The Phillies completed the business end of their 2020 draft on Thursday when they announced the signing of University of Arkansas infielder Casey Martin.
Martin, 21, was the Phillies’ third-round pick (87th overall). He received a signing bonus of $1.3 million, well above the $685,500 slot value assigned that pick by MLB.
The Phillies had room to go over slot for Martin because they did not have a second-round pick. They forfeited that pick after signing free-agent pitcher Zack Wheeler last winter.
Some draft experts believe the Phillies got a potential steal in Martin, a shortstop who can also play third base and second base. He was projected to be a first-rounder in this draft after a stellar freshman season at Arkansas. He struggled as a sophomore, particularly at the plate, and had a hamate bone issue at the base of his left hand that required surgery last fall. Those factors caused Martin to slip in the draft.
Martin, 5-11, 175 pounds, has speed, power and arm strength. He hit 30 homers in 572 at-bats over two-plus seasons at Arkansas.
“He’s an exciting, quick-twitch athlete who is full of tools,” Phillies scouting director Brian Barber said after the draft. “Any time we can get middle-of-the-field players who competed at a high level like the SEC with speed and power, we’re going to be in it.
“We got a lot of looks at him his freshman year when he lit it up and we believe in the hit tool. We’re super excited to have him.”
The Phillies’ other two picks in the draft, which was shortened from 40 to five rounds because of the coronavirus pandemic, have also signed. Fourth-rounder Carson Ragsdale, a right-hander from the University of South Florida, signed for $225,000. Power-hitting outfielder Baron Radcliff of George Tech, the team’s fifth-round pick, signed for $100,000.
As an extra added bonus, all four players received a phone call from Bryce Harper.
After the draft, the Phillies signed 10 free-agent pitchers from the college ranks. The maximum bonus for non-drafted free agents was $20,000. They are:
RHP Chase Antle (Coastal Carolina)
RHP Blake Brown (UNC Asheville)
LHP Jordan Fowler (Central Missouri)
RHP Buddy Hayward (Harvard)
RHP Jonathan Hughes (Georgia Tech)
RHP Sam Jacobsak (Northeastern)
LHP Jake McKenna (Ocean City HS – NJ)
RHP Noah Skirrow (Liberty)
RHP Billy Sullivan (Delaware)
LHP JP Woodward (Lafayette)
With the minor-league season falling victim to the pandemic, it is unclear when these players will actually take the field as part of the Phillies’ player development program. It seems likely that there will be a minicamp for new players, followed by an instructional league type format later in the summer or in the fall, public health permitting.