If the current MLB season ever starts the Phillies 2020 lineup seems set but what does future years hold? Draft projections for Wednesday night are so far all over the place.
The MLB draft expert, Jonathan Mayo, has a high school catcher from California, Tyler Soderstrom, as his most likely Phillies No.1 pick. His colleague, Jim Callis has picked UCLA outfielder Garrett Mitchell for the Phillies. The Athletic’s Buster Olney has high school shortstop Ed Howard as the 15th best player in the draft. The Phillies will be selecting 15th. Phillies MLB beat writers Todd Zolecki mentions Buck County high school pitcher Nick Bitsko as a home town guy as a possible Phillies No. 1.
The new wild card is that the Phillies have a new chief amateur scouting director. In the last five draft they picked nothing but position players in the first round, outfielders Cornelius Randolph, Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley, then infielders Alec Bohm and last year, Bryson Stott. Who knows what new amateur scouting director Brian Barber will do?
I like Ed Howard, a high school shortstop, as the Phillies No.1 pick. Yes, the Phillies do have a shortstop prospect in Stott. However, my view is that they need a third base prospect unless Bohm shows progress defensively at third base. I view as Bohm more suited for first base or left field. I would give Stott a look at third. This is similar to a trajectory Dick Allen took after starting off as a Phillies third baseman back in 1964.
Below is an interview conducted by Jim Thome for MLB.com with Howard.
Here is Olney’s report below on Howard for the Athletic:
15. Ed Howard, SS, Mount Carmel (Ill.) HS, Age: 18
Howard is one of the few true shortstops in the draft class at either the high school or college level, and that alone makes him at least a top two rounds guy, while the upside in his bat is probably going to make him a first-rounder. Howard is very projectable at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, and is an above-average runner with very good hands, giving scouts no doubt he’ll stay at short in the long term. His bat speed is excellent and he rotates well for future power as he fills out. Howard did struggle at the end of the summer of 2019, and we don’t know if that was due to a sore shoulder or fatigue or just trouble with better competition — and he didn’t get to play this spring to answer any of that. In a draft with more polished shortstops, he might slip to the supplemental round and end up an overslot guy, but this year he seems likely to go somewhere in the back half of the first.
I would like to see the Phillies infield of the future as Stott at third, Howard at short, Logan Simmons at second and Bohm or Hoskins at first. Wednesday night’s first round of the MLB Draft should be interesting!