For hundreds of baseball players around the country, the MLB Draft is the night they have played their entire lives for. The sacrifices both player and parent must make to even have a shot at hearing their name called by Commissioner Rob Manfred can weigh on a family in more ways than one.
The Phillies, minus a second round selection due to the free-agent signing of Bryce Harper, had 39 picks in the 2019 draft. They had the No. 14 selection, which was their lowest spot since selecting J.P. Crawford, now with the Seattle Mariners as a part of the Jean Segura trade, 16th overall in 2013.
Instead of looking at all 39 players selected, we will analyze the first 10 rounds of the draft, breaking down all nine players selected by the Phillies in that span.
Round 1 (14): SS Bryson Stott
The Phillies had a chance to draft right-handed pitchers Jackson Rutledge and George Kirby, but chose to go collegiate-level position player for the third straight year in UNLV shortstop Bryson Stott. Believed by some to be a top 10 talent, Stott hit .356 with 10 home runs, 36 RBI, 55 walks and 39 strikeouts for the Runnin’ Rebels in 2019.
Stott, who stands 6-foot-3 and approximately 200 pounds, is the first collegiate shortstop the Phillies have ever drafted in the first round in the 54 years the amateur draft has existed. The left-handed hitter is projected to stick at shortstop and be an above-average hitter at the position in the majors.
With 2018 first-rounder Alec Bohm absolutely mashing in High-A Clearwater, the Phillies have visions of the left side of their infield being solidified for the next decade+ in Bohm and Stott.
Our Philadelphia Phillies select Bryson Stott, SS, UNLV.
They didn’t take Jackson Rutledge, but Stott was projected as a potential top-10 pick.
Compared to Giants SS Brandon Crawford. Also, very good defensively.
Angels up next at 15.
— Greg Hall (@WePodAndWeKnow) June 4, 2019
Round 3 (91): SS Jamari Baylor
Sticking with shortstop, but choosing to go the high school direction, the Phillies selected Jamari Baylor from Benedictine College Preparatory School (VA). The right-handed hitter has a “loose, athletic swing with some bat speed, giving him a chance to hit, but there’s some swing and miss and some work to be done on his approach,” according to MLB.com.
Baylor shows flashes of being a five-tool player, but is very raw; he needs to show all five tools more consistently as he continues to build up strength and fill into his body. He has decent hands and off-the-charts athleticism. One of his best tools is his speed.
Round 4 (120): LHP Erik Miller
The first pitcher taken by the Phillies, Stanford left-hander Erik Miller stands 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds and features a fastball that can touch 97 mph at times. He has been in the Cardinal’s rotation for almost all three of his years in school. Scouts are unsure if he will project as a starter in the majors, but he does pepper in an above-average changeup and features a plus (at times) slider to play off his fastball.
He was ranked as the No. 61 prospect heading into the draft, so for the Phillies to get him at 120, they have to be over-the-moon. Miller struggles with his command and is inconsistent with his delivery; if not for those issues, he would be up there with the best college arms in the draft. MLB.com believes he could carve out a “Josh Hader-like role in the future.”
I think everyone connected with the Phillies would be elated if that turned out to be true.
Round 5 (150): RHP Gunner Mayer
RHP Gunner Mayer and his explosive delivery really excited the Phillies, who went for the player they coveted… and they got him.
Recently committing to Texas Tech, Mayer features a fastball that can hit 94 mph, but he has an incredibly high ceiling. At just 18 years old, Mayer began pitching not too long ago; the Phillies went with the ridiculously large upside with this selection. According to Phillies minor league guru Matt Winkelman, “Mayer instantly has some of the highest upside of any pitcher in the Phillies system.”
He still has a very long way to go and is the definition of raw, but at his age, there is plenty of room for Mayer to grow into a can’t miss prospect.
Round 6 (180): RHP Andrew Schultz
The 153rd-ranked draft prospect, RHP Andrew Schultz from the University of Tennessee became the third straight pitcher taken by the Phillies. Schultz can reach 101 mph with his fastball when he needs it, but his inconsistent delivery leads to a bit of wildness.
As the hardest consistent thrower in the draft, he sat at 95-97 mph most of his junior season with the Vols. Schultz also features a power slider; it does not fall out of the strike zone like Brad Lidge’s offering, but his high spin rate and velocity make it a difficult pitch to barrel. He needs to throw it more consistently in the high 80’s. Schultz profiles as a pure reliever, so do not expect him to be in the Phillies future rotation. Closer maybe?
Round 7 (210): RHP Brett Schulze
The fourth consecutive pitcher taken by the Phillies, RHP Brett Schulze from the University of Minnesota features a high-octane fastball, slider and cutter. According to MLB.com, Schulze is a “fierce competitor, he’s been noted for his intensity on the mound.”
So, he is a bulldog! Philly loves a bulldog, especially on the mound. As is the book on all the pitchers the Phillies took this year, Schulze will need to work on his command to be an effective major league pitcher.
Round 8 (240): SS Nate Fassnacht
Back to the collegiate shortstop (the team has taken exclusively SS and pitchers to this point), George Washington University product Nate Fassnacht and his .369/.452/.658 junior year slash line join the Phillies farm system.
Fassnacht was the Atlantic-10 Player of the Year and a third team All-American this season. He profiles more as a second baseman long term.
Round 9 (270): 1B Rudy Rott
Ohio University first baseman Rudy Rott was the Phillies second-to-last choice of the first 10 rounds. He has some power, but features, as Moneyball so elegantly stated, the ability to get on base. He slashed .337/.423/.553 for his collegiate career, including a .377 batting average in 2019.
Round 10 (300): 3B McCarthy Tatum
With the 300th overall selection, Fresno State third baseman McCarthy Tatum rounds out the first 10 picks for the Phils. He slashed .353/.397/.601 this season. He does not draw a ton of walks, but he does not strikeout much, either.