The Philadelphia Phillies have been the biggest surprise team in the majors this season. Following a 99-loss campaign, the team is 26-23 in 2016. While it is unlikely they could overtake the New York Mets or the Washington Nationals, the team didn’t get its 26th win in 2015 until June 23. By then, the team already had forty-seven losses.
Some nice young pieces are up in the majors and down on the farm. Philadelphia will have a chance to add on to that with the number one overall pick in the MLB First Year Player Draft on June 9. Who that person is, people don’t yet know, as there is no sure thing to be selected. High School or college? Hitting or pitching? The answer will come soon. For now, let’s take a look at the most realistic possibilities.
Phillies Draft Options
Left-handed pitcher Jason Groome, Barnegat High School, Barnegat, N.J. – Groome’s name has long been linked to be the top pick in 2016. Eligibility concerns have loomed over him recently. He transferred back to Barnegat for his senior year from Florida’s IMG Academy. Since there was no address change, Groome was declared ineligible for thirty days, or half his school’s games.
His fastball usually hovers around the mid-90s and can reach the upper-90s. Groome has a curveball which has also been met with critical acclaim. The 6’6″, 220 lb southpaw won’t turn 18 until August. Should the Phillies pass on him, he won’t remain on the board for long.
Outfielder Mickey Moniak, La Costa Canyon High School, Carlsbad, CA – Moniak, who just turned 18 earlier in the month, has benefited from a rising stock. At one point, the top prep bat was thought to be fellow outfielder and UCLA commit Blake Rutherford of Chaminade College Prep in Los Angeles. Most likely Rutherford will still be a top ten pick, but Moniak could potentially be the first player to hear his name called at the draft.
Moniak was the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of California. He demonstrates excellent contact hitting, and also wields power, despite that not being his strongest tool. His plate discipline was tremendous as a senior. With some room to grow, he ought to be selected high in this draft and rank highly on future prospect lists.
Outfielder Kyle Lewis, Mercer University – Yes, Mercer is not a school people think of when it comes to being a hot bed for highly touted baseball players. While it isn’t an LSU or a Vanderbilt, Lewis is in serious consideration to be chosen by the Phils. Much of that can be owed to a very impressive slash line of .300/.344/.500 last summer while he played for the Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod League.
A May 26 Fangraphs article suggested Lewis has five-tool potential. The 6’4″, 210 lb right-handed batter has also commonly drawn comparisons to Jason Heyward. His power was showcased in the Cape when he went deep seven times. Lewis can also hit bombs when he homers. Should he live up to his potential, he projects as a formidable offensive weapon for years to come.
Left-handed pitcher A.J. Puk, Florida – ESPN’s Keith Law believes Puk will be the pick. The Gators’ lefty would add to an already formidable rotation consisting of Aaron Nola and Vincent Velasquez for the Fightins. Law has gone to the point where it’s Puk and everyone else. He is very confident the 6’7″ southpaw will go No. 1.
His fastball can touch 99, though it sits in the mid-90s. Puk also throws a very nice slider and changeup. He’s established himself as the top college arm available. Should the Phillies go elsewhere with the top pick, the Reds would likely be more than happy to grab him second overall.
For more MLB draft info, check out our coverage here.