.
Those pieces helped both the Nationals and Astros become contenders and helped change the fortunes of the franchises.
Despite the success those teams have had, there are no guarantees having the top pick will help a franchise out because those picks can be used on busts, which sets the franchise back even longer.
The Phillies have to be smart with their selection and pick a player they know will be able to contribute, instead of selecting a player based on potential. Yes, drafting a player with a lot of potential can help them turn things around more quickly, but the problem with prospects like that is not all of them live up to their potential.
Players like Phil Hughes come to mind. When he was drafted by the New York Yankees, Hughes was thought to be the second coming of Roger Clemens. However, when he was put on the bright stage, he wilted.
Hughes was able to salvage his career in Minnesota because the pressure to be the franchise savior was gone and he could concentrate on simply doing his job.
On a team like the Phillies, they already have a lot of offensive talent, so they would be best served drafting a pitcher with their top pick since that is something the team is desperately in need of.