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Phils go for high-ceiling players

Phils go for high-ceiling players

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies continued to scour the high school ranks for talent on Day 2 of the First-Year Player Draft.

A day after five high school players among eight players chosen -- including their first four picks -- Philadelphia took high school players with four of their first six Day 2 picks, starting with third baseman Johnny Coy.

When the dust settled on Day 2, the Phillies' Draft looked like this: 24 high schoolers, 26 college players and two players not affiliated with a school.

They took 30 pitchers -- 25 right-handers and five lefties. Among the position players were nine outfielders, four shortstops, four first basemen, three third basemen, one catcher and a shortstop. Philadelphia selected 52 players over both days of the Draft.

Phillies scouting director Marti Wolever felt this Draft was a significant chance to replenish the organizational coffers with high-ceiling talent, realizing that not all of the players will turn out to be the next Chase Utley or Cole Hamels.

With a personal preference for hitters, Wolever is especially excited with first-round selection Anthony Hewitt (SS) and outfielders Zachary Collier and Anthony Gose, the team's top three selections.

"When these guys hit, and now all of them do, you're not talking about an average Major-League player," Wolever said. "You're talking about a well-above-average Major-League player," Wolever said. "To me, that's what you win championships with."

The Phillies picked up 11 right-handed pitchers in the first 20 rounds.

Coincidence?

"It just kind of fell that way," Wolever said. "We weren't planning that."

The new crop of righties could supplement a Minor League system that was well stocked with lefties.

Eight of those 11 righties hail from colleges and universities. Wolever said he likes the advantages of picking college players, mainly, that they're more likely to start quicker and might advance to the big leagues sooner than younger players.

Phillies' top five selections
Pick
POS
Name
School
24.SSAnthony HewittSalisbury School (Conn.)
34.LFZachary CollierChino Hills HS (Calif.)
51.OFAnthony GoseBellflower HS (Calif.)
71.RHPJaosn KnappNorth Hunterdon Reg HS (N.J.)
102.RHPVance WorleyCal St Long Beach
Complete Phillies Draft results >
However, he also said that he and his staff aim for a balance between high school and college players.

"In any Draft, you try to strive for that," Wolever said.

This year, the Phillies selected more high schoolers than usual, Wolever said. They used their top three picks on prep players.

Wolever is also happy with some of the high school pitcher selections. Among them is James Weber, a product of Clearwater Central Catholic High School in Florida.

"He really has a good feel for pitching," Wolever said.

Wolever is confident that Hewitt, who is reprented by Jack Toffey, will sign quickly.

"I don't want to drag out the process too long," Hewitt said. "I'm pretty sure [the talks] will go pretty well. I really want to go ahead and pursue my professional career as soon as possible. I'm eager to start."

Kevin Horan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }
{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }
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