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Phillies add mix of high school, college talent

June 11, 2016

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies believe they landed three first-round talents in the first three rounds of the 2016 Draft.Even better, outfielder Mickey Moniak (first overall pick in first round), right-hander Kevin Gowdy (second round) and shortstop Cole Stobbe (third round) could sign contracts in the near future. Moniak and Gowdy

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies believe they landed three first-round talents in the first three rounds of the 2016 Draft.
Even better, outfielder Mickey Moniak (first overall pick in first round), right-hander Kevin Gowdy (second round) and shortstop Cole Stobbe (third round) could sign contracts in the near future. Moniak and Gowdy have college commitments to UCLA. Stobbe has committed to Arkansas. Once signed, they are expected to begin their careers in the Gulf Coast League.
:: Complete 2016 Draft coverage ::
The Phillies completed their 2016 Draft on Saturday, when they selected 30 players. In the end, the club selected 12 high school players and 28 college players overall, including four junior college players. The Phillies took 16 right-handers, seven left-handers, four catchers, three first basemen, one third baseman, three shortstops and six outfielders.
"We're extremely happy," Phillies amateur scouting director Johnny Almaraz said. "We think we've got a very good balance of high school and college players as far as offense is concerned. And we've got the same with high school and college pitchers. I think it was a very balanced Draft."
The Phillies used their first three picks on Day 3 to select three high schoolers: center fielder Josh Stephen (11th round), right-hander Justin Miller (12th round) and right-hander Andrew Brown (13th round). They have commitments to USC, Fresno City College and Central Arizona College, respectively. The Phillies expect to sign each of them.
"We had [Stephen] evaluated as the third-best high school bat in California," Almaraz said. "A really good looking kid who can hit. He has power. We think he's a corner guy who's going to hit for average and hit 20 home runs.
"[Miller and Brown] are big kids. They're throwing in the low 90s right now and they have upside still. It's good for us to have two upside guys right there."
The Phillies already have a commitment from their 20th-round pick, Cowley County Community Junior College first baseman Caleb Eldridge.
Last year, Almaraz used 13 of the organization's first 18 selections on hitters. He then picked 10 consecutive pitchers from the 19th to the 28th round. Almaraz said at the time that position players are becoming a rarity, while he felt he could find pitching late.
This year the script flipped a bit, with the Phillies taking pitchers with eight of their first 13 picks before taking five positions players in rounds 14-20.
"I was basically trying to attack the board the same way, but when I saw guys like [14th-round pick Darick] Hall and Eldridge … their ability far superseded what I was looking for as far as the mound is concerned," Almaraz said. "Although they might cost a little bit more money, I wanted to go get those guys. They're hard to find. Power, it seems like it's diminishing. These bats that have some type of power. I wanted to go after them, so we did."
The Phillies selected 6-foot-10 right-hander Kyle Young in the 22nd round. He has committed to Hofstra, but the Phillies worked him out this week and think they can sign him.
"He's got a really good delivery," Almaraz said. "He's got great arm action. We've seen him pitch 90-91 [mph] tops. He pitches about 87 [mph] right now. He's a projection guy and we think if everything comes together with this guy he can throw 95-96 [mph]. He's just a baby right now and we're going to make a run at him."
Almaraz is confident the Phillies can sign almost everybody they would like to sign. They have $13,405,200 in their bonus pool. The No. 1 pick is valued at $9,015,000, but Moniak is expected to sign below that figure, which will allow the Phillies to spend more in the later rounds.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.