The 2017 Major League Baseball draft – all 1,215 picks of it – is finished and next year's edition is less than a year away. A lot will change before next June, but one thing is fairly certain: The Phillies will have one of the top picks. They have baseball's worst record, and here's a peek at whom they could land if they get the No. 1 pick.
Jack Zoellner spent four seasons at Nevada playing first base, but the Phillies plan to move him to third, the position he played in high school.
"My coaches really liked me at first because I could save a lot of errors," said Zoellner, who was drafted in Tuesday's ninth round. "But I can definitely play third base. It's awesome. I've always wanted to play third base. That's what I wanted to play at the next level, and I'm glad the Phillies are giving me the opportunity to move back there."
Phillies area scout Brad Holland identified Zoellner as a third baseman. Phillies director of amateur scouting Johnny Almaraz said he "believes he's a future power-hitting third baseman." Zoellner, a lefthanded batter, hit 12 homers this season with a 1.133 OPS at Nevada. He visited Philly but could not take batting practice because he had suffered a broken hand in May when hit by a pitch. The injury – a slight fracture – did not require surgery and is nearly healed.
"I try not to think too much about the long ball. I try to just keep things simple, but it will definitely be enjoyable having a short right-field porch," Zoellner said about Citizens Bank Park. "I don't like to look at myself as a power hitter. I like to look at myself as a line-drive hitter that hits a lot of doubles and then I'll carry some balls out of the yard. But playing at the Phillies' park, I'll definitely be able to get some balls out of there with the short right-field porch."
The Phillies ended Day 2 of the draft by selecting Connor Brogdon, a righthanded pitcher from Lewis-Clark State in Idaho, in the 10th round. The negotiations with Brogdon – whom Almaraz called "a big righthanded pitcher with a power fastball" – were a breeze.
"The area scout called me in the ninth and said, 'If we offered you $5,000, would you come play for us?' I'm a senior, so I know I'm not going to get a whole lot," Brogdon said. "I said 'Absolutely. I just want to get to work. I want that opportunity.' Ten minutes later, I get another call and it said 'Congratulations. You're now a Philadelphia Phillie.'"
Brogdon had a 2.91 ERA this season for Lewis-Clark, which won the NAIA national Title. He struck out 99 and walked 25 in 80 1/3 innings. The Phillies view him as a starter. He throws a low-90s fastball, a slider, a curveball, and a change-up. The ability to throw four pitches drew the Phillies' interest.