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Philadelphia Phillies Draft Report Card

By David Rawnsley

Best Debut: OF Marlon Byrd (10) hit .296-13-50, LHP Frank Brooks (13) went 7-3, 2.91 and crafty LHP Mark Outlaw (15) showed potential out of the bullpen for short-season Batavia. Outlaw walked nine and struck out 45 in 33 innings.

Best Athlete: Byrd originally attended Georgia Tech on a football scholarship, but left for junior college after a calf injury. He’s immensely strong, especially in the lower body, but is also a solid average runner.

Best Hitter: C Daniel Tosca (6), who hit .236-4-22 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, has sound hitting fundamentals from the left side and a mature approach at the plate. Byrd has the best overall bat speed.

Best Power: C Russ Jacobson (3) missed the College World Series and all summer with a broken hand, but put on power displays during instructional league.

Fastest Runner: Puerto Rico native SS Julio Collazo (9) attended junior college in Mississippi. He’s a plus runner with very good agility and stole 25 bases in the GCL.

Best Defensive Player: Collazo doesn’t have flashy defensive tools but has good hands and an accurate arm. Tosca has good catch-and-throw tools behind the plate.

Best Fastball: RHP Brett Myers (1), 18, threw as hard as 96 mph during the spring and showed he could sit consistently at 94 mph–exceptional velocity for his age.

Most Intriguing Background: Tosca’s uncle Carlos, Baseball America’s 1996 Minor League Manager of the Year, is the Diamondbacks bench coach and a prime candidate for mangerial openings in the big leagues.

Closest to the Majors: Although RHP Brad Pautz (4) spent the season in the New York-Penn League, he has two solid major league pitches in his fastball and curveball.

The One That Got Away: OF Jason Cooper (2) decided to attend Stanford to play football and baseball. LHP Joe Saunders (5) stayed close to home to attend Virginia Tech, while RHP David Gil (7) surprised everyone by returning to Miami for his senior year.

Best Non-Draft Sign: The Phillies’ renewed Latin efforts netted hard-throwing Dominican RHP Robinson Tejada, who went 1-3, 4.27 in the Gulf Coast League. The real catch was Cuban CF Josue Perez, who the Phillies signed for $850,000 after he was declared a free agent from the Dodgers organization.

Summary: The Phillies don’t mind spending money, but Cooper, Gil and Saunders all asked for bonuses above their market value for the round. Myers has top-of-the-rotation talent and showed far more maturity than many scouts anticipated.

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