Monday, June 8, 2015

MLB Draft 2015: Phillies Need Bats

Sometime around 8:00pm tonight, the Phillies will make the 10th overall selection in the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft. 
Having acquired a number of solid arms in recent trades, and developed a couple more through their system, the club should be focused on adding a sweet-swinging hitter with this year's top selection.
In two previous pieces leading up to the draft, I've advocated the club selecting a college outfielder and a high school outfielder.
If we eliminate the three highly-considered shortstop prospects, and the next 3-4 highest rated players on most boards, I have come up with a trio of hitters (including my previously suggested pair) that I think would make fine choices.

KYLE TUCKERTucker
Tucker is a 6'1, 180 pound outfielder who hits left-handed but throws righty. The brother of Astros outfielder Preston Tucker, he is considered at least his brother's equal as a hitter, but is even more athletic overall. His lefty stroke has been described as "smooth" and "easy", and I see him as the leading contender for the Phillies pick.

MLB DRAFT VIDEO - http://m.mlb.com/video/v37009163/draft-report-kyle-tucker-hs-outfielder


IAN HAPPHapp
A 6'0, 205 pound switch-hitter who looks like he will be an outfielder, but has 2nd base experience in his past. He conceivably could at least be given a chance to play the Keystone until he shows that he can't handle it. Happ will be the first-ever University of Cincinnati Bearcats player selected in the first round. He is widely considered as one of the 2-3 best college bats in this year's draft class, and has developing power. I really like this kid.

MLB DRAFT VIDEO - http://m.mlb.com/video/v37009069/draft-report-ian-happ-college-of2b



ANDREW BENINTENDIBenintendi
At 5'10 and 180 pounds, the pure lefty bat is the smallest of my personal trio here, but there is nothing small about his bat. Dominating with his power-speed combo while in the SEC with Arkansas this year, he is a fast-riser on most draft boards.

MLB DRAFT VIDEO - http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/67565098/v85680383/draft-report-andrew-benintendi-college-outfielder

The Phillies "brain trust" of team president Pat Gillick, general manager Ruben Amaro, and scouting director Johnny Almaraz are all surely going to be the main players in the club's draft war room this evening, and it will be their pick to make. At this point as fans, there is no choice but to hope they get it right.
It's way too soon to tell how the last two high picks, J.P. Crawford in 2013 and Aaron Nola a year ago, are going to pan out. But those players are now the Phillies top two prospects on all evaluators rankings. 
If the player selected here at #10 becomes a Top 3 prospect by this time next year, this will be considered a win.

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