06/09/10 12:14 AM ET
On Day 2, Phils put emphasis on pitching
Club focuses more on college players than prep stars
By Zach Schonbrun / MLB.com
With it, the Phillies selected Perci Garner, a 6-foot-3 right-hander out of Ball State who was 5-3 with a 4.62 ERA in 17 games (11 starts) this season. It made for two pitchers taken with the first two picks and started a string of college selections for the Phils.
Garner is a strong overall athlete -- he was a three-year letter winner in football and two-year in basketball, along with four letters in baseball at Dover (Ohio) High School. And in three years at Ball State, Garner was regarded as a late bloomer who started to truly blossom his junior year.
"He's very athletic," Philadelphia scouting director Marti Wolever said. "We think he's got tremendous topside, great live body, loose arm, [a] chance to have at least three quality pitches."
Garner played football at Ball State in 2007 and '08 (as a third-string quarterback), but after deciding to concentrate solely on baseball, he has excelled. Garner also shot up some Draft boards after displaying a 96 mph fastball in a win over nationally ranked Louisville on March 20.
"We've seen Perci up to 93-94 [mph], and he's very loose and easy, so we think there's a topside there and he's very athletic," Wolever said.
The Phils selected local high school standout Jesse Biddle with their first overall selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft at No. 27. A team source said the Phils are very close to signing Biddle. An announcement could come as early as Wednesday.
The club's focus on Day 2 appeared to be on college players. Of the next 11 picks, only two were high schoolers.
Three of the college players were from the Big 12, including third-round choice Cameron Rupp, a catcher from the University of Texas. Rupp is hitting .317 with 10 home runs and 54 RBIs for the Longhorns this season.
"He's a big strong guy," Wolever said. "[He has] plus raw power and he's really a big strong kid. I think he's got a chance to be a very good receiver here for us."
The Phillies' first high school selection made on Day 2 was Scott Frazier of Upland (Calif.), a 6-foot-7 right-handed pitcher who Wolever said would have been a significantly higher pick if other teams believed he would be more easily signable. Frazier is committed to Pepperdine University, but Philadelphia took the chance on him in hopes of working out a deal.
"We really like the topside on him," Wolever said. "He was up to 94 [mph] in the spring. He's got a chance to be special on the mound. It's going to take a lot of work and effort on our part, but we hope to get it done."
Five of Philadelphia's first seven overall picks weree pitchers, something Wolever said was a reflection of the way the Draft was going.
"It was pretty pitching heavy," Wolever said. "We had our pockets picked a couple of times during the course of the Draft of people we were ready to select and someone else took him before us. It was pretty pitcher-dominant, I thought, going into it and it ended up being that way."
The team addressed several of its key needs that Wolever had pointed out before the Draft, specifically at catcher, left-handed pitcher and middle infield. Wolever said he gets excited about every Draft, and this one is no different.
"I'm very excited about a lot of these kids," Wolever said. "I think we really got a lot of things that we needed and a lot of guys that have topside. I'm very excited."
Here's a look at the rest of the Phils' Day 2 picks:
Round 3, Cameron Rupp, C, Texas: As a junior, Rupp, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound catcher, made the College World Series All-Tournament team last year and led his team in home runs and RBIs. Out of Plano, Texas, he was selected by Pirates in 43rd round of the 2007 Draft, but committed to Texas. His father, Kevin, played in the Expos' Minor League system. Rupp is hitting .317 with 10 homers and 54 RBIs in 60 games this year, with a .405 on-base percentage and a .507 slugging percentage. He ranks second on the Longhorns in RBIs, hits and runs scored.
Round 4, Bryan Morgado, LHP, Tennessee: Morgado had been selected in the third round (102nd overall) by the White Sox last season, but he decided to return for his junior year at Tennessee. He had also been selected in the 34th round of 2006 Draft by the Red Sox out of Florida Christian High School in Miami after being rated the 35th-best high school senior by Baseball America. The 6-foot-3 left-hander was 2-7 with a 7.90 ERA in 15 games (13 starts) this season with 74 strikeouts and 36 walks in 68 1/3 innings. He had Tommy John surgery during the summer following his senior year.
Round 5, Scott Frazier, RHP, Upland HS (Calif.): The 6-foot-7 right-hander signed a letter of intent with Pepperdine. He was a 2010 Under Armour All-American and led Upland to back-to-back Baseline League championships in 2008 and '09. He also earned an AP Scholar Award. He threw a no-hitter March 10 with one walk and 18 strikeouts. His fastball reaches 95 mph at times, and he uses a funky delivery with a high leg kick and a weird arm motion.
Round 6, Gauntlett Eldemire, OF, Ohio University: The right-handed-hitting outfielder is batting .398 with 16 homers and 55 RBIs in 50 games this season. He has 80 hits and 59 runs and a .726 slugging percentage. He was a third-team preseason All-American after hitting 21 home runs with 56 RBIs, a .313 average and 11 stolen bases in 2009.
Round 7, David Buchanan, RHP, Georgia State: A finger injury sidelined him after April 16, after going 4-2 in 10 games (eight starts), with 53 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings. This was his first season at Georgia State after transferring from Chipola Junior College. He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 Draft by the Mets before deciding to go to GSU.
Round 8, Stephen Malcolm, SS, San Joaquin Delta College (Calif.): Malcolm redshirted at UC-Irvine in 2009 and transferred to Delta College this year, then decided to transfer to Virginia Tech for next year. Malcolm batted .300 with two home runs, 24 RBIs, 16 steals and 61 total bases in 36 games.
Round 9, Brenton Allen, OF, Gahr HS (Calif.): The 6-foot-2 left-hander signed a letter of intent to UCLA after batting .392 with 16 RBIs in 27 games in 2009. He batted .446 with 29 RBIs and 12 stolen bases this season for Gahr High School, near Los Angeles.
Round 10, Mario Hollands, LHP, Cal-Santa Barbara: He was 5-5 with 3.77 ERA in 14 starts with three complete games this season for Gauchos. The 6-foot-5 left-hander went 6-6 with a 4.74 ERA last season and was picked by the Twins in 24th round. He also went 4-1 with a 2.12 for Yarmouth-Dennis in the Cape Cod League last summer. He was an All-American and Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year in 2008, after going 7-3 with a 4.03 ERA.
Round 11, Garett Claypool, RHP, UCLA: Claypool was picked in the 32nd round last season by Oakland, but decided to come back to UCLA, where he has gone 8-3 with a 2.05 ERA in 20 games (12 starts) with only 46 hits allowed in 79 innings.
Round 12, Tyler Knigge, RHP, Lewis-Clarke State: Knigge led the team with 9-0 record and 2.59 ERA in 12 starts. The 6-foot-4 right-hander struck out 66 in 55 2/3 innings and was named to the NAIA All-America second team. Out of Lewiston, Idaho, Knigge went 3-4 with a 6.59 ERA as a junior before putting it together for 2010.
Round 13, John Hinson, 3B, Clemson: A redshirt sophomore, he is batting .341 with 15 home runs and 67 RBIs in 60 games for the Tigers. Named NCAA Regional MVP after leading club with .563 average and three home runs in seven games to bring it to the Super Regional. He had surgery on his back in March 2009 and missed entire season.
Round 14, Chace Numata, C, Pearl City HS (Hawaii): Clocked at 94 mph, he led Pearl City to four straight conference championships. He compiled 28 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched with a 1.08 ERA.
Round 15, Jake Smith, 3B, Alabama: He's batting .261 with 13 home runs and 55 RBIs in 62 games. Smith tore ligaments in his ankle in May 2009. He was named to SEC All-Defensive team as a third baseman in '08 and '09.
Round 16, Craig Fritsch, RHP, Baylor: He went 2-4 with a 3.68 ERA in 19 games (eight starts) with two saves this season. Drafted in the eighth round last season by Tigers after being named to Big 12 Championship All-Tournament team in 2009 as a sophomore, the 6-foot-4 right-hander was a Cape Cod League All-Star in '08.
Round 17, Michael Nesseth, RHP, Nebraska: Drafted in the 15th round by Anaheim last season, the 6-foot-6 Nesseth went back to Nebraska and went 1-2 with a 6.43 ERA this season in 10 games before ending his season in March with a torn ligament in his right elbow. He's considered one of the hardest throwers in the Big 12 with a mid-90s fastball before the injury.
Round 18, Jeffrey Cusick, 1B, Cal-Irvine: Cusick led UC-Irvine with a .372 average to go with eight home runs and a team-high 62 RBIs and 21 doubles this season. He's the school's career leader in doubles and only struck out 10 times in 232 at-bats. His older brother, Matt, plays for Triple-A Scranton in the Yankees' organization.
Round 19, David Palka, 1B, Greer HS (S.C.): He signed a letter of intent to Georgia Tech after originally committing to Clemson. He batted .394 with 10 home runs and 22 RBIs with a .545 on-base percentage and also had a 2.79 ERA and 59 strikeouts.
Round 20, Kevin Walter, RHP, Legacy HS (Colo.): Walter signed a letter of intent to Boston College. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound right-hander throws in the low-90s and has a power curveball and cutter.
Round 21, Jonathan Musser, RHP, Dowling Catholic HS (Iowa): Committed to Nebraska, Musser stands 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds. He went 7-2 with 1.04 ERA over 61 innings last season, with nine complete games. He also hit .434 with seven home runs as a junior.
Round 22, Jonathan Paquet, RHP, Ancienne Lorette (Quebec): Paquet was on the Canadien National Junior team and was picked in the 46th round by the Angels last season. He signed a letter of intent to Kentucky and was named an All-Star in Baseball Canada Cup.
Round 23, Jacob Borup, RHP, Arizona State: He's 11-1 with 4.08 ERA this season as a sophomore for the No. 1 Sun Devils, who are playing in the NCAA Super Regional. He went on a two-year Mormon mission before enrolling at ASU.
Round 24, Chad Thompson, RHP, Orange Coast College (Calif.): Committed to Arizona State, the 6-foot-8 Thompson went 4-0 with a 0.27 ERA in 26 innings before undergoing Tommy John surgery on May 1 last season. He had been drafted by Yankees in 17th round out of El Toro (Calif.) High.
Round 25, Matt Hutchison, RHP, UNLV: He went 6-4 with a 4.46 ERA in 23 games (11 starts) for the Running Rebels this season, including four saves. A four-year letter winner, he appeared in 54 games.
Round 26, Christopher Duffy, OF, Central Florida: He was named a Collegiate All-American and one of five finalists for 2010 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award after batting .447 with 21 home runs and 81 RBIs. He had an .850 slugging percentage. Drafted in the ninth round in 2006 by the White Sox as an infielder, Duffy moved to the outfield last season.
Round 27, Matthew Payton, 2B, Western Kentucky: He was second on the team with .354 batting average and seven home runs, 55 RBIs and 63 runs scored as a senior, playing shortstop and second base. He was named a finalist for Lowe's Senior Class Award.
Round 28, Brian Pointer, OF, Galena HS (NV): The 6-foot-1 outfielder signed a letter of intent to Oregon State after hitting 11 home runs and 33 RBIs as a junior. He hit nearly .500 with 10 home runs this season. His mother, Patsy, was an NCAA champion in track and field at the University of Houston in 1981.
Round 29, Patrick Lala, RHP, Kirkwood CC (Iowa): He had a 3.70 ERA in 18 games with a 3-2 record for Kirkwood this season. He's a 6-foot-2 right-hander that has been clocked at 95 mph and was ranked No. 1 JUCO prospect in Iowa.
Round 30, Nick Gonzalez, LHP, Leto HS (Fla.): The 6-foot-4 left-hander signed a letter of intent to the University of South Florida after going 4-2 with a 1.98 ERA as a junior.
Zach Schonbrun is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.