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Updates on Phillies' last three first-round picks

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies hope to find a premium talent with the third overall pick in the 2018 Draft.

Former No. 3 picks in the Draft include Manny Machado (2010), Eric Hosmer (2008), Evan Longoria (2006), Troy Glaus (1997), Matt Williams (1986) and Paul Molitor (1977). But that list also includes busts like Donovan Tate (2009), Kyle Sleeth (2003) and Chris Gruler (2002).

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies hope to find a premium talent with the third overall pick in the 2018 Draft.

Former No. 3 picks in the Draft include Manny Machado (2010), Eric Hosmer (2008), Evan Longoria (2006), Troy Glaus (1997), Matt Williams (1986) and Paul Molitor (1977). But that list also includes busts like Donovan Tate (2009), Kyle Sleeth (2003) and Chris Gruler (2002).

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The Phillies have had a top 10 pick in each of the previous four Drafts. Aaron Nola (seventh overall in 2014) has developed into the team's ace. But outfielders Cornelius Randolph (10th, 2015), Mickey Moniak (first, 2016) and Adam Haseley (eighth, 2017) have struggled to varying degrees, with varying levels of concern.

Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan discussed Randolph, Moniak and Haseley before Friday night's series opener against the Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park:

Randolph, 20, is hitting .195 with five doubles, one home run, nine RBIs and a .536 OPS in 144 plate appearances with Double-A Reading. Jordan said he sees similarities between Randolph's slow start this season and his slow start last season with Class A Advanced Clearwater. Randolph hit .220 with a .651 OPS in 270 plate appearances though June 27 with the Threshers. He hit .284 with an .839 OPS in 240 plate appearances the rest of the way.

"I believe as the summer went along, he caught up to the speed of the Florida State League," Jordan said. "I just think that for the third straight year, he's one of the youngest players in the league he's in. I fully expect him to catch up to the speed of the game and turn things around."

Moniak, 20, is hitting .220 with six doubles, 14 RBIs and a .491 OPS in 170 plate appearances with Clearwater. He has walked just three times and struck out 43 times.

Moniak recently fell out of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects rankings. Does that matter? No, not really. But it indicates how much his stock has dropped since the Phillies selected him.

"Moniak is so much closer than people realize," Jordan said. "I watch his at-bats every morning from the night before, if I'm not there. He's got to get stronger. I think the strength is the biggest ingredient that's missing. I think he's swinging the bat much better than .220. I expect him to get going. Again, I can't spin it. The numbers are what they are, but I really believe that Mickey is swinging the bat much better than that. He's doing a great job in the outfield. He's going to be a good player for us."

Asked if the Phillies need to worry about Moniak putting too much pressure on himself, Jordan said, "One of the biggest reasons that I have comfort in the fact that he's going to get through all of this stuff is because he's so strong mentally. He has struggled, but it's not to the degree that the stat sheet is telling you."

Haseley, 22, is hitting .279 with nine doubles, one triple, three home runs, 28 RBIs and a .698 OPS in 186 plate appearances with Clearwater, but he has heated up recently. He entered Friday hitting .373 with three doubles, two home runs, 15 RBIs and a .967 OPS in his past 13 games.

"Haseley is fine," Jordan said. "I heard this from Adam -- they're pitching to him. A lot of fastballs. They're not shying away from a guy that's a first-round pick. I think that's been a little bit of an adjustment for him, compared to last year at UVA where he was pitched very carefully and he took a lot of walks. I do think he's a guy that will control the strike zone and he will walk in the future, but he's swinging. Adam Haseley is going to be a hitter.

"I wish they were all doing better than they are, but there's good things happening with all three players. I think the second half of the summer is what we're going to have to gauge, especially with Mickey and Cornelius, just because of their age and where they're at. Overall numbers are great, but progression is what's important."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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