Nick Williams sat on a couch in the Phillies clubhouse recently and smiled at the memory. He was asked what he recalled about the day he was officially chosen to be a professional baseball player.
"I was playing video games and (I saw that) my dad started crying," said Williams, a second-round pick of the Texas Rangers in 2012, No. 93 overall. "That's how I knew I got drafted. He was so excited."
This year's draft starts Monday and the Phillies have the third overall pick. It will be their only selection on Day 1, which for the rest of baseball will comprise the first two rounds plus some compensation and competitive balance picks.
Williams said the rest of that period in 2012 is a blur. Shortly after, he was headed to Arlington to sign with the Rangers then shipped to Arizona for rookie ball.
"Me, I was really clumsy. Though I went in the second round, I didn't think I was close to reaching my maximum potential," Williams continued. "I'm 24 and I still don't think so. Maybe I'm halfway to getting to where I could possibly be."
The Phillies forfeited their picks in Rounds 2 and 3 for signing free agents Carlos Santana and Jake Arrieta, respectively. Their pick in Round 4 on Tuesday, June 5 is No. 107. They will then pick every 30 spots until No. 1187 in Round 40 on Wednesday, June 6.
"There's a stigma around the draft that if you're not picked in the first couple rounds, (you're going to have difficulty making the majors)," said Rhys Hoskins, a Phillies fifth-rounder in 2014. "Sure, your chances might be less, but you always hear about Mike Piazza (picked in the 62nd round in 1988). If you're good enough and have the talent, all you really need is the opportunity."
Some players decline to sign after they are drafted and get thrown back into the draft pool the following year. Jake Arrieta, for instance, went in the 31st round in 2004 while he was still in high school. In 2005, while in junior college, he was taken in the 26th round. Finally, in 2007, he signed after the Baltimore Orioles took him in the fifth round.
"If your name doesn't get called when you think it's going to be, you don't need to get discouraged," said Scott Kingery, a 2015 second-rounder. "You're going to have the same opportunities as the players drafted higher than you. It might be a little bit disappointing, but you have to keep your head up and go play professional baseball."
Roster as of Sunday morning, June 3
*Drafted by the Phillies
Undrafted pitchers: Victor Arano, Seranthony Dominguez, Luis Garcia, Hector Neris, Edubray Ramos.
Undrafted players: Jorge Alfaro, Pedro Florimon (disabled list), Maikel Franco, Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera, Carlos Santana.
Note: There is no amateur draft for players from outside the U.S., Puerto Rico or Canada.
Undrafted: Ozzie Albies (Atl.), Jose Altuve (Hou.), Nelson Cruz (Sea.), Jose Ramirez (Cle.), Gary Sanchez (NYY).
Justin Verlander was taken by the Tigers with the second overall pick in 2004. With the first pick, the Padres selected shortstop Matt Bush, who finally got to the majors as a pitcher in 2016 with Texas. Bush had numerous personal problems and served more than four years in prison after nearly killing a motorcyclist while driving under the influence.