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Highly rated shortstop leads Phillies' Day 2 haul

No. 87 pick Martin ranked as MLB Pipeline's 30th-best Draft prospect
@ToddZolecki
June 12, 2020

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies believe they got a steal with their first pick in the second day of the 2020 Draft. Naturally, they like their other picks, too. After they selected Jesuit High School (Portland, Ore.) right-hander Mick Abel with the 15th overall pick in the first round on Wednesday,

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies believe they got a steal with their first pick in the second day of the 2020 Draft.

Naturally, they like their other picks, too.

After they selected Jesuit High School (Portland, Ore.) right-hander Mick Abel with the 15th overall pick in the first round on Wednesday, they selected two college position players and one college pitcher. The Phillies lost their second-round pick after they signed right-hander Zack Wheeler as a free agent in December.

Draft Tracker: Complete pick-by-pick coverage

Here is a look at their third-, fourth- and fifth-round picks on Thursday:

Third round (87th overall)
SS Casey Martin (Arkansas)

The Phillies think they got lucky here. MLB Pipeline ranked Martin as the No. 30 prospect in the Draft, but he slid into the third round -- either because of questions about his hit tool following an eye-popping freshman season or because he overplayed his signability early on Day 2. Regardless, the Phillies are thrilled to land him with their second pick in the Draft.

2020 Draft Central

“We didn't think Casey would have any chance of getting to us when the day started yesterday, and we didn't have any intention of letting him get by us when that opportunity presented itself,” Phillies amateur scouting director Brian Barber said on Friday afternoon.

MLB Pipeline said Martin is the University of Arkansas' "toolsiest" prospect since Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi went seventh overall in the 2015 Draft. Martin hit 30 home runs in two-plus seasons with the Razorbacks. His run times grade 70-80 on the 20-80 scouting scale.

But while Martin has 25-homers/25-steals potential in the big leagues, his strikeout rate has increased each year since his freshman season. That might be why some teams weren’t as high on him as the Phillies.

Things to know about 'The Jackrabbit'

“Casey had hamate bone surgery in the fall of this past year, so in our conversations with him -- and we had several of them leading up to the Draft this year -- he really keyed in on that as something that got off to his slow start, specifically this year in 2020,” Barber said. “It's obviously an issue that we talked about with him. We were able to do deep dives into makeup. We have some different testing things that we've done with Casey that were really high as well that led us to believe there's upside.

“There are things that we can believe in the hit tool. It wasn't just a raw toolsy athlete here.”

Martin has position versatility, too. Barber sees him as a shortstop, but he also could play second base, third base or center field.

Fourth round (116th overall)
RHP Carson Ragsdale (South Florida)

The 6-foot-8 right-hander has a fastball that sits in the 91-95 mph range. Ragsdale has a solid curveball, too. He pitched out of the bullpen his first two seasons at the University of South Florida, then missed 2019 following Tommy John surgery. He joined the rotation this season, but he made only four starts before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Still, he showed enough potential to raise his stock.

Ragsdale went 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in four starts. He struck out 37 and walked seven in just 19 innings. He faced No. 1 Florida on March 8, allowing two hits, one run and one walk while striking out 10 in just four innings. Barber watched that performance in person.

“To be able to see him compete at that type of level against a quality team as the University of Florida, it probably gave us more comfort with what we had seen in the other starts as well,” Barber said. “I don’t know if anybody has seen the video. He just completely dominated a high-level team like Florida with his curveball and with the mid-90s velocity.”

There is some talk that Ragsdale might be better suited for the bullpen because he lacks a third pitch. (He throws a changeup, but it is far behind his fastball and curveball.) The Phillies will give him a shot in the rotation first.

Fifth round (146th overall)
OF Baron Radcliff (Georgia Tech)

Radcliff is a 6-foot-4, 239-pound left-handed hitter with raw power. But concerns about his bat persist, because he strikes out a lot. Radcliff hit .259 with three home runs and 17 RBIs in 16 games before the season was canceled. He struck out 23 times in 58 at-bats. In 2019, he hit .257 with 12 homers and 44 RBIs. He struck out 68 times in 183 at-bats.

Radcliff is athletic. He played quarterback at Norcross High School in suburban Atlanta and received scholarship offers to Vanderbilt and Boston College, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Radcliff told the newspaper he thinks his experience as a quarterback helps him handle pressure better: "Being quarterback, everybody's looking at me. We win or lose a game, it's, 'Oh, he didn't do this here' or whatever. So it's not something that I haven't been accustomed to in the past."

The Phillies found Radcliff’s mix of bat speed and power impossible to pass up.

“Baron has some of the best bat speed and power out of anybody in the entire Draft,” Barber said. “We know Baron well, we love the makeup there, we love the athlete and we love the bat speed and power combination.”

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