Mike Costanzo Is The Perfect Pick For Phils

For the second time in three seasons, the Phillies were without a first round pick in the draft. At least this time around, they had a second round pick. Two years ago, the Phillies shopped for speed. Last year, it was catching. This year, it's power hitters with a good dose of pitching thrown into the mix. The highlight though will definitely be second round pick Mike Costanzo, who looks to sign quickly.

Mike Costanzo is the guy that the Phillies set their sites on and the Baseball Gods allowed them to have their way.

Costanzo was born a Phillies fan - he literally left the hospital in a Phillies jacket - and he was targeting the Phillies just as much as they were targeting him. "You have no idea how big of a Phillies fan I am. I'm an enormous Phillies fan. It runs in my blood. This is a dream come true," said Costanzo when he was introduced to the media at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday.

The Phillies made a solid pick with their second rounder. They can use third basemen in the organization, they can use power and in Costanzo they also get a kid who will truly cherish the opportunity to be a Phillie. Costanzo was the right guy for the Phillies to settle on and odds are that he'll be a quick sign and be an official member of the Phillies organization as fast as possible. "I can't wait to play for the Phillies," he said. "Hopefully, I'll be signed by tomorrow. I'm not pulling a J.D. Drew. I'm not doing that to this team or this city."

We love him already!

Costanzo's adviser David Pasti echoed Costanzo's plan. "I'm from Rockville, Maryland and I'm not leaving (Philadelphia) until it happens," Pasti said of getting Costanzo signed.

While Costanzo said nothing of the irony, consider that the last time the Phillies selected a third baseman this high in the draft, it was Scott Rolen in '93. While Rolen was at one time part of the pride of the Phillies organization, the relationship soured and he was shipped to St.Louis. In Costanzo, the chances of the relationship souring are slim and none, considering that the Phillies both need and want Costanzo and that he has the Phillies in his blood.

The Phillies added more power to compliment the selection of Costanzo.

Fourth rounder Mike Durant is a big, strong kid, who has already been called "a right-handed Ryan Howard," by Phillies Scouting Director Marti Wolever. Durant had said that he would head for Fresno State to play college ball, but his tune has changed and he now appears headed to signing with the Phillies. Durant knows Jimmy Rollins, who ironically has been courted by the Phillies to sign a long-term deal. Maybe they can get a two-for-one sort of package.

Wolever had plenty of lofty comparisons on day one of the draft. In talking about seventh round pick Jermaine Williams, Wolever gushed of comparisons to Andre Dawson. Williams played at Los Angeles High School this past season and appears destined to sign pretty quickly.

In Costanzo, Durant and Williams, the Phillies have three young power hitters who all figure to sign quickly to start their pro career in the Phillies organization.

The Phillies also selected eight pitchers through the first 17 picks (18 rounds).

Left-hander Matt Maloney was the highest drafted pitcher by the Phillies. They took him in the third round out of the University of Mississippi.

Maloney has an 8-2, 3.14 mark for Ole Miss this season. He's whiffed 104 batters in 97 1/3 innings of work. Maloney is a key part of the staff for Ole Miss as they head into the Super Regionals of the College World Series this weekend.

Of the eight pitchers that the Phillies selected, only two were high school pitchers. Matt Olson (13th round) and Darren Byrd (18th round) are both right-handers.


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