If if shows up on MLBTradeRumors.com it must be official. The Phillies have signed their No. 1 draft pick Aaron Nola. The going rate for the seventh pick overall in the 2014 draft is slotted at $3,300,900. So he has hit the jackpot. Good for him. As I have pointed out in previous blogs if he can maintain that high 5-1 strikeout to walk ratio with more than a strike out an inning average he put up in college this season, he will be a top of the rotation starter quickly at the big league level.
We have read a number of stories about other former Phillies top draft picks who are struggling to contribute at any level in the system. But what about the late round draft picks chosen well down in the draft. Are any of them contributing in the Phillies organization. The answer is YES!
Reading’s sometimes second baseman and sometimes third baseman Carlos Alonso was just named Eastern League Player Of The Week. He went 12 for 25 (.480) with four doubles, two homers, four walks, seven runs scored and three RBI at the plate in six games last week. Carlos was drafted 981st overall in the 32nd round of the 2010 Draft.
Brock Stassi has worked his way into the every day lineup as the first baseman for Reading. He hit a clutch two-run rbi double that was a key hit in the 8-5 Reading win last night. He leads all active Reading players in RBIs. Stassi was the 1,021st pick in the 33rd round of the 2011 draft.
The Clearwater Threshers big left-hander Ethan Stewart whose fastball sits in the low 90’s has come into his own in his last two starts. He has given up only three runs in his last 13 innings while walking only 3 and striking out 10. He was chosen 1,431rd overall in the 47th round back in 2010. Now, MLB has only 40 rounds in the amateur draft.
Colin Kleven, a tall right-hander, continues to battle back from injuries this season and last. In his last start for the Threshers he gave up only two earned runs and struck out eight over seven innings. Like Stewart, Kleven is a rangy Canadian whose fastball also sits in the low 90’s. He was drafted by the Phillies 1,007th in the 33rd round of the 2009 draft.
Yesterday in an intra-squad game I watched David Whitehead pitch impressively for the GCL Phillies. After a slow start in the first inning, he was dominating over the next four innings. Look for him to be one of the top pitchers in the Gulf Coast League this season. Whitehead was drafted 1,021 overall in the 34th round of the 2013 Draft.
Yes, it is nice to talk about the Aaron Nola and his three million dollar slot bonus for being a top overall pick. But also we must blog about the many lower round draft picks too who are supplying needed talent in the Phillies organization right now and they were signed for a lot less money.