What will the Phillies do in tomorrow’s MLB Draft?
As you all know by now, everything is pretty screwed up in the sports world. The MLB draft won’t be any different.
Pre-pandemic, the MLB Draft was in for a major change. The plan was to push the date back a week so college baseball players could attend and move it from the MLB Network studios to Omaha, Nebraska, where they have the College World Series. Simply toss that idea to the site. We’re now going virtual, much like the NFL Draft.
Furthermore, the MLB Draft will be shortened to just FIVE rounds instead of a typical 40 round draft.
Here’s the schedule:
- Round 1: Wednesday, June 10th
- Rounds 2-5: Thursday June 11th.
Both days will be aired on ESPN and the MLB Network. Round 1 starts at 7pm. Round 2-5 start at 5pm.
The Phillies, who finished a smooth 81-81 last year, will have the 15th pick in this year’s draft. From the jump – this entire process is pretty screwed up. College Baseball was stopped dead in it’s tracks in March and the majority of high school baseball teams barely played at all. Phillies new scouting director Brian Barber has an interesting first year ahead of him.
Here’s what Barber told NBC Sports Philly:
“It might lean a little bit more toward old-school scouting just because you don’t have the draft-year data built up on these players that you normally would at this point,” Barber said. “Draft year performance is the most important in any analytical model and teams are missing those.”
It’s a tough year regardless, typically unless you’re picking in the early 1st round in baseball, you never really know what you’re going to get.
Good news is that teams can then sign as many undrafted players as they want for a max of $20,000. The Phillies gave up their 2nd round pick after signing Zack Wheeler so having the option to snag up a few more undrafted players than usual should increase their chances of getting lucky in the later rounds.
All signs point to the Phillies taking a pitcher in the 1st round. With high school players and scouting being totally up in the air. It would make sense for the Phillies to go after a college player instead. In return, they could be getting a pitcher that’s more seasoned to move quickly through the minors.
Mock drafts have the Phillies linked to RHP Cade Cavalli out of Oklahoma.
Per CBS Sports:
Another name that pops up would be Nick Bitsko from Central Bucks East High School. I’m always down for a hometown kid – but given the fact that he’s in high school, I don’t see the Phillies making that move. CBS Sports also notes that the Phillies haven’t been linked to many high school prospects given the circumstances of this year’s draft.
That brings us back to Cade Cavalli.
Cade Cavalli is a 6’4”, 226 and was ranked #295 on the Baseball America top 500 draft rankings for the 2017 draft. He didn’t pitch his senior year due to some back issues that lowered his draft stock. Cavalli ended up being selected in the 29th round by the Atlanta Braves, and he passed on signing with them to go to OU. (smart)
The appeal of Cavalli obvious. He’s big, has a pitcher’s build, has a clean delivery, throws hard, has a plus secondary, has a couple of other decent pitches, and profiles as a potential frontline starter. The right-hander appeared in four games as a starter in the shortened 2020 OU season and had a record of 1-2 with a 4.18 ERA. Over his college career he went 9-7 in 18 starts and an ERA of 4.09.
The Phillies definitely need the pitching help. We have some young arms that look promising (#34 Prospect Spencer Howard) but you can really never have too many arms in your system.