The Phillies opened their 2006 Draft taking Kyle Drabek. At the time, there were concerns about Drabek's attitude, which is why he fell in the draft order and was available when the Phillies chose their first player with the 18th overall pick. The Phillies quickly went to work not just on Drabek's abilities, but proceeded with a bit of an attitude adjustment and he turned out to be well worth the pick.
As it turns out, the Phillies 2006 Draft was full of what turned out to be trade bait. Adrian Cardenas (supplemental round), Jason Donald (third round) and Michael Dubee (18th round) all found new homes thanks to trades that the Phillies have made over the years. Cardenas - dealt to Oakland in the Joe Blanton deal - is hitting .228 at Triple-A Sacramento this season, Donald is in the majors with Cleveland and will always have the distinction of being the guy who broke up Armando Galarraga's perfect game, and Dubee is now in the Pirates organization and was recently promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis.
|Jason Donald has taken over the shortstop position for Cleveland and is now known as the guy who broke up Armando Galarraga's perfect game; even though he really didn't.|
(Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Pitcher Drew Carpenter, who has been up with the Phillies for a couple of quick instances, was taken in the second round and other prospects like D'Arby Myers (fourth round) and Quintin Berry (fifth round) are still fighting to show what they can do and still hoping to reach their ceilings as players.
Of course, the biggest name to come out of the Phillies 2006 Draft could very well be a guy that they drafted in the 20th round. Every team in the majors passed on a high school outfielder from Redan high school in Stone Mountain, Georgia primarily because he had what seemed to be an iron-clad commitment to play football for the University of Miami. The Phillies took a chance and today, Domonic Brown is one of the better prospects in baseball and should be at Triple-A Lehigh Valley later this season. Brown is simply a monster at the plate and works hard to make himself even better. As much as Drabek was figured on to be the best of the 2006 Draft, Brown could easily surpass him when all is said and done.
The jury is still out on a couple of guys from the 2008 Draft, but so far, it's been players taken in later rounds that have been the most impressive. Pitchers Mike Stutes (11th round) and Michael Schwimer (14th round) have progressed nicely, although Stutes seems to be facing a major obstacle in Double-A hitters and hasn't found success at that level even though he is in his second season with Reading. Schwimer had some rough spots last season, but is pitching well for the R-Phils in 2010 and could be moved up to Triple-A before too long.
Anthony Gose (second round) has a ton of speed, but hasn't gotten on base enough to truly use his speed and still has a lot to learn about the art of stealing bases. After posting a sturdy 79% success rate on stolen bases last season (76 stolen bases in 96 attempts), he's sputtered to just a 55% success rate this season and has already been thrown out 17 times, compared to 20 for all of last season. His .264 average and .328 on-base percentage in the minors also isn't giving him enough of a chance to use his speed on the bases.
First rounder Anthony Hewitt - the 24th overall pick - is still very raw, but shows signs of starting to come around for the Phillies. Playing in his first full-season league, Hewitt is hitting .223, the same average that he finished with last season at Williamsport. Hewitt needs to show more discipline at the plate if he is going to become the type of player that the Phillies had hoped that he would blossom into.
Pitchers Vance Worley (third round) is showing some good habits at Reading, but fourth rounder Trevor May has had some struggles this season at Clearwater, but both appear to be pitchers who could make the majors at some point down the road. Third baseman Cody Overbeck (ninth round) is putting up impressive numbers at Clearwater, although his defense is very much of a work in progress and it's going to be touch-and-go to see if he can develop into a good enough defensive player to stick at third.
Jason Knapp (second round) had shown enough talent for Cleveland to demand he be made available in last year's Cliff Lee trade, but he's been on the DL almost from the day he arrived in the Indians organization. He's getting closer to returning to pitch in games, but still has a lot of work to do in order to get back to being the pitcher that the Indians thought he would be when they acquired him almost a year ago.
Again, the best of the bunch from the 2008 Draft might not come from the "big names" at the top of the Phillies draft board. Instead, 38th round pick Jarred Cosart out of Clear Creek high school in League City, Texas could become the biggest name of them all. After battling injuries, Cosart is healthy and needed just 24 innings of work in the Gulf Coast League last season for the Phillies to decide he was ready for Lakewood this season and he hasn't disappointed. Very possibly headed for Clearwater before the end of the season, Cosart is a work of art. A high-90s fastball with good movement and impressive control, Cosart will turn out to be a great find, especially for a 38th round high school pitcher.
Much like the 2006 Draft, much of the true talent from the 2007 Draft might have come in the lower rounds and much of the talent has been traded away. Travis d'Arnaud (supplemental pick), Matt Spencer (third round) and Michael Taylor (fifth round) have been dealt elsewhere, helping to bring talent such as Roy Halladay in the case of d'Arnaud and Taylor and Joe Blanton in the case of Spencer.
Top pick Joe Savery has been somewhat of an enigma for the Phillies. At times, Savery can look very good, but he can also look very bad. A perfect example of his career can be found in his last start where he gave up five first inning runs and threw 29 pitches in one inning. From there, he settled in and gave Lehigh Valley another six innings, shutting down Charlotte and needing just another 72 pitches to get himself through the seventh inning. So far, Savery hasn't warranted using the 19th overall pick in the draft, but there is at least some hope that he can still put things together and at least come close to the promise that he showed coming out of Rice University.
Sixth rounder Matt Rizzotti hadn't really showed too much until his recent promotion to Double-A Reading where something just seemed to click and he started to look like a very different hitter. Up until this season, Rizzotti had been putting up nice numbers, but nothing that was truly noteworthy. Now, he's hitting with some power - five home runs in 76 at-bats - and for average (.329) at Reading. What at first seemed like a likely temporary promotion has turned into a move that figures to be permanent and Rizzotti could wind up being a nice find from the 2007 Draft.
With draft guru Mike Arbuckle heading to Kansas City after the 2008 season, Phillies fans weren't quite sure what to expect from the 2009 Draft. The Phillies had a history of finding raw talent in the lower rounds under Arbuckle and there was no way to tell whether the new regime would be able to find the same sort of success. Of course being just one year removed from the 2009 Draft, it's not completely clear which of the picks from last June will work out and which will fizzle along the way.
In the early going, pitcher Matt Way (fifth round) and first baseman Jonathan Singleton (eighth round) have the early lead in garnering attention. Way has pitched well for Lakewood and with 100 innings now under his belt at Low-A ball, he could soon be heading to Clearwater to see how he fares against slightly better and more seasoned hitters. Singleton - also at Lakewood - is smashing the ball after being a late addition out of extended camp and looks to have a good idea of what to do at the plate to hit for both power and average. Another member of Lakewood's roster, infielder Adam Buschini is progressing nicely and doesn't have the huge numbers that Singleton has put up, but he's showing an ability to adapt to pitchers, although his defense at third base, where he's been playing this season, is suspect at times. Last season, Buschini played at second and appeared much more comfortable there.
Tenth rounder Josh Zeid has been effective out of Lakewood's bullpen after making the adjustment from being a starter in 2009. First baseman Darrin Ruf (20th round) started well at Lakewood and is handling pitchers well in the Florida State League after being promoted to Clearwater last month.
The top two picks, outfielders Kelly Dugan (second round) and Kyrell Hudson (third round) had some growing pains in the Gulf Coast League last season and we'll need to wait to see how they perform this season once the short-season leagues get started in a couple weeks.
The 2005 Draft has had four players reach the majors, but just one of them was with the Phillies. Left-hander Mike Zagurski (12th round) pitched out of the Phillies bullpen in 2007, but Tommy John surgery cost him the 2008 season and certainly slowed his progress, although he's now healthy and pitching well at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Matt Maloney (third round) was dealt to Cincinnati at the trade deadline in 2007 for pitcher Kyle Lohse and he started seven games for the Reds last season, but is back at Triple-A this season, where he is again pitching well for Louisville. Right-hander David Huf (19th round) has been up with Cleveland both last season and this season, but has struggled and owns a 13-14, 5.75 mark in 33 starts for the Indians.
The best showing has come from reliever Josh Outman, who was part of the package dealt to Oakland for Joe Blanton in 2008. Outman - a tenth rounder - pitched in the majors with the A's in both 2008 and 2009 and is 5-3 with a 3.77 ERA for Oakland. The left-hander had Tommy John surgery this past spring and is sidelined indefinitely, but he's still just 25 and has every chance of rebounding for the A's.
Second round pick Mike Costanzo was dealt to Houston and then to Baltimore after a slow start to his professional career in the Phillies system and started the season in independent ball, playing for the Camden Riversharks of the Atlantic League. Costanzo got off to a good start and was picked up by the Reds and is now playing at Double-A Carolina and hitting pretty well. Costanzo was somewhat of a dream come true story when he was drafted and showed off his first Phillies jacket, which he wore home from the hospital after being born in Philadelphia. Things never panned out in Philly, but Costanzo is just 26 and could still have a shot at reaching the majors.