With their initial pick on day two of the 2011 MLB amateur draft, the Phillies tipped their hand for a game plan set to coordinate with the potential future of the game of baseball.
As the game has begun to go the way of speed, small ball, defense and pitching, the Phillies took shortstop Roman Quinn, a product of Port St. Joe's High School in Florida. Quinn, who stands 5-feet-10-inches tall and weighs around 170 pounds, had played some center field and second base during the past couple of seasons as well.
According to the Phillies' director of scouting Marti Wolever, Quinn spent time last Sunday working out at shortstop for the Phillies at their complex in Clearwater. The organization and the 18-year-old Quinn alike have interest in the youngster pursuing a professional career at shortstop.
Quinn was proclaimed, by some, to be the player with the most speed in this year's MLB first-year player draft, which was appealing to the Phillies.
"I've always been a big speed guy, especially in the National League," Wolever said.
Throughout the rest of the day, the Phillies went heavy on players from the left side of the infield, taking 8 additional shortstops and third basemen over the next 17 rounds.
"We feel like (shortstop) is an area where we'd like to add some depth in the organization," Wolever said. "A couple of these kids were just too interesting to pass up. We felt their tools were better than the other options that we had at that point, so we went ahead and took them."
Wolever added that he doesn't think each of the five shortstops the Phillies drafted on Tuesday will sign with the team, but stated that if they get some of them, that the organization would be pleased.
Wolever, who has been in charge of scouting for the Phillies since 2002, seemed exceptionally pleased with the Phillies' 11th round selection of West Boca Raton High School shortstop Tyler Greene, whose signability is among those in question.
"Tyler Greene probably has as much ability, tool-wise, if you grade them out, as any one (of our picks today)," Wolever stated.
Wolever was open in admitting the that Phillies targeted third base as another area to improve within the system, despite the tremendous efforts put forth this season from Double A Reading's Cody Overbeck (Eastern League leading 16 HR with 43 RBI & a .268 avg. in 55 games).
University of Miami third baseman/shortstop/first baseman Harold Martinez, taken 90th overall, is a player that Wolever said was on his radar for years. A junior this season, the 21-year-old righty hitter is a guy who projects to have power and fill the typical expectations for a third baseman.
In 59 games played this season, Martinez posted a .301 batting average with 3 HR and 38 RBI. He had previously led the team with 21 HR and 69 RBI during the 2010 season.
Wolever suggested that the updated collegiate bat regulations for the 2011 season had an impact on Martinez's production. A ban on alloy metals and a reduction in bats' spring effects on balls played a role in an offensive drop throughout college baseball this year.
"I think for a lot of kids this year, they got humiliated with the bats a little bit," Wolever said, later adding that he thought a slow start in a short season and Martinez playing out of position to help his team both made an impact on his offensive production.
Also of interest to the Phillies on day two of the draft were catchers and pitchers. The team selected 4 catchers, most notably Zach Wright (6th round) out of East Carolina University and Logan Moore out of Northeastern Junior College in Colorado. Wright is known for his strong defensive skills, but he batted .272 with a team leading 13 HR in 62 games this season. Moore is a right-handed batter who hit .321 with 6 HR this season.
Among the pitchers taken by the Phils were Adam Morgan, a lefty hurler from the University of Alabama taken in the third round, Kenneth Giles a righty out of Yavapai College selected in the 7th round and Austin Wright from Ole Miss, a lefty who was picked in the 8th round.
The Phillies did not select another outfielder after Larry Greene until the 15th round (481st overall), when they took Ryan Garvey, son of long-time Dodger and former National League MVP Steve Garvey. Ryan, a right-handed hitting 18-year-old, stands 6-feet tall and weighs 190 pounds. The youngster manned first base as well in his playing career at Palm Desert High School in California.
The draft will continue on Wednesday, with rounds 31-50, beginning at noon, Eastern time.
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