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Potential first-round targets for the Phillies in the 2020 MLB Draft


The Phillies have the 15th pick in this year’s MLB Draft. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

While the Major League Baseball season is currently on hiatus, the 2020 MLB Draft will still begin on Wednesday.

This year’s draft will consist of only five rounds, as opposed to the usual 40 rounds that teams participate in. The Philadelphia Phillies will be selecting with the 15th pick in each of those rounds except for the second, as the team forfeited its second-round pick when it signed Zack Wheeler this past offseason.

The Phillies will have a few options that they can go with at No. 15 overall, depending on which players fall to them. Let’s take a look at some potential players that they could select in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft:

Garrett Crochet: LHP, University of Tennessee

Crochet is an extremely hard-throwing college lefty that the Phillies could potentially select in the first round. He throws his fastball in the upper 90s and possesses a pretty devastating slider. Crochet throws a curveball as well, and had also been working on a changeup in the fall.

The stuff that Crochet has in his main two pitches is what the Phillies would be taking him for. The 20-year-old had an ERA of 4.02 in 18 games last season, with only six of those being starts. This season he was hurt to start the year, and made just one appearance before the season was shut down.

So while Crochet does not have a huge track record as a starter at the college level, he still has the pitches in his arsenal that could possibly allow him to be be successful in the role as a professional. If not, his fastball and slider could make him a super interesting left-handed relief option.

Cade Cavalli: RHP, University of Oklahoma

Cavalli is another college pitcher that the Phillies could consider if he is available at No. 15. The right-hander has a hard fastball and slider, as well as a solid changeup. He had a 3.43 ERA in 12 starts last season, and a 4.18 ERA in four starts this season.

An intriguing note about Cavalli is that he also hit in his first two college seasons. He stopped hitting this season and did not have any plate appearances in 2020. It’s possible that Cavalli could benefit from focusing on just one side of the game, and could grow even more as a pitcher going forward.

Nick Bitsko: RHP, Central Bucks East High School (Pa.)

Bitsko is the local kid in every sense of the term. Not only did he attend high school less than 50 miles from Citizens Bank Park, but Bitsko is still just 17 years old after reclassifying for the 2020 draft class.

He has a fastball that has touched 98.5 mph in recent videos, a changeup and a curveball that he can snap off as well. Bitsko’s arsenal seems promising, especially with how young he is and how much time he’ll have to develop.

Nonetheless, taking a high school pitcher in the first round is risky, especially for a team like the Phillies that would only have three other picks in the draft. In fact, Keith Law of The Athletic has actually stated in his most recent mock draft that “The Phillies seem open to any player type except high school pitching.” So it does seem doubtful that Bistko ends up in the Phillies organization, but still possible depending who else is on the board when the team picks at No. 15.

Austin Hendrick: OF, West Allegheny High School (Pa.)

The first position player on this list, Hendrick is a left-handed high school outfielder with a knack for power hitting. While the bat is certainly his strength, it appears that he could play solid defense in a corner outfield spot and has a good arm as well.

The Phillies have not selected a player out of high school in the first round since they took Mickey Moniak with the No. 1 pick in 2016, but that could change if Hendrick is there at No. 15. He has the potential to be a really productive hitter, and could be the one that the Phillies take if he falls to them.

Tyler Soderstrom: C, Turlock High School (Calif.)

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com had the Phillies taking Soderstrom in his most recent mock draft. Soderstrom played catcher in high school, but may need to move to a different position at higher levels.

Either way, the reason the Phillies would take Soderstrom is because of his abilities in the batter’s box. There may be questions about his defensive position, but the hit tool seems like it will be there. Like Hendrick, Soderstrom is another left-handed hitter that could help the Phillies lineup a few years down the road.

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