By Connor Thomas
The MLB Amateur Draft has officially concluded, and the Phillies had a solid draft by most accounts. Their top end picks have solid upside, fill needs, and seem to have been highly coveted by other teams. Baseball drafts are not the same as the NFL or NBA Drafts, however. It will be years before we even get a glimpse of the top prospects drafted this year. It is 95% conjecture at this point to say whether or not an individual pick will end up making contributions at the Major League level, so in lieu of that, the critique of this draft is instead in the trends.
The Phillies, while putting together what seems to be a strong draft, do have a notable trend that once again popped up over their 20 selections this year. I wrote earlier this year about the trouble with how the Phils built their major league bullpen this year, and that issue is again seen in the trend of draft picks. Here’s the comprehensive list of the 2021 draftees for Dave Dombrowski and the Phillies:
Round 1 – RHP Andrew Painter, Calvary Christian Academy, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Round 2 – OF Ethan Wilson, University of South Alabama
Round 3 – OF Jordan Viars, Rick Reedy HS, Frisco, Texas
Round 4 – RHP Micah Ottenbriet, Trenton HS, Trenton, Michigan
Round 5 – RHP Griff McGarry, University of Virginia
Round 6 – RHP Jose Pena, Tampa Prep, Tampa, Florida
Round 7 – RHP Christian McGowan, E. Oklahoma JC.
Round 8 – RHP Jason Ruffcorn, University of Oklahoma
Round 9 – OF Gavin Tonkel, Heritage HS, Brentwood, California
Round 10 – OF Logan Cerny, Troy University, Troy, Alabama
Round 11 – RHP Andrew Baker, Chipola College, Marianna, Florida
Round 12 – 3B T.J. Rumfield, Virginia Tech
Round 13 – OF Jared Carr, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV
Round 14 – LHP Jose Valadez-Acuna, Veterans Memorial HS, Corpus, Christi, Texas
Round 15 – LHP Matt Osterberg, St. Cloud University, St. Cloud, Minnesota
Round 16 – RHP Ty Collins, Glendale College, Glendale, California
Round 17 – RHP Alex Garbrick, University of South Carolina
Round 18 – RHP Malik Binns, Benedictine University, Mesa, Arizona
Round 19 – RHP Seth Halvorson, University of Missouri
Round 20 – RHP Cam Wynne, University of Nebraska
For a team that has had such issues with their bullpen, it makes sense to want to produce some strong back end arms from their farm system. The Phillies attacked that by using 14 of their 20 selections on pitchers. The issue is that the organization once again seems allergic to left handed pitchers. Only TWO of the 14 pitchers selected are southpaws, and they were drafted in rounds 14 and 15. For a team that is currently searching for the accomplished lefty, it is mind boggling that they still simply do not stock pile their minor league teams with lefties. There is no indication that this draft class won’t work out, but it’s another year where the Phillies are continuing a trend that to this point hasn’t worked.