The Arizona Diamondbacks might have made the Phillies first round pick a little easier. The Phillies had two University of Virginia players at the top of their draft list and the D'backs took first baseman Pavin Smith with the seventh overall pick, leaving outfielder Adam Haseley for the Phillies with the eighth overall pick.
Haseley, a left-handed hitting outfielder, hit 14-56-.390/.491/.659 for the Cavaliers in 58 games this season. Early in his college career, Haseley was thought of more as a left-handed pitcher than an outfielder, but his bat started to come around in his junior season and his average jumped from .250 in 2015 to .304 as a junior. His power numbers also increased, going from just one to six last season at UVA.
The Phillies had been connected to both Smith and Haseley throughout the preparation for the draft, with Smith being thought of more highly earlier in the process, but with Haseley emerging lately as the go-to guy for the Phillies.
As a pitcher, Haseley also had impressive stats, going 9-3 with a 1.73 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP this past season, but most scouts see his bat as being a better ticket to the majors for the 21-year old prospect. Most project that Haseley will play in center field and believe that he'll be more of a get on-base, higher average kind of guy than a power hitter, but some scouts believe he could hit as high as 20-25 home runs a year in the majors. He had made adjustments to his swing mechanics that he believes helped him produce more contact and increase his power over what he had been doing earlier in his college career.
Teams scouted Haseley out of high school, but he was very open about his plans to attend UVA and went undrafted. Scouts give him above-average marks for his speed with a strong arm and good natural instincts to play the outfield.
Haseley has drawn comparisons to Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin and the Red Sox Andrew Benintendi.
UVA currently lists Haseley at 6' 1", 195 pounds.