PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have heard a comment or two in the past couple months about their record and their prospects at the No. 1 pick in the 2016 Draft, but they bristle at the notion that they are gunning for it.
But the topic seemed relevant before Monday night's series opener against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies and Braves entered the series with the two worst records in baseball. The Phillies were 53-84 and the Braves were 54-83, making this series one with 2016 Draft implications.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said he has no mixed feelings about the team playing well and winning in its final 25 games vs. getting the top pick and knowing they will pick the player that they love the most.
"What we're trying to do is just continue to assess what we have with our players and giving them a chance to play," Amaro said. "Hopefully, they're learning from the experience. That's the most important thing for us on the field right now. We'll deal with the Draft when the Draft comes. When we find out what happens at the end of the year, then we'll deal with it."
The difference between the No. 1 pick and the No. 2 pick (or No. 3 or No. 4) might not matter much anyway. The common consensus is that there is no unanimous top pick. There is no Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg.
"There is some pretty good pitching up top," Amaro said. "I think we're going to be pitching intensive. Obviously, we always try to take the best player, but I think our mindset is probably pitching."
Many consider the top two high school pitchers to be IMG Academy (Lakeland, Fla.) left-hander Jason Groome and St. Thomas Aquinas (Overland Park, Kan.) right-hander Riley Pint. The top two college pitchers might be Florida left-hander A.J. Puk and Oklahoma right-hander Alec Hansen.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.