Phillies Draft Preview: Third, OF & Catcher

We wrap up our look at potential new Phillies with some scouting reports on third basemen, outfielders and catchers.

Third base is an interesting position in the Phillies organization. They have a couple decent prospects there and a few others that they could move from other positions if they decided to. All in all, grabbing a high profile and potentially fast-moving third base prospect on Thursday wouldn't hurt, so here are a few options for late first round picks.

We're assuming that Pedro Alvarez, Brett Wallace and Conor Gillaspie are all gone by the time the Phillies pick. If not, you could certainly add them to the list of potential grabs at number 24. The truth is that the Phillies may not be able to find an impact player at third base early in the draft and may just have to be content with looking to fill the spot later in the draft.

James Darnell, University of South Carolina

This would be a stretch for the Phillies with either their first round or sandwich round pick, but he's the only one really worth mentioning if the bigger names are indeed gone. Darnell is a decent player, but there are some holes in his game, with consistency being the biggest of the issues. He does have great raw power, but sometimes gets a little long in his swing and puts himself into a cold spell that takes some time to pull out of. The Phillies minor league coaches may be able to help him improve on consistency and if they can, he could turn out to be a nice player. Some believe he's destined to play right field thanks to an above average arm and a quick first step, combined with some holes in his glove work at third. Unfortunately, his quick first step transitions into much slower following steps and overall, he doesn't provide much speed.

Outfield is naturally a deeper position in the draft. The Phillies have some quality outfielders coming along, so finding one early might not be a priority, but when you're drafting in the low portion of the first round it might not be a bad idea to take the best available player and that could be an outfielder.

Here are some thoughts.

Zach Collier, Chino Hills HS (California)

This could be a quality pick-up for late in the first round or with the sandwich pick. At just 17, he's got some filling out to do and he's going to be a bit of a project rather than a quick fix type of player, but that would be okay considering the Phillies minor league system. He's got good speed, but needs some added work on the basepaths with the right instruction to learn the art of stealing bases rather than just relying on his speed. The big part of his game is power and his ability to drive the ball through the middle of the diamond and occasionally turn on pitches and yank them out down the right field line (he's a left-handed hitter). Once his growing and developing are done, he could turn into a power-hitting player with above average speed and the ability to steal bases. Add to that the potential to hit for a high average and he could be a true find. Some teams haven't quite jumped on the Collier bandwagon because it got a late start and only really started to surge this Spring.

Ike Davis, Arizona State

Davis should be there when the Phillies pick at 24 and possibly when they make their sandwich pick (34th overall) so they may pass on him with their first pick and then hope to pick him up later. He's got a nice swing from the left side of the plate and scouts agree that he'll develop more power, but his mechanics sometimes fall into disarray. He can also play the corner outfield spots and has pitched for ASU, but his future isn't on the mound. Good coaching will help garner his focus and erase some inconsistencies that he has at the plate and turn him into a true power-hitting player with very good skills across the board.

Isaac Galloway, Los Osos HS (California)

In a perfect world, Galloway will have a shot at hitting 20 home runs a year and swiping 20 bases per year as well. His tools are pretty solid right now and he figures to be a contact hitter who will display some power to left (he's a right-handed hitter) and help you out in key spots on the bases. All of the tools are there, but some scouts believe he's not going to project as highly as some players who could be drafted behind him. He figures to be a nice, all around player who will do a lot of things well, but won't be the type to explode with any one of his tools.

Brett Lawrie, C/OF, Brookswood SS (Canada)

Where, oh where should Lawrie play? That's the question. He's been catching, but doesn't have a lot of experience behind the plate and may be best suited for a move to the outfield down the road. He's got natural power and excels his power with good mechanics at the plate and a short, compact swing generating good bat speed. He can sometimes get himself out by chasing balls away from him and he has a somewhat open stance, which could possibly be changed with some help. With his naturally good swing, he could certainly close up and still hit the inside pitch while not being quite as vulnerable to pitches on the outer part of the plate. It's possible that he'll still be there when the Phillies pick at 24, but not likely that he'll be there when they make their supplemental pick.

Lawrie helps transition us into catchers, where the pickings aren't great for late in the first round.  Buster Posey and Kyle Skipworth are the big names behind the plate, but they'll be negotiating deals by the time the Phillies pick.

Jason Castro, Stanford

A pretty solid left-handed hitting catcher, Castro is known for his work ethic. He's got an average arm, but has worked tirelessly on his footwork and release to second and improved his ability to throw out runners looking to steal a bag. He's not afraid to put himself in front of a ball in the dirt and knows how to work with pitchers, which is something the Phillies always look for. His offense is good and he projects as a guy with just above average power and the ability to hit for a decent average. If he's guilty of anything, it's that he sometimes tries to do too much and gets himself into trouble. Some maturity will help erase that and some work with professional coaching will help close some minor holes in his swing making him a pretty decent catching prospect.


 


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