With the 2019 MLB First Year Player Draft just about a week away let’s take a look at some potential options for the Philadelphia Phillies. Unlike recent drafts, the Phillies do not have a top 10 pick this time around. However, their 80-82 record a year ago did land them the 14th pick in this year’s draft.
The Baltimore Orioles will pick first and the overall consensus top prospect is Adley Rutschman, a catcher from Oregon State. After that there is much disagreement and a lot remains unknown.
Back in 2016, the Phillies had that top overall pick in the MLB Draft and selected high school outfielder Mickey Moniak. After struggling for much of his first couple of years in the system, the now 21-year-old finally began to find his stroke last summer and has continued to progress this season.
The Phillies have gone with a college position players in the past two drafts, selecting outfielder Adam Haseley and third baseman Alec Bohm. Before that, the Phillies organization had been mostly on a run with high school prospects chosen as their top pick, with the 2014 exception of current young ace pitcher Aaron Nola.
Baseball teams usually take the best available player regardless of position or age. But I believe that the Phillies should be looking to add a college pitcher who can rise through the ranks quickly ala Nola. Someone who could quickly aid the rotation or bullpen. A toolsy outfielder who can compliment Bryce Harper for the next decade would also be ideal.
Without further ado, here is my MLB 2019 Mock Draft 1.0:
1. Baltimore Orioles C Adley Rutschman (Oregon State)
2. Kanas City Royals SS Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville HS)
3. Chicago White Sox 1B Andrew Vaughn (Cal)
4. Miami Marlins OF JJ Belday (Vanderbilt)
5. Detroit Tigers OF Riley Green (Hagerty HS)
6. San Diego Padres OF Hunter Bishop (Arizona State)
7. Cincinnati Reds LHP Nick Lodolo (TCU)
8. Texas Rangers SS CJ Abrams (Blessed Trinity Catholic HS)
9. Atlanta Braves C Shea Langeliers (Baylor)
10. San Francisco Giants RHP Alek Manoah (West Virginia U.)
11. Toronto Blue Jays 3B Josh Lung (Texas Tech)
12. New York Mets RHP Jackson Rutledge (San Jacinto JC)
13. Minnesota Twins OF Kameron Misner (Missouri)
14. Philadelphia Phillies LHP Zack Thompson (Kentucky)
Thompson falls to the Phillies because of some injury history. The southpaw missed two months of his sophomore year with an elbow injury. The top lefty pitching prospect in the draft bounced back nicely this season going 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA over 14 starts. He tossed 90 innings for the Kentucky Wildcats with an outstanding 130/34 K:BB ratio, and only allowed three home runs all season.
Here’s what MLB Pipeline had to say about the 21-year-old:
“As a southpaw with a strong frame and four pitchers, Thompson has the ingredients to become a mid-rotation starter. Both his fastball, which sits in the low 90s and tops out at 96 MPH with some run and angle, and his low-80s slider are plus pitches at their best. He generates good spin rates on both his slider and curveball, which has more depth than power, and also mixes in a decent changeup.”
My concern is that a team like the Mets or Giants could pounce on him before the Phillies have a chance to pick, as starting pitching is also a big need for those two teams and Thompson is considered the best lefty in the draft.
In my opinion, Thompson would be a best-case scenario for the Phillies, unless one of the college bats such as Bishop or Belday were to fall.
The Phillies have stayed away from the high schoolers early in the draft the last couple of years under GM Matt Klentak, and I expect that to continue here. Especially because this draft has a lot of college talent towards the top of the board.
Stay tuned as I’ll have mock 2.0 next week and will provide updates leading up to the draft on June 3.
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION:
- Matt Veasey’s NL East Beat Report: Week of 5/20-26/19
- Phillies Memorial Day podcast: Bryce Harper, potential trade targets
- Deivy Grullon continues strong season at Triple-A
- Larry Shenk’s Phillies Minor League Report: 5/27/19
- First trimester report card: Aaron Nola