Looking Back: The 2001 Draft

Anytime that a draft produces a Rookie of the Year, it's not all bad. Such is the case for the Phillies class of 2001; Some have done what was expected, while others haven't hit the heights of their potential.

Coming into the 2001 Draft, the Phillies were without their second and third round picks. They spent their second round pick on signing Rheal Cormier away from Boston and their third rounder went to Seattle as compensation for signing Jose Mesa. Had the Phillies kept those picks, they would have had a shot at drafting the likes of Dallas McPherson, who looks to be a big time player for the Angels. Oh well, at least they came away with one big bat in Ryan Howard.

Round 1: Gavin Floyd

Ah yes, Gavin Floyd. Fresh off his four inning, seven earned run start in Los Angeles, the shaky young pitcher seems destined to revisit AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre in the very near future. Actually, he could be packaged as part of a deal, which might be the best thing to happen to him. The old change of scenery deal might be a God send for young Floyd, who was hyped and marqueed as the right-handed top of the rotation for years to come for the Phillies  Instead, he's had issues getting over demotions and bad starts and when it looked like he had it all figured out this spring, he hasn't come close to matching his spring numbers once things started for real.

It's not out of the question that he could still develop into a very good pitcher, but it doesn't seem likely that it will be in Philadelphia. Even if he were to start to turn things around, there are just too many good, young pitchers coming along that would make sticking in the rotation tough for Floyd. Part of a deal with Florida for Dontrelle Willis? Maybe Oakland for Barry Zito? At this point, the Phillies would certainly consider putting him into any deal that made sense toward improving their major league club.

Who they passed on: Mark Teixeira, Casey Kotchman, Aaron Heilman, Bobby Crosby, Jeremy Bonderman and David Wright. How good would David Wright look in Phillies' pinstripes right about now?

Round 4: Terry Jones

The truth is that nobody really knows just how good Terry Jones is - or could have been. Injuries plagued him almost from the day he was drafted and he never was able to show the great promise that the Phillies thought they had in their fourth round pick. Actually, they thought that he would become a pretty good everyday third baseman for them and that it wouldn't take him too long to reach the majors. Instead, he fizzled and only made it as high as 44 games at Clearwater in 2004. He missed all of last season and hadn't played this season when the Phillies finally cut him loose. The 23 year old hasn't caught on elsewhere and there's no telling if he ever will. It really is a shame, because his story rivals that of Ron Jones, who made it to the majors with the Phillies before twice tearing up his knee and facing a premature end to a promising career.

Who they passed on: Kyle Davies (Atlanta)

Round 5: Ryan Howard

'nuff said. The Phillies didn't miss with this pick. The truth is that he has shown even more power and a better ability to hit for average than the Phillies projected. Obviously, had anybody known how he would turn out, he wouldn't have lasted until the fifth round. His 2005 Rookie of the Year season made the trading of Jim Thome not only possible, but necessary. In Howard, the Phillies have an all-star first baseman for years to come. The only thing you have to wonder about is how it would have all played out had Howard been able to learn to play left field. Would the Phillies have dealt Pat Burrell and kept Thome? Or, would they be trying to work a platoon with Burrell and Howard, much to the chagrin of the faithful?

Who they passed on: They got Ryan Howard. They didn't pass on anybody.

Round 6: Bryan Hansen

Bryan Hansen has been a decent player, but certainly hasn't torn things up for the Phillies. He's split his season between Clearwater and Reading and is hitting a combined .195 on the season. He had a decent season at Clearwater in 2005, hitting .266 with 8 homeruns for the Threshers, but his numbers have been pretty ordinary throughout his career. He could still develop, but the Phillies have some decent depth at first base and with Howard set at the major league level, Hansen is a spare part at this point.

Who they passed on: Edwin Jackson. While he hasn't done a whole lot, the former Dodgers' prospect at least made it to the majors and could still become a decent major league pitcher.

Round 7: Vincent DeChristofaro

After losing 21 games and posting a 5.15 ERA through his first four seasons in the Phillies' organization, DeChristofaro was last seen pitching in independent baseball in Canada.  He didn't have much success there either, posting a 7.30 ERA last season. Thanks for playing Vinny and here's a copy of the home game!

Who they passed on: Chad Tracy, Dan Johnson. Tracy has become a pretty nice player and Johnson figures to have a nice career with Oakland.

Of the other players drafted, Matt Sweeney has done the most in the organization. While he's struggled in 2006 (0-2, 6.65) with both Clearwater and Reading, Sweeney has decent stuff and put up good numbers prior to this season. Coming into 2006, he had a minor league career mark of 21-42, but a decent 4.25 ERA. Sweeney has played on some pretty bad clubs, contributing greatly to his dismal won-loss record. This guy isn't Cole Hamels, but he's not Vinny DeChristofaro either.


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