The Phillies had a terrific first day of the Draft. They began by using the No. 1 overall pick on California high schooler Mickey Moniak, who could be Christian Yelich with the added bonus of sticking in center field. In the second round, they landed another high-upside California prepster in right-hander Kevin Gowdy, who flashes plus stuff and has plenty of projectability and pitchability.
The Phillies had a terrific second day of the Draft too -- the best of any team, in fact. They kicked off Friday's proceedings by selecting Nebraska prep third baseman Cole Stobbe, who can hit for power and average and is reminiscent of Trevor Story. He was the best signable position player available, and Philadelphia's $13,405,200 signing pool has room for another seven-figure bonus.
After Stobbe in the third round, the Phillies added a pair of left-handers with low-90s fastballs and good changeups in Yavapai (Ariz.) JC's Jo Jo Romero (fourth round) and Oregon's Cole Irvin (fifth). Dallas Baptist outfielder David Martinelli's athleticism and improved hitting could have landed him in the third round, yet Philadelphia was able to steal him in the sixth.
Beyond the Phillies, these teams did the best job finding talent in rounds 3-10:
San Francisco didn't have a first-round pick, but its Draft still started nicely when it nabbed Vanderbilt outfielder Bryan Reynolds in the second round on Wednesday. The Giants continued to get good value on Day Two, starting with slugging Samford outfielder Heath Quinn in the third round and electric-armed Oregon lefty Matt Krook in the fourth. Pacific outfielder Gio Brusa (sixth round) is a physical power hitter, while Oklahoma State lefty Garrett Williams (seventh) is erratic but has a well above-average fastball and curveball when at his best.
Texas prepsters Conner Capel (fifth round) and Ulysses Cantu (sixth) had the talent to go in the top three rounds, as Capel is a speedy center fielder with a mature approach and Cantu was one of the better hitters on the high school showcase circuit last summer (albeit without a clear defensive home). Cleveland apparently has budgeted enough money to sign both despite not taking a college senior in the top 10 rounds. The Indians also got a pair of strike-throwing Cape Cod League standouts in right-handers Aaron Civale (Northeastern, third round) and Shane Bieber (UC Santa Barbara, fourth).
North Carolina right-hander Zac Gallen (third round) should be the next in the line of polished college starters that St. Louis expedites to the big leagues. Mississippi high school first baseman Walker Robbins (fifth) is an advanced prep bat with the tools and approach to hit for power and average -- and he's also a low-90s lefty on the mound. Southern California's Jeremy Martinez (fourth) and North Carolina State's Andrew Knizner (seventh) are offensive-minded catchers who need more polish behind the plate. A gamble on Wichita State righty Sam Tewes (eighth) could pay off big if he can regain the 90-95 mph fastball and hard slider he had before undergoing Tommy John surgery in March.
Wright State's Sean Murphy (third round) might have the strongest arm among the Draft's catchers and also offers athleticism and power potential, though he'll need to make some adjustments as a hitter. Indiana high school right-hander Skylar Szynski (fourth) has a low-90s fastball, feel for his secondary pitches and more polish than a typical prep arm. Oakland may have something in Kentucky third baseman JaVon Shelby (fifth), who impresses more with his tools than his production, and North Carolina outfielder Tyler Ramirez (seventh), of whom the reverse is true.