2006 Ranking: N/A
School: Durango High School (Las Vegas, NV)
Cardinal: Selected in the 16th round of the June, 2006 First-Year Player
Draft. Received a $325,000 signing bonus. 2006 AVG. AB H HR RBI R SB BB K OBP. SLG OPS J.C. .231 182 42 1 19 26 12 26 42 .664
Jason Scott (NR): Pham barely missed the cut with me, coming in at No. 41. You wouldn't think much of him if you were just to look at the position he was drafted in or his plate production at Johnson City, but don't let these two things fool you. Viewed as at least a top five-round pick entering the draft, Pham's firm commitment to Cal State-Fullerton steered teams away until the Cardinals took a chance on him in the 16th round. The Cardinals were able to convince him to sign, awarding him with a $325,000 signing bonus. One explanation for his lack of production could be a groin strain that he suffered shortly after signing, causing him to miss two weeks. Prior to the set-back he was hitting .345/.457/.483.
Leonda Markee (27): My ranking of Pham represents one of the exceptions to my usual ranking philosophy. There were a few June 2006 draftees for whom I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt, based on projected upside and youth. Mr. Pham is one of those players. Born in 1988, Pham is among the handful of youngest players in the system and is a highly touted prospect coming out of high school that dropped to the Cardinals due to signability issues. Next year I will not be so generous.
Ray Mileur (39): Selected in the 16th round (496 pick overall) of the 2006 draft, Jeff Luhnow, the Cardinals vice president of amateur scouting and player development, had the following to say about Pham after the draft.
"We were excited to get him where we got him in the draft. He sort of reminds you and looks a little bit like Derek Jeter in the field. Plus arm and a good bat."
Pham began his professional career with a four hit game for Johnson City in a losing cause against Bristol, but struggled with the bat for most of his first pro season.
The 6'1" 175 pounder from Durango High School, Las Vegas Nevada finished the year playing for short-season Johnson City, where he hit just .234 in 54 games.
If Luhnow says Pham reminds him of Derek Jeter, I wouldn't let his .234 batting average give you any reason for alarm, but he'll need to hit better in '07 if he wants to move up in the rankings and the organization.
Brian Walton (40): One of the most intriguing players of the 2006 draft started out hitting well early-on, but fell off dramatically, perhaps due to injury, and never really came around. His line-drive bat has good pop but he had problems making contact, with 42 strikeouts in 161 at-bats. Pham also walked 26 times, however. He has great speed and range, with his 12 stolen bases good for a tie atop the Appalachian League.
Pham's biggest problem was fielding and especially throwing due to a stiff-armed motion. Supposedly, progress was made in this area during the Winter Instructional League. Still, Pham could end up repeating Johnson City in 2007, which would be far from the end of the world for a player who doesn't turn 19 until March.
STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking), NR = Not RatedTo see our entire list of 40 prospects as they are unveiled daily, click here.
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