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Shadow Draft Big Board, Pick, and Rationale

I’m shadow drafting for the Phillies this year, a trick proposition considering I’ve had to wait around until the 39th overall pick to get started. Here’s where my up to the second big board is at:

  1. LHP Daniel Norris (Science Hill HS, Tennessee)
  2. OF Josh Bell (Jesuit College Prep School, Texas)
  3. Oregon State SO C Andrew Susac
  4. Kent State SO LHP Andrew Chafin
  5. RHP Jorge Lopez (Academia la Milagrosa, Puerto Rico)
  6. RHP Michael Kelly (West Boca Raton Community HS, Florida)
  7. SS Trevor Story (Irving HS, Texas)
  8. 1B Travis Harrison (Tustin HS, California)
  9. 3B Matt Dean (The Colony HS, Texas)
  10. Oregon State JR LHP Josh Osich
  11. RHP Dillon Howard (Searcy HS, Arkansas)
  12. RHP John Curtiss (Carroll HS, Texas)
  13. OF Granden Goetzman (Palmetto HS, Florida)
  14. 2B Phillip Evans (La Costa Canyon HS, California)
  15. 2B Johnny Eierman (Warsaw HS, Missouri)
  16. Texas State JR RHP Carson Smith
  17. 3B Tyler Goeddel (St. Francis HS, California)
  18. OF Senquez Golson (Pascaagoula HS, Mississippi)
  19. Stony Brook JR RHP Nick Tropeano
  20. SS Tyler Greene (West Boca Raton HS, Florida)
  21. Georgia Tech JR 3B Matt Skole
  22. Vanderbilt JR 3B Jason Esposito

The Phillies pick again at 66th overall, so I have some flexibility in knowing I’ll have another crack early on in the second round after 25 more guys go off the board. With 22 names on my big board, I’m pretty confident I’ll be in a position to land a second desirable player. Norris and Bell are the top names on my list; based on talent alone, I’d be all over either. Unfortunately, the draft doesn’t work like that in baseball, so I reluctantly take off the expensive/unsignable prep stars from the board for the sake of realism. Bummer. Susac is tempting as the top college player available, but, again, I’m staying away from the former Phillies late round pick because I can’t really see the real Phillies going down that road again. That leaves me Chafin, Lopez, Kelly, and Story as legitimate options. Chafin makes sense as a high upside, signable, injury surviving prospect. Lopez and Kelly are projectable high school arms, always an option for the Phillies early on. Given the dearth of quality middle infield prospects in the system, Story is perhaps the most intriguing name of the bunch.

Now it becomes a matter of deciding who will might make it to 66. Truthfully, I can’t see any of these players making it out of the sandwich round, but, if I had to choose one, I’d think Lopez has the best shot. I’ll cross my fingers and hope he is there at 66. By proxy, that eliminates Kelly from consideration. College starting pitcher or high school shortstop? My love of Chafin (I had him over Alex Meyer, a huge favorite, on my college pitcher rankings) wins out here. The potential for three plus pitches — mid-90s peak FB, big league ready SL, and a very good CU — makes Chafin a candidate to pitch near the top of a rotation someday. Throw in the fact that he still has room to improve (sharper breaking ball, better command) as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery, and we’ve got our first pick. With the 39th pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, the Shadow Phillies select…Kent State SO LHP Andrew Chafin.

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