Phillies Draft Preview: Right-Handers

The Phillies may decide to go with more pitching when they make their first pick in the draft and if they do, there will be plenty of right-handers to choose from. Here's a look at some of them that may still be available when the Phillies pick at number 24.

As we said in our report looking at potential left-handed additions to the Phillies organization from the 2008 Draft, there's always room for more pitching. So, even with emerging right-handers coming through the system, the Phillies could be in the market to add a right-hander. It's unlikely that names like Aaron Crow, Shooter Hunt, Tim Melville, Ethan Martin or Josh Fields will be there when the Phillies pick, so let's take them off the board.

It wasn't that long ago that you could have pulled Tanner Scheppers, a right-hander out of Fresno State off the board as well, but that's changed. Scheppers has a stress fracture in his right shoulder and won't be able to throw at all for six weeks, meaning that a lot of teams with him in mind are now looking elsewhere. The same sort of thing happened with a guy named Cole Hamels a few years back and there were a lot of people who wondered what the Phillies were doing drafting a guy who had suffered a broken arm, but that worked out pretty well. If they get the medical reports and can see where the kid can heal and get past the injury, the Phillies could take a shot with him when they use their first round pick at number 24.

Here are some other names to keep in mind for the first round of the 2008 Draft.

Andrew Cashner, Texas Christian University

As the college season has progressed, Cashner's velocity has increased and what started as a low to mid-90s fastball now spends a lot of time in the 98 mile per hour range. He's also got a slider that is coming along and should develop into an above average pitch for him, but it will take some work. The downside is that Cashner is prone to losing his control and a good, hard fastball doesn't do you any good if you can't get it near the strike zone. It also doesn't do you a lot of good if it doesn't have a lot of movement on it and Cashner's fastball can flatten out at times.

Gerrit Cole, Orange Lutheran High School (California)

Throwing in the low to mid-90s, scouts are split on Gerrit Cole. Some believe he's a diamond in the rough and others just believe he's rough. His mechanics certainly aren't perfect and he seems to be too concerned with doing anything he can to generate velocity. He throws from a 3/4 arm slot and gets good movement on his pitches but when a team would be done tinkering with his mechanics, it's likely that his arm slot would be adjusted and he'd have to redevelop his pitches. The strange thing is that even though his mechanics aren't great, he can throw strikes consistently. When things do go badly though, he can be his own worst enemy and lose his composure on the mound.

Aaron Hicks, Wilson High School (California)

Okay, so technically, most consider him an outfielder, but he could be a potential presence on the mound. He's got a mid-90s fastball and good control as a pitcher, but in all honesty, most of his skills - speed and a good bat - would be wasted using him on the mound. Odds are that he'll be drafted as an outfielder, but he's at least worth a mention.

Casey Kelly, Sarasota High School (Florida)

Like Hicks, Kelly hasn't been exclusively a pitcher in his high school career, but unlike Hicks, he's probably a better mound prospect than he is as a position player. As a shortstop, scouts wonder if he'll hit enough to really be effective, but they're really starting to like what he can do on the mound. Remember that last year, the Phillies grabbed Joe Savery in the first round and one of the things that they liked about him was that he didn't have too many miles on his arm. Being both a part-time pitcher and a high schooler, Kelly is in much the same situation. He's got a 90 mile per hour fastball with good movement and a tumbling curve ball that is very good, especially when you consider that he hasn't focused on pitching full-time. His change-up is a work in progress, but as with all of his pitches, they would develop into much better entities if he were to be worried only about pitching. He should be there when the Phillies pick and he would be a very interesting and appealing player for them to grab.

Lance Lynn, University of Mississippi

Lynn doesn't have any one pitch that is devastating, but he's got three that are all good. His fastball is in the low-90s, but with good downward movement that can induce a lot of ground balls. His curve and change-up are average, but his curve is especially promising and with some work on the pitch, it could become a pretty strong pitch for him to use. He's got good command, including being able to throw his curve for strikes. He's also a smart kid who can be successful by setting up hitters as he pitches and he's got great confidence and poise on the mound.

Alex Meyer, Greensburg High School (Indiana)

Meyer is a man-child, standing 6' 7". He's got a commitment to Kentucky, but that won't stop him from signing with a team if he goes high enough. It's actually very possible that he'll be gone by the time the Phillies pick, but he won't have to fall very far for them to have a shot at him. Both the Cubs at 19 and the Mariners at 20 have been tracking the kid and both are thought to be very interested in him, so one of them will likely grab him.

Jake Odorizzi, Highland High School (Illinois)

This is a high school kid with both a four-seamer and a two-seamer. The four-seamer tends to fall down in the zone, while the two-seamer moves in and out, giving him the best of both worlds. He matches those with a change-up just about 20 miles per hour slower than his fastball, but he can't throw it consistently well and he tends to tip off the pitch too much for it to be really effective. His curve and slider both figure to be out pitches for him, with the curve ball riding ahead of the slider at this point. He sometimes loses focus on the mound and he's got a commitment to Louisville, so teams will have to be weary of how easy it would be to sign him.

Have you seen any of these right-handers pitch? Or, do you just want to give your opinion on which one of them the Phillies may be most interested in? You can do all of that and more in the Phillies Prospect Clubhouse available exclusively to Philly Baseball News premium subscribers.

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