Phils in search of next diamond in rough
With multiple picks in Draft, club has options to address needs
PHILADELPHIA -- In two days, the Phillies will join 29 other teams in trying to restock their Minor League cupboard, as they try to find their next Cole Hamels, Chase Utley or Brett Myers.The 2007 First-Year Player Draft takes place Thursday and Friday at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla. The first round will be aired on ESPN2 beginning at 2 p.m. ET, and MLB.com will have every pick of the 50-round Draft, start to finish. The trio listed above represents recent first-round jewels selected by the Phillies, with Hamels (2002) the most recent. But for every Hamels, there is a Gavin Floyd (2001), who disappointed as was traded away this winter for Freddy Garcia. Still, Hamels has already become one of the National League's top southpaw starters, and with a draft expected to be heavy on high-ceiling, high school lefty pitchers, perhaps the Phillies could find one. "There's more left-handers this year," said Marti Wolever, the team's director of scouting. "It's deeper and there's some quality up top, then it all blends together like a lot of the other players in the draft." Wolever isn't optimistic that one may slide. "I'm not going to say it's out of the realm, but it doesn't look like a left-hander will come our way, but you never know," he said. "Looking at the boards over the past five days, I don't think that's going to happen." After losing their first-round selection in recent seasons as compensation for signing such free agents as Jim Thome, David Bell, Jon Lieber and Tom Gordon (though that was a wash because they got a first-round pick for losing Billy Wagner), the Phillies can address their needs with multiple picks. Based on last season's 85-77 finish, Philadelphia will pick 19th in the first round. Last year, they used the 18th overall pick to select Kyle Drabek, from The Woodlands High School in Texas. The organization also received a sandwich pick (37th overall) and Cleveland's third-rounder as compensation for losing free agent David Dellucci. There will be plenty of options. "It is a much better high school year than college year, and the depth of the draft is high school pitchers and players," Wolever said. "There are a bunch of players from that 37th pick on through the fourth or fifth round. It's a pretty good crop of kids in there." For most of the previous decade, the Phillies' philosophy has been to stockpile pitchers, and Wolever indicated that might change.
|1. TB||LHP||David Price||Vanderbilt U|
|2. KC||SS||Michael Moustakas||Chatsworth HS (Calif.)|
|3. CHC||3B||Josh Vitters||Cypress HS (Calif.)|
|4. PIT||LHP||Daniel Moskos||Clemson U|
|5. BAL||C||Matthew Wieters||Georgia Tech|
|6. WSH||LHP||Ross Detwiler||Missouri St U|
|7. MIL||LF||Matthew LaPorta||U Florida|
|8. COL||RHP||Casey Weathers||Vanderbilt U|
|9. ARI||RHP||Jarrod Parker||Norwell HS|
|10. SF||LHP||Madison Bumgarner||South Caldwell HS|
"We'd like to get some more bats in the system, and I think we're in a good position to do that," he said.Some names to consider, should they fall to No. 19: RHP Jarrod Parker, Norwell (Ind.) High School; C Travis d'Arnaud, Lakewood (Calif.) High School; RHP Phillippe Aumont, Ecole du Versant, Gatineau, Quebec; LHP Ross Detwiler (Missouri State); LHP Josh Smoker, Sugar Valley (Ga.) Calhoun H.S.; 3B Kevin Ahrens, Memorial High School, Houston, Texas. Last three top picks:
Kyle Drabek, 2006. The son of Major Leaguer Doug Drabek, Kyle has shown the inconsistency expected from someone a year removed from high school. He's shown his electric fastball, curveball, slider arsenal in some dominant outings, and gotten beaten up in others. Still, he's compiled a 5-1 record and a 4.17 ERA before being placed on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation, but the Phillies don't believe the injury is serious. Mike Costanzo, 2005. The Springfield, Pa., native leads the Double-A Reading Phillies with 10 homers, but the lefty swinger is hitting .230, with a .304 on-base percentage, and has struck out 73 times in 200 at-bats, an alarmingly high total. A second-round pick out of Coastal Carolina University (S.C.), Costanzo's performance is beginning to concern the team's decision makers. Greg Golson, 2004. Still young (21), Golson has been slow to develop, and finds himself in A-ball, with the Clearwater Threshers, where he finished the 2006 season. He's hitting for a respectable average, but his on-base percentage reveals his poor strike-zone judgment. A solid defender with a plus arm, the Phillies need to see his skills develop offensively before a promotion will be considered. Rising Fast: Joe Bisenius: A 12th-round pick in 2004, Bisenius forced his way to the big club when a need arose for an extra reliever, though he was optioned to Triple-A Ottawa after the first week. His control has been erratic in the Minors, which helps explain his 6.95 ERA in 17 appearances. Cinderella Story: LHP Michael Zagurski figured something out at Class A Lakewood in 2006, striking out 75 in 56 1/3 innings. He then soared from Class A Clearwater through Double-A Reading this season, and poked his head in the Major Leagues on May 25. The 12th-round pick in 2005 didn't expect to reach the big leagues so soon, and has a reputation as a cool-headed kid who goes right after hitters. In the Show: Bisenius, Sagurski.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.