2017 MLB Draft Grades: Philadelphia Phillies
Best Pure Hitter: OF Adam Haseley (1) hit .390 in the spring for Virginia and was one of the top hitters in the college class. The Phillies are all in on his above-average hitting ability and swing and expect him to improve now that he’s giving up pitching. Best Power Hitter: Haseley has above-average power that plays due to his feel for hitting. Righthanded-hitting 1B/OF Austin Listi (17) hit 24 in the spring for Dallas Baptist and seven more as a pro.
Fastest Runner: Haseley turns in plus times at his best and is a consistent above-average runner, giving him a slight edge on SS Jake Holmes (11).
Best Defensive Player: SS Dalton Guthrie (6) had throwing issues this spring due to injury, costing him some arm strength, but his internal clock, soft hands and fine footwork make him an asset in the infield.
Best Athlete: Holmes likely will outgrow shortstop, with room to fill out his 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame while retaining his body control.
Best Fastball: RHP Spencer Howard (2) was sitting 94-96 mph after signing with short-season Williamsport, and he gets swings and misses with it thanks in part to its late finish in the zone.
Be3st Secondary Pitch: RHP Connor Seabold (3) has a tremendous “Bugs Bunny” changeup, the plus pitch in his arsenal that he uses well. It will be even more effective if he maintains the 90-93 mph velocity he flashed after signing.
Best Pro Debut: LHP Jhordany Mezquita (8) fell about nine innings short of qualifying for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League title but dominated in nine starts, going 3-0, 0.72 with 35 strikeouts in 37.2 innings. RHP Connor Brogdon (10), working in a relief role, struck out 45 in 34.2 innings while going 3-1, 2.34 for short-season Williamsport.
Phillies Further Bolster Bullpen In Trade With Red Sox
The Phillies acquired relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree from the Red Sox late Friday after making a minor trade earlier in the day.
Most Intriguing Background: The Phillies tried to sign Mezquita out of the Dominican Republic, but he’d attended high school in Hazelton, Pa., and he was ruled ineligible as an international free agent. The Phillies drafted and signed him for $50,000 instead. Guthrie’s father Mark made 765 appearances in a 15-year big league career, mostly as a reliever. SS/2B Nick Maton (7) is the younger brother of Padres righthander Phil Maton.
Closest To The Majors: Haseley could beat 2016 No. 1 pick Mickey Moniak to Philadelphia.
Best Late-Round Pick: LHP Damon Jones (18), already 23, lacks command but has excellent arm strength, reaching 97 mph after signing and has good size at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds.
The One Who Got Away: Loose-armed LHP Shane Drohan (23) took his pitchability, projection and fine secondary stuff to Florida State.