The Phillies will have only four picks in next weeks’ five round amateur draft. They lost their second round pick because of signing Zack Wheeler. The impact of the five-round rule will likely send many prospects to college ball because free agents signings will be limited to only $20,000 per prospects after the draft. Read HERE.
The Phillies have not been successful in developing players signed when the draft was 40 rounds. On the team’s current 40-man roster, the only player they signed after rounds 1-5 in previous drafts is reliever Austin Davis who they drafted in the 12th round of the 2014 draft.
The old draft adage is take the best player available. Several early mock drafts have the Phillies with their first round pick, taking an outfielder or a pitcher. A team can never have enough pitching and they are a bit short of can’t miss major league prospects to team with Bryce Harper in the outfield.
As of today, MLB.com now. has a middle infielder in the first round, the 15th overall, named Ed Howard. The best No.15 overall Phillies pick was Chase Utley. He was the best first round pick of the 2000 draft.
On the other hand, the Phillies do have some recent late round draft picks from the 2018 and 2019 drafts who look like major league prospects.
In the 2018 draft the Phillies took pitcher James McArthur in the 12th round out of Ole Miss. and catcher Logan O’Hoppe out of a Long Island high school who was a 21st round draft pick.
McArthur was brilliant for the Clearwater Theshers in five starts in August when he went 3-1 with a 1.95 ERA leading them in their drive to the FSL playoffs which were cancelled by Hurricane Irma.
O’Hoppe was voted by the players down under in February as the best catcher in the Australian Baseball League last season.
In the 2019 draft the Phillies took lefty Josh Hendrickson out of San Diego State. He was a 38th round, 1140 overall pick. He impress us in Fall Instructs and in the Australian Baseball League. He pitched to a 0.47 ERA in 19 inning for Lakewood and a 1.93 ERA in 18.2 innings for Perth.
Also, two other players caught our attention from the 2019 Draft, catcher Micah Yonamine and catcher-first baseman Vito Friscia.
Yonamine was taken in the 29th round, 870 overall from a high school in Honolulu, Hawaii. He ended up in the GCL hitting .300 over his last 10 games.
Friscia was taken in the 40th and final round, 1,200 overall, of 2019 draft. He hit .317 (.952 OPS) with 8 homers and 31 RBIs in 223 at bats in College for Hofstra and later .275 with 3 homers and 18 RBIs in 165 at bats for the GCL Phillies last season.
Remember, Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza was picked by the Dodgers in the then 62nd round, 1,390th overall, in the 1988 draft.
The upcoming 2020 Draft will be like no other. It should be interesting!