Philadelphia Phillies: A Decade Of Hits And Misses In The 1st Round
The Philadelphia Phillies draft history over the past ten years has been a far cry from the late 90’s and early 2000’s when the team drafted the likes of Pat Burrell (’98), Brett Myers (’99), Chase Utley (’00), and Cole Hamels (’02). Ed Wade was surprisingly the GM at that time who is mostly remembered for not getting Philadelphia over the hump and into the playoffs despite dishing out large free-agent contracts to the likes of Jim Thome.
Without further ado, here’s a look at the last ten 1st round draft picks the Phillies have made:
2004 Greg Golson, OF Connally HS (21st Overall)
Golson spent 4.5 years in the Phillies system before getting 6 AB’s with the big league club in 2008. He was traded later that offseason to the Texas Rangers for John Mayberry, then released and picked up with the Yankees. He had a few cups of coffee in the big leagues with New York, but since then he’s been involved in a string of moves between several different organizations and now finds himself in the Braves organization at 27 years of age as a utility outfielder.
2005 Mike Costanzo, 3B Coastal Carolina University (2nd round, 65th Overall)
Costanzo went to the Astros in the Brad Lidge deal (made by Wade in Houston), and then to the Orioles in the Miguel Tejada trade. Baltimore released him whom the Reds picked up and he had a cup of coffee with the Cincinnati, but now resides in the Nationals organization. He’s become more a DH/utility type at 29 years of age, and from looking at his stats, he doesn’t appear to be able to hit Triple A pitching.
2006 Kyle Drabek, RHP/SS The Woodlands HS (18th Overall)
The son of former Cy Young winner Doug Drabek, Kyle was dealt to the Blue Jays in the Roy Halladay deal and has yet to solidify himself on a major league staff due to continued wildness with his pitches and a second Tommy John surgery. There’s no telling where his future role lies now since it’s questionable if he can handle the rigours of starting. Since this July, Drabek has been rehabbing and could make a September appearance for Toronto.
2007 Joe Savery, LHP Rice University (19th Overall)
Now strictly a reliever, the 27 year old Savery has spent most of the last three years in Triple A Lehigh Valley and his number aren’t bad. This year, he’s allowed 17 hits in 22.1 IP with 29 K’s and 8 BB in AAA, but while he’s made three stints with Philadelphia since 2011, he’s not showing the command or strikeout potential as he does in the minors probably due to his average 92 MPH heater. The positive thing so far this year is that he’s only allowed 8 hits in 13 IP with the big league club, but that’s a small sample size. Truth be told, if Savery can become a reliable left-handed reliever in the bullpen, which Philadelphia desperately needs from its farm system, he’ll have a job for years.
2008 Anthony Hewitt, SS Salisbury HS (24th Overall)
Hewitt rewarded the Phillies and their terrible first round selection by switching to third base and putting up awful fielding percentages by the tune of 26 errors in 150 chances in Low A Williamsport back in 2009. This terribleness necessitated the move to the outfield where he currently resides. Somehow he now finds himself in Double A where he’s striking out in over a third of his AB’s. The Phillies surely missed this one.
2009 Kelly Dugan, CF Notre Dame HS (2nd Round, 75th Overall)
As the #18 prospect according to MinorLeagueBall.com, Dugan is showing good power along with his fair share of whiffs which is typical for a minor league power hitter. Like any prospect, if he can control the strike zone better, he’ll be a threat to reckon with. At 22 already in Double A, he’s pretty much sure fire bet to make the big leagues sometime in 2014 – in what role remains to be seen.
2010 Jesse Biddle, LHP Germantown Friends School (27th Overall)
As the Phillies #1 prospect, Biddle is showing “bat-missing” stuff and is dominating Double A at age 21. His peripherals are outstanding with a 10.0 SO/9, 6.8 H/9 in 135.1 IP. The only cause for alarm is his 5.0 BB/9 that he’s shown this year. He needs to get that down or else he’ll be a Gio Gonzalez clone, which wouldn’t be all that bad for Philly as Gonzalez is a solid #3 starter.
2011 Larry Greene, LF Berrien HS (39th Overall)
So far in his professional baseball career, Greene has shown an ability to get on-base with an average OBP of .336 which is 95 points above his BA. The problem here though is as a left fielder, he shows little to no power which obviously limits his ceiling at the big league level. While still in A ball at age 20, he has some time to add some muscle and perhaps increase his bat control which can grow his stock in the organization.
2012 Shane Watson, RHP Lakewood HS (40th Overall)
While playing in a different Lakewood (New Jersey that is) at the Single A level, Watson put up decent numbers earlier this year having made 16 starts, but is currently hurt and out of action. He’s listed as the #10 Phillies prospect, but obviously it is still too early to tell what his upside may be.
2013 J.P. Crawford, SS Lakewood HS (16th Overall)
Regarded as the best overall shortstop in the 2013 draft class, J.P. signed for full slot value ($2.3 M) and started immediately at the rookie level in the Gulf Coast League. He raked in 142 AB’s showing a .345/.443/.465 line demonstrating both patience and extra-base power. The only problem is he’s made 9 fielding errors in 38 games, so what’s the deal? Chances are he’s still getting accustomed to pro ball, so I wouldn’t put any stock in this yet.
BHC Pick of the Litter: Biddle – no question here at all!
BHC Franchise Flop: Hewitt
Analysis: Philadelphia certainly needs some of its youth to make an impact on the major league roster to help augment its aging talent and enormous payroll. The likes of Biddle and Crawford could help replace aging stars like Halladay and Jimmy Rollins respectively, but sadly, that’s only two spots whereas they need multiple pieces to eventually replace their experienced veterans.