Philadelphia Phillies 2021 MLB Draft Report Card
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Best Pure Hitter: Outfielder Ethan Wilson (2) immediately became one of the best hitting prospects in the system when the Phillies signed him for $1.5 million. Wilson hit just .215/.282/.374 in 30 games with Low-A Clearwater, but he has earned praise for his contact rate, bat speed, power potential and abilities to control the zone and use the entire field.
Best Power Hitter: Phillies officials believe outfielder Jordan Viars (3) has a chance to become a 30-plus home run hitter in the future. He showed plus power as an amateur with a strong and physical 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame and has booming power to his pull side. He hit a double and three home runs in 22 games in the Florida Complex League while showing and solid strike-zone control (17.2 BB%, 18.8K%).
Fastest Runner: Outfielder Logan Cerny (10) is a plus-plus runner who was one of the five fastest players in the 2021 college class. He stole six bases in eight attempts during his 13-game pro debut in Rookie ball and Low-A. He went 25-for-32 (78%) during his college career at Troy.
Best Defensive Player: Cerny’s speed plays on the bases and in the outfield, where he is a natural defender—though he was a catcher in high school. His speed and plus arm strength should allow him to cover plenty of ground and keep runners honest.
Best Fastball: Righthander Andrew Painter (1) stood out more for his impressive all-around profile than a massive fastball, but in instructs he averaged 97.6 mph and touched 100 mph. Prior to the draft, amateur scouts had concerns with how Painter’s fastball played—particularly early in the spring—but the Phillies have been excited about his pitch metrics and the amount of swings and misses he’s generated with his fastball. Righthander Griff McGarry (5) was in the 94-98 mph range after signing and has a low vertical approach angle with extreme ride that makes the pitch stand out.
Best Secondary Pitch: McGarry has a high-spin, sweeping slider that generates tons of whiffs and has gotten plus and plus-plus grades from evaluators. Righthander Micah Ottenbreit (4) has a hard, low-80s curveball with spin rates in the 3,100 rpm range. For context, only 11 MLB pitchers averaged 3,000+ rpms with their curveballs in 2021.
Best Pro Debut: McGarry’s stuff stacks up well with anyone and he posted a 2.96 ERA over 24.1 innings between Low-A and High-A in his pro debut. He walked 5.2 batters per nine, but that's still an improvement from his 8.8 BB/9 mark at Virginia. Continued steps forward with his control could make McGarry a massive draft day steal.
Best Athlete: Cerny’s athleticism stands out and is one of the reasons, along with his pure speed, scouts believed he would turn into such a good defensive center fielder. Ideally, that athleticism will also help him make necessary swing changes moving forward.
Most Intriguing Background: Righthander Malik Binns (18) played college basketball at Waubonsee (Ill.) JC before he left for Division III Benedictine University Mesa. Righthander Jason Ruffcorn (8) is the son of former White Sox and Phillies righthander Scott Ruffcorn.
Closest To The Majors: The Phillies are going to continue developing McGarry as a starter for now, but with his stuff ranking as some of the best in the entire organization, it wouldn’t be surprising for him to move quickly and impact the team’s pitching staff as a reliever before the end of the 2022 season.
Best Late-Round Pick (Or NDFA): Righthander Andrew Baker (11) has shown a tendency to lose the strike zone, but when he’s in it he has the stuff to dominate. He struck out 20 batters in 12 innings in his debut, although he also issued 17 walks. Outfielder Jared Carr (13) signed for $50,000 out of Division II Shepherd (W. Va.) and performed well in 32 games with Low-A Clearwater, hitting .277/.390/.455 with four home runs, seven stolen bases and a 13.8% walk rate. Righthander Matt Russell (NDFA) posted a 3.06 ERA in 17.2 innings with Low-A Clearwater. He struck out 22 batters and walked just four, then showed a 94-96 mph fastball and plus slider during instructional league. The Phillies believe he’s already turned himself into a legitimate prospect.
The One Who Got Away: Righthander Seth Halvorsen (19) was the only player the Phillies didn’t sign. He ranked as the No. 262 player in the class and stood out for his loud pure stuff, but he struggled to repeat his release point and walked 57 batters in 72 innings last spring with Missouri. He transferred to Tennessee after the season.