Draft Preview: Third-Round Pitching Prospects

The Phillies have organizational holes at catcher and center field. One of the strong parts of the minor league system is pitching, but that doesn't mean that the Phillies won't still add to that strength if they're given the chance. There are some pretty decent third round pitchers out there who might be available for the Phillies choosing.

Left-hander Chuck Tiffany might need to fall a few spots in the draft in order for the Phillies to have a shot at him with their third round pick. Tiffany, out of Charter Oaks High School in West Covina, California is a control pitcher. He'll occasionally hit the low 90s on the radar gun and might be a fast mover through the minors because of his natural abilities.

Some other more likely names are Greg Reynolds, Dallas Buck, Cliff Davis, Jake Stevens and Greg Moviel. They're all high school pitchers projected to go in the middle to lower end of the third round, about where the Phillies will be making their first pick of the draft. Unfortunately, Reynolds, Buck and Davis might be tough ones to sign, which is something the Phillies will have to pay close attention to.

Reynolds may be an even better football player than he is a baseball player. With that being the case, his commitment to Stanford may be a real obstacle to getting him signed. Buck has committed to Oregon State and has a lot of offensive skills that may be worth pursuing in the college ranks, since he has also played shortstop. Davis is a powerful, 6-5, right-hander who is also a promising football player and has committed to Vanderbilt. Like Reynolds, he may be a tough sign because he's undecided about which sport to pursue.

Stevens is a 6-2, left-hander. He's got a nice fastball and a quickly improving curve and change-up that he can throw for strikes. Some scouts believe that he may be a pretty quick mover, who could be in the majors before too long. Moviel is another lefty, but with a little more power and size than Stevens. Moviel is 6-7 and hits the low 90s on the guns already.

For what it's worth, if Tiffany is gone, Stevens is probably the most complete pitcher who would likely still be available and would be relatively easy to sign from the high school group of pitchers.

If the Phils decide they want a college boy, Chad Lanier (Brevard College) or Sean White (University of Washington) are the likely choices.

Like Moviel, Lanier is a 6-7 lefty with good velocity. There is nothing that really is remarkable about Lanier, but he seems to have a good mound presence and work ethic. White somehow fell to the 35th round last season until the Expos drafted him. He returned to Washington for his junior season and should be a solid high-round pick this year. Actually, teams have been watching Lanier for years. Baltimore drafted him way back in 1999 out of high school in the 41st round. White is a talented pitcher with decent command and is developing a good curve to go with his fastball. His velocity is high 80s, but could improve a little with some work.

The Phillies don't shy away from high school pitchers and Stevens still appears to be the way for the Phillies to go if they decide they want more pitching with their first pick.


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