Draft Preparation

Homestand ends with weekend series against the struggling Atlanta Braves. Phillies won two of three in Atlanta recently.

Then, the schedule gets more difficult: three in Detroit starting Monday, three in Chicago against the Cubs next weekend and back home for three against Washington. Charlie Manuel once said, “If you want to be a great team, you have to beat great teams.”

Draft Preparation
Johnny Almaraz, the Phillies’ Director of Amateur Scouting, oversaw a regional meeting about the upcoming draft the past four days at Citizens Bank Park. By virtue of having the worst record in baseball last season, the Phillies have the very first selection on June 9.  Their next two selections are #42 and #78.

Once before (1998) the Phillies were in the same position and took University of Miami third baseman, Pat Burrell.

The Phillies have been scouting and cross-checking and more cross-checking the premier prospects eligible for the daft. In addition to Almaraz, scouting coordinators, regional supervisors and area scouts, others who have been involved include Matt Klentak (GM), Ned Rice (Assistant GM), Joe Jordan (Director, Player Development), Pat Gillick (Senior Advisor to the President and GM), Charlie Manuel (Senior Advisor to the  GM), Benny Looper (Senior Advisor, International Operations), Bart Braun (Special Assistant to the GM), Charley Kerfeld (Special Assistant to the GM), Jorge Velandia (Special Assistant, Player Personnel), Sal Agostinelli (Director, International Scouting) and Rob Holiday (Director, Amateur Scouting Administration).

The Phillies will set up their war room on June 1 and begin their final meetings the following morning.  The MLB Network will televise the first round. MLB.com will have the complete round-by-round selections.

The vert first draft took place in 1965 in the Commodore Hotel in New York City.  Each team was assigned to a round table.  Paul Owens conducted the draft for the Phillies.  There was a lot of buzzing going on that day.  Teams were selecting players on which other teams didn’t have scouting reports.  Everyone seemed to be kind of nervous.

That’s all changed.  Every player eligible for the draft is now assigned a draft number.
There are no unknowns.  Gone are large, heavy three-ring binders filled with hand-written or typed scouting reports.  Today, laptops fill every team’s war room.  Video is available on just about every eligible player.  Baseball analytics, including data visualization and reporting, statistical research and data infrastructure, help paint a total picture of each player.

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (22-18), 3rd place, International League North Division.
C Andrew Knapp’s walk-off double in the 15th inning gave LH an 8-7 win in a wild game that took 4 hours, 48 minutes.  Toledo scored 2 in the top of the 9th with 2 out to send the game into extra innings and then took the lead with another 2-spot in the 12th. 3B Carlos Alonzo tied the game with a 2-out, 2-run single.  Toledo again scored 2 with 2 out in the 14th.  LV matched that on consecutive doubles by Knapp, Alonzo and Cedric Hunter. Manager Dave Brundage, “Had them all the way.” WP: James Russell (1-0). LP: Miguel Gonzalez, a catcher. ND: David Buchanan, 7-8-1-1-1-1 . . . Jake Thompson (2-4), 7:05 tonight vs. Toledo.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (26-14), 1st place, Eastern League Eastern Division.
Won, 5-1, in Bowie behind Anthony Vasquez (6-2), 7-4-0-0-2-5. C Jorge Alfaro and 1B Rhys Hoskins, 3 hits each. SS J.P. Crawford, 2 BB, 2 R, 3rd HR. RF Dylan Cozens had an 11-game hitting streak end . . . John Richy (0-1), 7:05 tonight vs. Palm Beach.

Clearwater Threshers (26-14), 1st place, Florida State League North Division.
Rained out in St. Lucie . . . Elniery Garcia (3-1), 6:15 tonight vs. Palm Beach

Lakewood BlueClaws (15-24), 7th place, South Atlantic League North Division.
Lost their 4th straight, a 4-0 decision to Delmarva.  Losing streak comes on the heels of a 6-game winning streak. LP: Luke Leftwich (3-2), 5.2-6-3-2-1-8. 2 hits; his 52 SO total leads SAL. SS Emmanuel Marrero, CF Carlos Duran, 3B Damek Tomscha.  RF Jose Pujols 8 HR lead all class a players . . . Harold Arauz (1-3), 7:05 tonight vs. Delmarva.

RHR Michael Mariot completed his ML rehab and assigned to Lehigh Valley. RHR Reinier Roibal assigned to Reading.

Hilarious Entrance
Today is National Bike To Work Day.  Should Jeanmar Gomez ride a bike from the bullpen to the mound?

This Date
May 21, 1950–Phillies are caught in a triple-play without making contact with the ball. With Richie Ashburn and Granny Hamner on base, Eddie Waitkus looks at a called third strike for the first out. Cardinals’ catcher Joe Garagiola then threw to third, where Ashburn was caught in a rundown. The ball was relayed to Stan Musial at first, who caught Hamner off the bag.

Carlton tops cap

May 20, 1983–LHP Steve Carlton moves into second place on the all-time strikeout list ahead of RHP Walter Johnson when he fans San Diego SS Garry Templeton (#3,509) in the second inning of a 5-0 Padres win.

May 22, 2014–SS Jimmy Rollins passes Richie Ashburn with his 2,218th career hit to move into second place on the Phillies all-time hits list. Marlins edge Phillies, 4-3.

Book Signing
The Fightin’ Phillies is the title of my new book published by Triumph Books.  Larry Andersen wrote a hilarious foreword. I’ll be signing:

**Thus Sunday, May 22, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia; 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

Follow me at twitter: @ShenkLarry

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