The twenty-seventh part of my draft preview series is on the Philadelphia Phillies and their scouting director Marti Wolever. Wolever has been the scouting director for the Phillies since 2001, but I will focus on his five most recent drafts.
Owners: Bill Giles and David Montgomery, bought club in 1981
General Manager: Ruben Amaro Jr., first season was 2009
Scouting Director: Marti Wolever, first draft was 2001
2005 Draft: $1.8 Million Budget
1. Mike Costanzo, 3B, Coastal Carolina, #65 Overall: Without a first round pick, Wolever was forced to do his best with what he had. Costanzo wasn’t considered a consensus second round talent, and teams were divided about whether he was a hitter or a pitcher. Wolever liked his power and batting eye, and drafted him in the second round. Following players selected: Chase Headley, Johnny Whittleman, Donald Veal. Signing bonus: $570,000.
2. Matt Maloney, LHP, Ole Miss, #97 Overall: Maloney was Ole Miss' Friday starter his junior year, and he was considered a solid third round draft prospect, which is where he was taken. At 6'3'' and 220 pounds, he fit the normal Phillies mold for starting pitchers, a big reason why Wolever felt comfortable with him here. Following players selected: Josh Geer, Taylor Teagarden, Mark Hollimon. Signing bonus: $400,000.
3. Mike Durant, 3B, Berkeley HS (CA), #127 Overall: Durant was a powerful prep third baseman from California that towered over most prep players at 6'5'', 230 lbs. His pure power potential was right up there with the best for the class, and this was considered about where he would go before the draft. Following players selected: Mike Baxter, Shane Funk, Dylan Johnston. Signing bonus: $247,500.
4. Brett Harker, RHP, College of Charleston, #157 Overall: Though he wasn’t universally considered a fifth round talent, Harker was a college reliever with a huge curveball. College teammates with current Yankee outfielder Brett Gardner, both were thought to be seventh to tenth round prospects. However, Wolever tabbed the 6'3'' closer in the fifth round. Following players selected: Seth Johnston, Michael Kirkman, Scott Taylor. Signing bonus: $165,000.
5. Justin Blaine, LHP, San Diego, #187 Overall: Blaine was a community-dividing prospect, considered as both a first day prospect by some and as low as a tenth rounder by others. At 6'4'', he was a prototypical Phillies pitcher, though he was heavily abused in college. Following players selected: Neil Jamison, German Duran, Kyle Reynolds. Signing bonus: $145,000.
Other Notable Selections: LHP Josh Outman (10th), Central Missouri State, $52,500 bonus; LHP Mike Zagurski (12th), Kansas.
2006 Draft: $4.8 Million Budget
1. Kyle Drabek, RHP, The Woodlands HS (TX), #18 Overall: Drabek had makeup issues entering the draft, and though his arm was as good as anyone's, he fell this far to the Phillies. He's not the usual Phillies pitcher in terms of size, but he's quite athletic, as he was considered a draft prospect as a shortstop, too. Following players selected: Brett Sinkbeil, Chris Parmelee, Ian Kennedy. Signing bonus: $1,550,000.
2. Adrian Cardenas, SS, Monsignor Pace HS (FL), #37 Overall: Drafting a supplemental first rounder for the first time in his sixth draft, Wolever went with a prep shortstop in Cardenas. This was considered a slight overdraft, as Cardenas was a polished hitter, but he was thought of more as a second baseman than a true shortstop. He was more of a late second round prospect. Following players selected: Cory Rasmus, David Huff, Kris Johnson. Signing bonus: $925,000.
3. Drew Carpenter, RHP, Long Beach State, #65 Overall: Carpenter was also not considered a consensus pick for this round (the second), as he was an average college starter with average pro stuff. At 6'3'', he fit the Phillies starter mold, though he lacked the projectability of most of Wolever's college pitching picks. Following players selected: Trevor Cahill, Sergio Perez, Dustin Evans. Signing bonus: $570,000.
4. Jason Donald, SS, Arizona, #97 Overall: Donald was considered a solid middle infield prospect with a lack of above-average tools. He was expected to be a fifth rounder at best, but he was called here in the third round. Scott Boras was his advisor, but that didn't stop Wolever from picking him. Following players selected: Matt Sulentic, Nick Moresi, Chad Rodgers. Signing bonus: $400,000.
5. D’Arby Myers, OF, Westchester HS (CA), #127 Overall: Myers wasn’t on most teams’ radars, as most expected him to go to school because of his rawness and desire for an education. He was athletic, but wasn't expected to hit at all quite yet, part of what we consider the Phillies normal modus operandi now. He surprisingly signed. Following players selected: Chad Lee, Chris Johnson, Lee Hyde. Signing bonus: $250,000.
Other Notable Selections: OF Domonic Brown (20th), Redan HS (GA), $200K bonus.
2007 Draft: $4.2 Million Budget
1. Joe Savery, LHP, Rice, #19 Overall: Savery was coming off surgery the previous year on his shoulder, and while he was good for Rice that spring, he had not performed like a first rounder. However, the Phillies' pick of Savery was praised, as most thought he'd explode once he turned into a full-time pitcher after being a two-way player for the Owls. Following players selected: Chris Withrow, J.P. Arencibia, Tim Alderson. Signing bonus: $1,372,500.
2. Travis d’Arnaud, C, Lakewood HS (CA), #37 Overall: D'Arnaud was a solid prep prospect who was considered a solid defender with a streaky bat. This was considered in the range he was expected to go, as he wasn't really a true first round prospect. He fit in the Phillies' mold for athletic position players, a rarity for a catcher. Following players selected: Brett Cecil, James Adkins, Kellen Kulbacki. Signing bonus: $832,500.
3. Travis Mattair, SS, Southridge HS (WA), #83 Overall: Mattair was considered a second round prospect in a year where there were too many supplemental first round picks to keep track of. He was very athletic, having been a basketball player, but was very raw with the bat. Getting the theme yet? Following players selected: Hunter Morris, John Tolisano, Michael Watt. Signing bonus: $395,000.
4. Brandon Workman, RHP, Bowie HS (TX), #107 Overall: You'll hear this name again this year in the draft. Workman had a first round arm with little polish, but was considered a very difficult sign, despite being taken earlier than the industry consensus here by Wolever. He ended up not signing and headed to Texas. He was a prototypical Phillies starter at 6'4'', 195 lbs. Following players selected: Brandon Hicks, Neftali Soto, Evan Reed. DID NOT SIGN.
5. Matt Spencer, OF, Arizona State, #113 Overall: Spencer had been part of the UNC Tar Heels, but lost his job and transferred to ASU. He was tall, with a power bat, but was very unrefined for a college hitter. This is definitely a trend in how Wolever works. Following players selected: Brock Huntzinger, Alan Farina, Austin Gallagher. Signing bonus: $261,000.
Other Notable Selections: OF Michael Taylor (5th), Stanford, $131K bonus; RHP Justin DeFratus (11th), Ventura JC (CA); RHP Jiwan James (22nd), Williston HS (FL), $150K bonus.
2008 Draft: $6.7 Million Budget
1. Anthony Hewitt, SS, Salisbury School (CT), #24 Overall: I personally disliked this pick, as Hewitt was a very raw hitter who looked lost against good competition on the showcase circuit. However, he fits the Phillies' mold of athletic position players, even without a true position. Following players selected: Christian Friedrich, Daniel Schlereth, Carlos Gutierrez. Signing bonus: $1,380,000.
2. Zach Collier, OF, Chino Hills HS (CA), #34 Overall: The Phillies got incredibly lucky when Collier landed in their lap here. Considered a first round talent, Collier had numerous tools with a good bat and good power potential. He's another prototypical Phillies prep prospect. Following players selected: Evan Frederickson, Mike Montgomery, Conor Gillaspie. Signing bonus: $1,020,000.
3. Anthony Gose, OF, Bellflower HS (CA), #51 Overall: Leave it to the Phillies to pick someone widely considered a pitcher and use his speed and arm in the outfield. Gose's injury concerns as a pitcher probably helped this to happen, and it was the reason he fell this far. He was as fast as anyone in the 2008 draft class. Following players selected: Brad Hand, Seth Lintz, Cutter Dykstra. Signing bonus: $772,000.
4. Jason Knapp, RHP, North Hunterdon HS (NJ), #71 Overall: Knapp was only thought to have a fastball coming out of a cold-weather state. That fastball only had velocity, little command, and came paired with weak secondary offerings. However, at 6'5'', the Phillies saw potential in his arm and body. It has worked out so far, and it got them Cliff Lee. Following players selected: Charlie Blackmon, Bryan Shaw, Tyler Chatwood. Signing bonus: $590,000.
5. Vance Worley, RHP, Long Beach State, #102 Overall: Worley was a re-draft for the Phillies, as Wolever took him in the 2005 draft. At 6'2'', 220 lbs., Worley's big body attracted the Phillies, and he profiled to go somewhere in this range as a possible back of the rotation starter or reliever. Following players selected: Aaron Weatherford, Kevin Eichhorn, Ryan Chaffee. Signing bonus: $355,000.
Other Notable Selections: RHP Trevor May (4th), Kelso HS (WA), $375K bonus; RHP B.J. Rosenberg (13th), Louisville; RHP Jarred Cosart (38th), Clear Creek HS (TX), $550K bonus.
2009 Draft: $3.2 Million Budget
1. Kelly Dugan, OF, Notre Dame HS (CA), #75 Overall: Dugan was actually a first baseman in high school, and this was probably one of the more shocking picks of the first day of the 2009 draft for me. Dugan had big power potential, but he was pretty raw in most aspects, and he wasn’t as athletic as typical Phillies outfielders. Following players selected: J.R. Murphy, Alex Wilson, Kenny Diekroeger. Signing bonus: $485,000.
2. Kyrell Hudson, OF, Evergreen HS (WA), #106 Overall: Hudson was much more like the typical Phillies outfield prospect, as he featured plus-plus speed and athleticism. However, he had some makeup issues and hitting issues, and he had fallen off the draft boards of some teams, though this was in the area of his expected draft position. Following players selected: David Renfroe, Todd Glaesmann, Austin Kirk. Signing bonus: $475,000.
3. Adam Buschini, 2B, Cal Poly, #137 Overall: Buschini was a star collegiate hitter after struggling to come back from an elbow injury in 2008. However, he lacked much athleticism, and all of his value was in his hit tool, but he projected as a solid utility player. Following players selected: Jeremy Hazelbaker, Luke Bailey, Chris Rusin. Signing bonus: $195,000.
4. Matt Way, LHP, Washington State, #167 Overall: Way was a solid senior sign that projected as a middle reliever at the next level. A fifth to tenth round prospect, he started for Washington State, but didn’t have enough on his slider to have a third pitch necessary for starting at the pro level. Following players selected: Seth Schwindenhammer, Jeff Malm, Wes Darvill. Signing bonus: $40,000.
5. Steven Inch, RHP, Vauxhall Academy (AB), #197 Overall: Inch was one of my favorite sixth round picks, mainly because he combined projectability with good pitchability, an excellent combination. He was considered a fifth to seventh round pick, making this a good fit all around. Following players selected: Branden Kline, Devin Fuller, Brooks Raley. Signing bonus: $300,000.
Other Notable Selections: RHP Brody Colvin (7th), St. Thomas More HS (LA), $900K bonus; 1B Jonathan Singleton (8th), Millikan HS (CA), $200K bonus.
Marti Wolever only ranks behind the Rockies’ Bill Schmidt as the longest-tenured scouting directors in the league. I mistakenly made the statement last year that Wolever’s first draft was 2002, which is also stated in Baseball America’s Executive Database, but Wolever actually ran the 2001 draft after former scouting director Mike Arbuckle announced the first pick, which was Gavin Floyd. As has been the case in many years since then, the Phillies lost picks that year as compensation, and they didn’t pick again until the fourth round, and their most notable selection in Wolever’s first draft was Ryan Howard, who was the second pick of Wolever. I was corrected in my statement last year, and I’m happy to correct it this year. Being one of the most experienced scouting directors in the game, Wolever enjoys a nice advantage in that he goes in knowing exactly what he wants, and his experience gives him leeway with his general manager, which is now Ruben Amaro. He’s on boss number three now, following Ed Wade and Pat Gillick, two well-known scouting minds, so it seems that he is well respected by numerous front office people. That respect is deserved, as he has drafted the core of the recent successful Philadelphia teams. I don’t always agree with his picks, but he’s been given enough space to develop his own mold that it has worked quite a few times. Like I said in the scouting director rankings I released on Saturday, I think Wolever’s reached the point where he’s leaving something on the table with his early picks, since he’s only looking for a particular type of player, and that’s starting to come back to bite them. Their development timeframe is longer than most teams, and their bust rate on high picks is higher, and I think their player mold may be becoming outdated, though they always end up with a few prospects from every draft, though they’re not always from the top of the draft. Their bats and arms are almost always risky or below the starter’s level for potential, with practically nothing in-between. For every Anthony Hewitt there’s a Matt Way or a Drew Carpenter. I’m fine with them approaching the draft like they’re going to trade their prospects away, which has been the case in recent years, but at some point their bust rate is going to become too much to bear.
The reason I say their bust rate is going to become too much to bear is because they don’t spend enough money in the draft to absorb the busts as easily as other big-market teams. In the most recent five years, the Phillies have only spent the 25th-largest amount on draft bonuses in all of baseball, a sad ranking for such a successful team with a large amount of resources at their disposal. That five year period covers all three general managers, so all are to blame in one way or another. Pat Gillick increased the draft spending slightly during his years, but it was still mediocre at best. The thing I give Gillick credit for is keeping first-rounders for Wolever to work with, something that wasn’t as common under Wade. Wolever had a first-rounder and a supplemental first-rounder in each of the three drafts run under Gillick, while Amaro reverted back to the Wade style of management, giving up his first-rounder for Raul Ibanez. The Phillies are back in the first round again in 2010, and they own picks 27, 77, 108, 141, and every 30 picks after that. That’s the natural order for each of their picks, meaning no compensation has gone either way for them over the past offseason. They spent only $3.2 million on bonuses in 2009, and that was done without a first-rounder, so I’d expect something in the $4.5 million range in 2010. They could slide into the $5+ million range with a few more overslot deals, but I don’t anticipate that as much. They’re generally conservative with their spending, and without any extra picks, I don’t see much risk-taking again in 2010.
Connecting players to the Phillies is especially difficult, as Wolever is the type that likes to buck industry consensus. Dugan was definitely like that in 2009. I have them taking Louisiana prep infielder Garin Cecchini in my latest mock draft, and he fits the mold of the powerful prep hitter that has gone to the Phillies in the past. He’s a little less athletic than some of their selections, but they do like their big, powerful infielders, especially one that projects to slide to third base. Other options I could see going there are Chevez Clarke, A.J. Vanegas, Stefan Sabol, and Kaleb Cowart. Later picks could include such names as Peter Tago, Aaron Sanchez, Michael Lorenzen, and Kevin Jordan for the second round. Picks after the second could include Jesus Valdez, Robby Rowland, Angelo Gumbs, Ryon Healy, and Brandon Brennan, all of which are speculative and from California. I could also see them drafting someone such as Chad Arnold from Washington State or even Drew Vettleson, though I have less of a read on whether Vettleson is signable enough to go to the Phillies. No matter what happens, though, I expect the Phillies to be loaded with more athletes and projectable arms, as well as low-ceiling collegiate players who will make good role players. I haven’t always agreed with Marti Wolever’s drafting philosophy, but it has worked for them.
*Bonus information came from BA.
What do you guys think? What will the Phillies do?