Phils keep focus on size as Draft wraps
Prospects tabbed by Philly are big, athletic; 31 of 52 are hurlers
PHILADELPHIA -- From first-rounder Joe Savery at No. 19 overall, to the likes of Travis D'Arnaud (37), Travis Mattair (83), Justin De Fratus (353), Cory Vaughn (1,288) and, finally, Jeremy Penn (1,449), the Phillies restocked their organization with 52 potential Major Leaguers in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.For roughly 13 1/2 hours spread over two days, the Phillies took chances on players they hope will someday contribute to their Major League club. Of the haul, Savery expects to arrive the quickest -- as early as late in the 2008 season -- expressing that desire after being taken. Phillies director of scouting Marti Wolever was especially pleased to land Lakewood High School (Calif.) catcher D'Arnaud, Southridge High School (Wash.) third baseman Mattair, and Stanford University outfielder Michael Taylor. All have size, especially Taylor at 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds. "We always target big kids," Wolever said. "We were fortunate this year. These kids are big and athletic. It's a good combination. Joe Savery, you'll be surprised how big he is when he shows up." Taylor has been on the Phillies' radar since he played for Apopka High (Fla.), where he was a teammate of Kansas City's Zack Greinke. Taylor was taken in the fifth round, the same round as Ryan Howard. "Michael stood out [in high school] because of his size," Wolever said. "As a senior, his signability wasn't good, and he ended up going to Stanford. We've seen him for a number of years. He came to our camp here in Philadelphia, and from an athletic standpoint we liked what we saw. We hope that things fall into place. He has power." Mattair, from a physical standpoint, reminds Wolever of Scott Rolen. "He was also a point guard in basketball, at 6-foot-4," Wolever said. "He's a good looking athlete with a chance to hit."
|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|
After selecting Manhattan College first baseman Matthew Rizzotti, the Phillies selected seven consecutive right-handed pitchers. Of the 31 pitchers selected, 27 were right-handed. Of the 21 position players, 14 were right-handed. The two most frequently drafted positions were outfielders (seven) and catchers (six).Day 2 is often more about filling out Minor League rosters than finding the next Joe Mauer, Alex Rodriguez or Cole Hamels. While there's always the chance of landing a Mark Buehrle, a 38th-round pick who becomes a star, those instances aren't common. "I'm very pleased and very excited [about who we got]," Wolever said. "From the top of the Draft on down, very excited. A lot of guys are good athletes, and a lot have big ceilings. Our scouting department did an outstanding job." Last year, the Phillies took high school athletes Joshua Thrailkill (34th round) and Michael Petello, but couldn't convince them to forgo Clemson and Arizona State University, respectively. This year, they took one of those players in Cory Vaughn, from Jesuit High School (Ca.). Vaughn is the son of former Major Leaguer Greg Vaughn. While finding a gem among these players would be a coup, the Phils' first priority is signing Savery, and he said Thursday that should happen shortly after Rice University's season ends. "I'm excited to get going, and I don't plan on dragging out any contract negotiations." Savery said.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.