Phillies focus on college players in draft

Posted: June 09, 2014

The three-day Major League Baseball first-year player draft was an effort by the Phillies to add experience, especially at the most-needed position, pitching.

The 40-round affair ended Saturday, and the Phillies made an extended run at college players, with 26 of the first 27 selections from four-year schools.

"It wasn't by design, but it worked out that way," Phillies assistant general manager for amateur scouting Marti Wolever said in a phone interview.

After the 27th selection, the Phillies didn't draft a single four-year college player. The final tally was 26 college players, three from junior colleges, and 11 from high school. The Phillies drafted 22 pitchers, including eight in their first 13 selections.

"It was a good draft for pitching, and we did want to add in that area," Wolever said.

The one high school player taken in the first 27 rounds, eighth-round choice Sam McWilliams, a 6-foot-7 righthander from Tennessee, tweeted that he was a Phillie.

Wolever confirmed that the two sides had agreed to terms and said a number of other players have also, but the team was not ready to release information until players officially sign.

Teams are assigned slot values for each pick, and the Phillies total bonus pool for their first 10 selections is $6.89 million.

In Rounds 11-40 the slot value is $100,000 per selection, which isn't counted among the overall draft pool. However, if a player in those rounds signs for more than $100,000, that extra money counts against the pool.

Teams can exceed slot value for any pick, but there are penalties for going 5 percent or more over the total bonus pool.

The Phillies drafted 13 college seniors. (Cal second baseman Derek Campbell, a 20th-round pick, is listed as a senior, but the school confirmed he has another year of eligibility.) Teams often draft seniors and attempt to sign them below slot value in order to save money and pay above slot in other rounds.

Eastern High School outfielder Tom Flacco, the brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, was taken in the 32d round. Flacco has yet to make a college commitment.

"I like his makeup. He is a good athlete and a terrific competitor," Wolever said.

There were others who came with athletic roots. For instance, the Phillies 11th-round pick was Arizona State shortstop Drew Stankiewicz, whose father, Andy, played seven seasons in the majors.


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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