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Phillies seek overall ability to help with rebuild

Philadelphia's first pick in Monday's MLB Draft will be at No. 8
MLB.com

The No. 1 overall pick in the MLB Draft picked up and moved northwest from Philadelphia to Minnesota in 2017. Still in the top 10 because of a 71-91 finish last season, the Phillies' selections this year remain important pieces of the puzzle for a rebuilding team.

The Draft will take place Monday through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. on Monday. MLB Network will broadcast the first 36 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 75 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, starting at 1 p.m. ET. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Wednesday, beginning at noon ET.

The No. 1 overall pick in the MLB Draft picked up and moved northwest from Philadelphia to Minnesota in 2017. Still in the top 10 because of a 71-91 finish last season, the Phillies' selections this year remain important pieces of the puzzle for a rebuilding team.

The Draft will take place Monday through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. on Monday. MLB Network will broadcast the first 36 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 75 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, starting at 1 p.m. ET. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Wednesday, beginning at noon ET.

Go to MLB.com/draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLBPipeline.com analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.

Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Phillies, whose first selection is the eighth overall pick.

:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::

In about 50 words
While much of the Phillies' first-round decision will be determined by the seven teams preceding them, count on director of amateur scouting Johnny Almaraz to fill the farm system with plenty of collegiate pitching and a specific type of position player, regardless of age.

The scoop
Almaraz's core philosophy is different than that of the previous regime. He's looking to draft players with the best overall ability and consistency. "They have to be baseball players first," Almaraz said. Sometimes, this can mean passing on a freak high school athlete with lots of question marks and room to grow into himself, because, during that buffer period, it's possible for his maturation to deviate off course. He's in search of complete ballplayers.

First-round buzz
The above ideology doesn't undervalue younger players. After all, he has taken high school hitters first in his only two Drafts with the Phillies. But this year's elite crop of collegiate athletes could carry a player with unique untapped potential that checks Almaraz's main boxes. In his June 1 Mock Draft, MLB.com's Mayo tabbed the Phillies to select the University of Virginia's Adam Haseley, a higher-floor prospect that has excelled at the highest level of collegiate baseball in more ways than one.

Haseley is one of the nation's best two-way players, facing the game's best collegiate talent in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He had the second-best ERA (1.73) in the ACC as a sophomore and led the conference this season at the dish, posting a .390 average and a .491 on-base percentage, all while recording the second-best strikeout-to-walk ratio. When Haseley stops pitching, he could potentially tap into even more power and skill as a hitter. Knowing he possesses the athleticism and body control necessary to excel at both hitting and pitching in the ACC bodes well for that possibility.

Money matters
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75-percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75-percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100-percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100-percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

The Phillies have $8,729,100 in their bonus pool, including $4,780,400 allotted for their first-round pick.

Shopping list
The Phillies' organization, a near-split in terms of talented arms and hitters, harbors most of its pitching talent in two main areas: higher-upside arms in the lower Minors and middle- or back-of-the-rotation type pitchers in the upper reaches of the system. Committed to rebuilding through waves of pitching, Almaraz was adamant the Phillies would secure their share of college pitching throughout the Draft. Offensively, they'll soon need reinforcements when their highly prized prospects graduate to the Majors. Ten of their top 14 prospects, according to MLBPipeline.com, are hitters, and five have a chance to play Major League ball by the end of 2017.

Trend watch
The Phillies have leaned heavily on prep talent as much or more than any other Major League team when gauging the last generation of Draft-eligible talent, taking nine high schoolers in their last 11 first-round picks. If they go and get an advanced hitting prospect like Haseley, he would be the first collegiate bat the Phillies have taken in the first round since Chase Utley in 2000. Almaraz netted the Phillies' first-round high schoolers the last two years in Cornelius Randolph and Mickey Moniak, who he said on Friday are "right where I thought they would be" at this point in their careers.

RECENT DRAFT HISTORY

Rising fast
The Phillies witnessed firsthand how quickly a polished college pitcher can rise to the Majors in 2015 when Aaron Nola became the first Phillie to debut the year after he was drafted since 1989. If the hitter pool is depleted by the time the eighth pick rolls around, there are a couple of potential advanced collegiate starters the Phillies could nab, including the University of Florida's Alex Faedo and the University of North Carolina's J.B. Bukauskas.

"We will get our share of college pitchers that are mature, that are big, that are strong," Almaraz said. "They will be fast movers through Minor League systems."

Cinderella story
Once a 33rd-round pick in 2011, Brock Stassi broke camp with the Phillies despite his non-roster status during Spring Training. Stassi's story, and his emotional, heartfelt response to receiving his first callup to the big leagues, made national news. Stassi's 1.013 OPS this spring earned him a spot on the roster, although a slow start in the Majors led to his demotion in the first week of June.

In the show
Of the Phillies' eight everyday position players, only Aaron Altherr and Cameron Rupp were selected in the Draft by the organization. One (Odubel Herrera) was taken in the Rule 5 Draft, four were signed internationally and the other two were drafted by other clubs.

The Phillies' recent top picks
2016: Moniak, OF, Class A Lakewood
2015: Randolph, OF, Class A Advanced Clearwater
2014: Nola, RHP, Phillies
2013: J.P. Crawford, SS, Triple-A Lehigh Valley
2012: Shane Watson, RHP, Double-A Reading

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Phillies