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Righty Eastman heads Phillies' 7 Day 2 picks

Club follows up Bohm with Round 4 selection, chooses 4 college prospects and 3 high-schoolers
MLB.com

The Phillies made seven more picks in Major League Baseball's 2018 Draft on Tuesday, selecting four college prospects and three high-schoolers.

Draft Tracker: Follow every Phillies Draft pick

The Phillies made seven more picks in Major League Baseball's 2018 Draft on Tuesday, selecting four college prospects and three high-schoolers.

Draft Tracker: Follow every Phillies Draft pick

The new additions follow the Phillies' lone choice from the first three rounds of the Draft, No. 3 overall pick Alec Bohm, a slugging third baseman from Wichita State. The Phillies didn't pick in the second or third rounds because they forfeited those picks by signing Jake Arrieta and Carlos Santana.

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon ET.

Here's a complete look at the Phillies' selections from Day 2 of the MLB Draft.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

Round 4: RHP Colton Eastman, Cal State Fullerton
Three years ago, Eastman and his friends gathered around a computer and watched 19 rounds of the 2015 MLB Draft go by before he heard his name called. The Twins had taken Eastman out of Central High School in Fresno, Calif., in the 20th round. Eastman chose Cal State Fullerton instead.

The decision paid off, with Eastman jumping 16 rounds to the Phillies at No. 107 after proving to be one of the top arms in the Big West Conference.

Cal State Fullerton's season is still alive, and so far the junior has posted a 10-3 record with a 2.20 ERA, 116 strikeouts and 27 walks in 16 starts. He threw a no-hitter against UC Santa Barbara in March, and has had a strong campaign after missing much of his sophomore season with elbow inflammation. He hasn't pitched in either of the last two summers.

Eastman isn't known for his velocity, with a fastball fluctuating from 89-92 mph. His changeup, which can drop to the low 80s, saw success in the early part of this season before regressing. He throws a curveball that has been inconsistent.

"He's a polished college pitcher who has performed and comes from a great program," Phillies director of amateur scouting Johnny Almaraz said Tuesday. "College pitchers who can do it at a high collegiate level are pretty good in professional baseball."

The Phillies already have two former Cal State Fullerton hurlers in their system. They took Connor Seabold last year in the third round, and the right-hander is currently pitching at Class A Advanced Clearwater. Tom Eshelman, an Astros second-round pick in 2015, is 1-5 with a 7.06 ERA in 11 starts with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Round 5: CF Matt Vierling, Notre Dame
The Phillies held a workout with Vierling last weekend at Citizens Bank Park that Almaraz said "checked all the boxes." Vierling has started for Notre Dame since his freshman year. He's a career .296 hitter with 19 home runs.

"He has a balance to him," Notre Dame head coach Mik Aoki said. "I don't know if he's a power guy, but there's more power there to tap into. He's a guy who is pretty well-rounded. He uses the whole field. He's not a guy you would shift."

Vierling has played primarily center field, and that is where the Phillies drafted him, but he has bounced around to both the corner infield and outfield spots when needed. He's made 26 career appearances on the mound, but Aoki said Vierling has always been more of a "position player who pitches" as opposed to the other way around. Adam Haseley, the Phillies' 2017 first-round pick, also pitched in college.

Just like Bohm, Vierling has improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio over the course of his college career, an approach that aligns with the Phillies' organizational philosophy of seeing as many pitches as possible. After striking out 30 times in 99 at-bats using wooden bats during last summer's Cape Cod League, Vierling posted a positive ratio for the first time at Notre Dame this season, with 27 walks to just 21 strikeouts. It's where Aoki has seen the most improvement in Vierling, and it's part of why Almaraz said Vierling has a chance to move quickly through the Phillies' system.

"He has become more mature at the plate," Aoki said. "His pitch selection has become, over time, better. I think the plate discipline is there. I think he's just grown to know himself a little better."

Round 6: SS Logan Simmons, Tattnall Square (Ga.) Academy
Simmons was the first high-schooler to be taken by the Phillies in 2018 after three college prospects. He's touted for his power and arm strength, and could profile long term as a third baseman or outfielder instead of shortstop because of his 6-foot-2 frame and lack of elite speed. Almaraz said Simmons will stay at short for now.

"A tremendous athlete," Almaraz said. "Explosive. Has the ability to play shortstop and has an above-average arm. He can run. Potentially has five tools."

At the plate, Simmons slashed .343/.431/.518 as a senior, but his power numbers took a bit of a dip because of his tendency to swing and miss. He hit just two home runs this season.

Simmons was a Rawlings-Perfect Game All-American entering the year and had committed to Georgia Tech.

Round 7: LHP Gabriel Cotto, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
The 6-foot-5, 18-year-old throws a fastball, slider, sinker and changeup. He attended the same high school as Phillies infielder Jesmuel Valentin.

"He's a young pup, who shows the feel for pitching and has the chance to potentially be a power pitcher down the road," Almaraz said.

Cotto previously committed to Broward College, a junior college in Florida. His slot at pick No. 197 is valued at approximately $228K, according to MLB.com's Draft Tracker.

Round 8: SS Seth Lancaster, Coastal Carolina
Lancaster's college numbers took a dip his junior season, and it might not have been his fault.

After slashing .326/.457/.509 as a key contributor on Coastal Carolina's College World Series-winning team in 2016 his sophomore season, Lancaster struggled as a junior. His average fell to .250 that year with a 26.5 percent strikeout rate. It's common in baseball to say that hitters just aren't seeing the ball, and that's why they aren't producing at the plate. For Lancaster, that was literal. His vision was failing because of a corneal infection in his right eye.

Lancaster had laser eye surgery this past offseason, and his numbers exploded. Through three seasons and 443 at-bats, he had hit 14 total home runs. He had 20 this year alone and slugged .646, while stealing 23 bases and striking out fewer times (55) than he walked (63). Almaraz said the Phillies' area scouts had all the background and medical information. It does not affect how they feel about Lancaster as a prospect.

The 6-foot-2, 208-pound Lancaster could eventually see a shift to third base because of his size, but the Phillies announced him as a shortstop. He bats left-handed.

Round 9: RHP Dominic Pipkin, Pinole Valley (Calif.) HS
MLB Pipeline ranked the 6-foot-4 right-hander as its No. 92 prospect entering the Draft. The Phillies took Pipkin with the 257th pick. He's committed to the University of California-Berkeley, but if the Phillies can sign him, it could be a steal at this point in the Draft.

Pipkin's early struggles this spring likely contribute to why he slipped to the ninth round. His command is inconsistent, but his long frame and athleticism equates to potential and a high ceiling. He's reached 96 mph on his fastball in the past and has shown glimpses of an effective changeup and slider.

"The scouts that followed him for the last three years at all of these showcases and Area Code games saw him as a high-ceiling guy," Almaraz said. "He's a projectional case. He has an average fastball right now and has the ability to pitch. With our player development, we're hoping we can develop a pretty good starter one day."

Video: Draft Reports: Dominic Pipkin, High School pitcher

Round 10: SS Madison Stokes, South Carolina
Stokes struggled with injuries the first three years of his career. Now finally healthy, he's thrived in a lineup that's still alive in the NCAA Super Regionals. After three seasons hitting .244 with four home runs, he's averaged .331 with 10 home runs this year. His walk rate has increased. Stokes turned his career around and landed with the Phillies because of it.

With raw power and decent speed, he could eventually shift to another position, possibly shortstop or first base.

Joe Bloss is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

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