OF Wilson leads Phillies picks on Day 2

July 12th, 2021

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies selected Calvary Christian Academy (Fla.) right-hander Andrew Painter on Sunday night with the 13th overall pick on Day 1 of the 2021 Draft.

Here is a look at Philadelphia's picks in Day 2.

Round 2, 49th overall: Ethan Wilson, OF, University of South Alabama

Notable skill: MLB.com ranked Wilson the 35th-best Draft prospect. Wilson battled a preseason ankle injury, but he hit .318 with eight home runs, 34 RBIs and a .947 OPS as a junior. He walked 33 times and struck out only 21 times in 253 plate appearances as he changed his approach at the plate to hit for more contact. His 8.3 percent strikeout rate was one of the best in the nation.

Wilson hit 17 home runs as a freshman to nearly double South Alabama's freshman home run record of nine, set by five-time All-Star Luis Gonzalez. Wilson’s ability to work counts and draw walks made him attractive to scouts. Many evaluators project him as a middle-of-the-lineup bat and a corner outfielder.

Fun fact: Wilson told AL.com that he got engaged on Thursday to his longtime girlfriend.

Quotable: “The one thing that impressed me the most is he hit 30 or 40 points higher against power [conference] schools than he did against non-power [conference schools],” South Alabama coach Mark Calvi told AL.com. “They went at him more. He got pitched around so much this year in our conference -- he’s getting 3-0 changeups, or he’d get to a 2-0 count and then they’d intentionally walk him. His strikeouts-to-walks were so impressive.

“I was impressed with his patience. They kept pitching around him and didn’t give him anything good to hit. It was frustrating, I know, for him. So, for him to have that much discipline was very impressive.”

Round 3, 84th overall: Jordan Viars, OF, Rick Reedy HS (Texas)

Notable skill: Viars is just 17 years old -- he turns 18 on Sunday -- making him one of the youngest players in the Draft. MLB.com’s Jim Callis said the 6-foot-4, 215-pound outfielder has power potential.

Fun fact: Viars committed to play college baseball at Arkansas.

Round 4, 114th overall: Micah Ottenbreit, RHP, Trenton HS (Mich.)

Notable skill: The 6-foot-4, 190-pound right-hander has a fastball that sits between 89-92 mph and touches 93-94 mph. He also throws a power curveball and changeup. MLB.com’s Jim Callis said he thought Ottenbreit might not be chosen high enough in the Draft to forgo his college commitment, but the Phillies must think they can sign Ottenbreit. The pick is slotted for a signing bonus of $507,400.

Fun fact: Ottenbreit committed to play baseball at Michigan State.

Round 5, 145th overall: Griff McGarry, RHP, University of Virginia

Notable skill: The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder went 0-4 with a 5.44 ERA in 14 appearances (11 starts). He moved to the bullpen after a rough start to the season, but he eventually rejoined the rotation and caught the eyes of scouts, improving his Draft position following two dominant postseason starts.

McGarry pitched seven scoreless innings against Dallas Baptist in the NCAA Super Regionals. He then carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning in the College World Series against Mississippi State, which eventually won the national championship. McGarry’s fastball touches 97 mph.

Quotable: “A record doesn’t always reflect progress,” McGarry recently told The Daily Journal in San Mateo, Calif. “For me, internally, I know I made some really great strides, and I’m really proud and happy with that. ... I think it was definitely a great way to finish the year. I was glad that even in a high-pressure situation, being in the postseason and being in Omaha, I was able to perform on the biggest stage I’ve been a part of. It had been a long year, and I had to work hard to get back to where I wanted to be.”

Round 6, 175th overall: Jose Pena, RHP, Tampa Preparatory School (Fla.)

Notable skill: Pena is a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder with a fastball in the mid 90s. He throws a mid-70s curveball and a changeup; he does not throw the latter often. Pena impressed scouts in the summer at the East Coast Pro Showcase and in the fall at the Perfect Game’s World Wood Bat Association World Championship. Some scouts thought Pena’s fastball was a little too true (i.e. too straight) and hittable. He can throw his fastball for strikes, but he can struggle at times to throw his secondary pitches for strikes. Still, Pena's size, arm strength and athleticism make him an attractive pick.

Fun fact: He committed to play at Florida International, where Phillies manager Joe Girardi’s son Dante has committed to play.

Round 7, 205th overall: Christian McGowan, RHP, Eastern Oklahoma State JC

Notable skill: McGowan went 9-0 with a 2.55 ERA in 12 appearances, including 11 starts. He struck out 109 and walked 30 in 74 innings. He started to gain interest from scouts in 2020, when he ranked fourth among national junior college pitchers with 58 strikeouts in 35 1/3 innings. McGowan’s fastball sits in the 92-94 mph range, but he can touch as high as 99 mph. He has a slider with some depth, although it can get slurvy at times. He also has a changeup that has the potential to be a solid pitch. Scouts think the effort and recoil in McGowan's three-quarters delivery compromise his control and command, and probably make him a future reliever.

Fun fact: One scout who saw McGowan recently compared him to Trevor Rosenthal, when Rosenthal attended Cowley County Community College (Kan.).

Round 8, 235th overall: Jason Ruffcorn, RHP, University of Oklahoma

Notable skill: Ruffcorn went 4-2 with a 4.00 ERA and three saves in 21 appearances (three starts) this season, at one point earning the distinction as the nation’s best reliever because of a fastball that hits the high 90s. He struck out 74 and walked 17 in 54 innings. In three seasons at Oklahoma, he picked up 19 saves.

Fun fact: Ruffcorn is the son of former big league pitcher Scott Ruffcorn, who pitched for the White Sox (1993-96) and Phillies (1997).

Quotable: “I like to think that what I can do is a little bit special and to be able to do that consistently is something I strive to do day in, day out with my prep and everything else,” Ruffcorn told The Oklahoman in April.

Round 9, 265th overall: Gavin Tonkel, OF, Heritage HS (Calif.)

Notable skill: MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo said Tonkel can “really, really run,” covering a ton of ground as a good defender in the outfield. Tonkel has decent arm strength. He is a high-ceiling player who flew under the radar for most of the year until he played well this summer and caught the eyes of scouts.

Fun fact: He has committed to play at Sacramento State, which is where Rhys Hoskins played.

Round 10, 295th overall: Logan Cerny, OF, Troy University

Notable skill: MLB.com’s Jim Callis said Cerny has one of the better combinations of raw power and speed in the Draft. He’s very aggressive at the plate, something he'll have to tone down once he signs with the Phillies. Cerny hit .332 with 15 home runs, 47 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 15 attempts. But he also struck out 66 times and walked 27 times in 193 at-bats.

Quotable: “I belong there,” Cerny told News4 in Alabama. “I kind of struggled with that in high school. I would go to some workouts for pro teams and I’d be like, ‘Well, I don’t know if I belong here or not.’ But you know, now I belong. So, I feel that and I’m really confident in myself. I think that’s helped me get to the point where I am.”