Phillies agree with 10 undrafted free agents

June 20th, 2020

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies amateur scouting director Brian Barber said the club planned to be aggressive and sign several undrafted free agents. Signing bonuses for these candidates are capped at $20,000 each. Here is a look at the players with whom the Phillies have agreed to deals.

Blake Brown, RHP, UNC Asheville
Brown is a 6-foot-1, 195-pound right-hander, and he went 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings this season. He struck out 26, but he walked 18. Baseball America ranked Brown 375th in its top 500 Draft prospects list. He projects as a reliever, but he will need to throw more strikes to reach the big leagues. According to, Brown hopes to become the fourth UNC Asheville player to reach the Majors, joining Ty Wigginton, Ryan Dull, and Kevin Mattison.

Buddy Hayward, RHP, Harvard
Hayward is a 6-foot-6, 225-pound righty with a fastball in the 92-93 mph range, according to Baseball America. It has touched 95 mph, however. Hayward’s slider is his best secondary pitch, although he also throws a changeup and a curveball. He struck out 47 and walked nine in 40 innings as a freshman, putting him on the map. He then posted a 2.47 ERA in the New England Collegiate Baseball League in 2018. Hayward made just eight starts as a sophomore because of an injury. He did not pitch this season because of an injury. Baseball America ranked him 346th before the Draft.

Chase Antle, RHP, Coastal Carolina University
Antle (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) pitched three scoreless innings in his only year with Coastal Carolina. He did not allow a run. He hit 99 mph on the radar gun twice against Maryland on March 1. Before transferring to the Chaticleers, Antle went 3-9 with a 6.69 ERA in 42 appearances over three seasons with Bowling Green, striking out 100 in 80 2/3 innings.

Jordan Fowler, LHP, University of Central Missouri
Fowler (6-foot-3) transferred from Ole Miss to Central Missouri. He went 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA in 31 1/3 innings while striking out 29, walking eight and holding opponents to a .196 batting average.

Jonathan Hughes, RHP, Georgia Tech
Hughes will join teammate Baron Radcliff, whom the Phillies selected in the fifth round of the Draft. Hughes struck out 113 in 142 1/3 career innings with Georgia Tech and finished with a 4.68 ERA.

Sam Jacobsak, RHP, Northeastern University
Jacobsak, 22, did not want to wait another season to become a pro, even if it means potentially costing himself some money.

“You’re not getting a lot of money, but the thing is, in baseball, a lot of it has to do with age,” Jacobsak told the Boston Globe. “You have to prove yourself in the Minor Leagues before you make it. The kids that are signing for $20,000 this year are the kids that believe they are actually going to make it. Some kids are fishing for money, they see the price tag instead of the whole purpose of the process.

“I was a late bloomer. What I am now, my ceiling is so much higher. I’m nowhere close to my full potential and a lot of teams understood and saw that. A lot of teams saw that I was really projectable. That was the [my pitch] for them.”

The 6-foot-5, 200-pound right-hander went 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings this season. His fastball sits in the 91-93 mph range, and he also throws a slider, curveball and changeup.

Jake McKenna, LHP, Ocean City (N.J.) High School
McKenna (6-foot-7, 230 pounds) had committed to St. Joseph’s, but he could not pass up an opportunity to play for the Phillies. He also got interest from the Brewers, Royals and Marlins.

“I love the Phillies,” he told “My family has had season tickets forever, and we try to go to every game we can. They knew I had a lot of interest and was very signable. I expected a call [Sunday] morning. Of all the teams, I knew Philly was the best for me, and I ended up picking them.

“I’ve developed a great relationship with guys in the organization over the last couple of months, and it seems to be a good fit. My parents have been going to Clearwater since I was born. It seems perfect."

Noah Skirrow, RHP, Liberty University
Skirrow made the Cape Cod League All-Star team last summer, posting a 2.67 ERA in 29 1/3 innings. In an abbreviated 2020 season with Liberty, he had a 1.96 ERA in 23 innings.

Billy Sullivan, RHP, University of Delaware
Sullivan grew up in New Castle, Del., and attended St. Mark’s High School, so he grew up cheering for the Phillies.

Sullivan earned Colonial Athletics Association Rookie of the Year honors in 2018, his only full season with the Blue Hens. He went 7-3 with a 2.97 ERA, striking out 95 in 72 2/3 innings. Sullivan missed most of ‘19 because of a right elbow injury, and his ‘20 season was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m happy for him, because this is everything he’s really wanted,” Delaware head coach Jim Sherman said on the school’s website. “He’s always wanted to jump into pro ball and his arm is ready for it. He believes in himself that he’s going to be a big leaguer one day, and I won't be surprised to see him in the Majors in the really near future.”

The Phillies selected Sullivan in the 28th round of the 2017 Draft, but he did not sign.

J.P. Woodward, LHP, Lafayette College
Woodward is a 6-foot-6, 215-pound left-hander from Baltimore who struck out 22 batters in 20 1/3 innings this spring. Over three seasons, he struck out 117 and walked 55 in 115 innings while posting a 5.71 ERA in that span.

“The last few months have definitely been stressful, not really knowing what would happen with all the changes to the Draft and this entire process,” Woodward said in a press release on his school’s website. “Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused on the moment, but it just goes to show that it all happens for a reason