Phillies Draft Report
High risk, high reward
Assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle and scouting director Marti Wolever have always had a thing for high-risk, high-reward players. In new general manager Pat Gillick, they have an ally in that thinking.
The Phillies showed a committment to that philosophy when they selected 18-year-old pitcher/shortstop Kyle Drabek with the No. 18 pick in the draft.
There is no doubting the 18-year-old Houstonian's talent. The Phils selected him as a pitcher, and, with a fastball that has touched 97, he might have been the best arm in the draft.
It was the makeup that concerned some teams about Drabek. The son of former National League Cy Young winner Doug Drabek has had some well-documented off-field issues.
The Phillies, however, did their homework on Drabek and they came away not only loving his arm, but his fiery competitiveness, as well. When he was available at 18, they jumped at him, even though their stated goal was to target bats in the early rounds.
"We spent as much time talking about this group of players as any in recent years,'' Wolever said. "We think he’s got a tremendous upside, and we feel very good about the pick.''
Drabek was 10-0 with a 1.18 ERA for 10 starts at the Woodlands High Schools this season. In 65 innings, he allowed 34 hits, 23 walks and struck out 112. The 6-foot, 185 pound righthander's fastball sits at 90 to 94 mph.
Doug Drabek, who won the 1990 National League Cy Young Award with Pittsburgh, said his son has a better arm than he did.
"I didn’t throw as hard in high school," Doug said. "His curveball is harder and tighter than mine in high school. I threw another type of breaking ball. I probably couldn’t spell change-up in high school. He has one. He just didn’t get a chance to throw it. Tools-wise he’s ahead of me."
A good hitter, Kyle Drabek has no doubts that he wants to pitch.
“My main idea was to be a pitcher," he said. “I just think because I’m better at that, and I could make it to the majors faster as a pitcher. You always have the ball."
Drabek is considered signable.
The Phillies selected lefthanded-hitting shortstop Adrian Cardenas from Monsignor Pace High in Miami with the 37th selection overall. He hit .630 with 16 doubles, 17 home runs and 56 RBIs in 108 at-bats.
"When I first met Adrian he shook my hand, looked me in the eye and said, 'I can hit like Chase Utley," Wolever said. "After we watched the game, I kind of agreed, having seen Chase in high school. They’re very similar in that regard. That’s a big statement, but he has a chance to be a very good offensive player."
The Phillies took righthander Drew Carpenter from Long Beach State in the second round (65th overall). The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder was 7-4 with a 2.91 ERA.
"He’s really come on this year," Wolever said.
The Phillies selected shortstop Jason Donald from Arizona in the third round, high school centerfielder D’Arby Myers in the fourth round and centerfielder Quintin Berry from San Diego State in the fifth round. Myers has a football scholarship to North Carolina, but the Phillies believe they can work out a deal.
“We certainly hope we can get them all signed," Wolever said.