The bad news: The 2013 Phillies were absolutely awful.
The good news: They were awful enough that the Phillies have the No. 7 overall pick in the 2014 June Draft, their highest pick in a draft since they took Gavin Floyd with the fourth overall selection in 2001.
So, what should fans expect out of Mr. Seven?
“What’s in the booooooooox?!?!?!”
Actually, what has been in the box at the No. 7 pick in the baseball draft since the turn of the millennium is some pretty sweet stuff.
Matt Harvey (Mets) and Mike Minor (Braves) were No. 7 picks and likely will be tormenting the Phillies on the mound in the N.L. East for years to come.
The best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw, was the seventh pick in 2006. Homer Bailey (Reds) ain’t shabby. He was No. 7 in 2004.
Some hitters you might have heard of also were Lucky Sevens: Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies in 2005), Nick Markakis (Orioles in 2003) and Prince Fielder (Brewers in 2002) are All-Stars, and Yonder Alonso (Reds in 2008) has become a solid, if unspectacular, pro with time to improve.
As with any draft hole, you get the occasional dud. Matt LaPorta (Brewers, 2007) has had injuries and a terrible glove make him a dud, and one of the most infamous draft losers ever, Matt Harrington, was taken seventh by the Rockies in 2000. He turned down seven-figures from them and again the next season from the Padres and never signed a pro contract with a major-league franchise. The last time he was heard from, Harrington was changing tires in a Costco garage.
However, all in all, No. 7 has been a game-changer for franchises. Heaven knows the Phillies could use some of that.
As for which players to track over the next nine months before that pick reaches gestation, here are a few guys projected to go in the first half of the first round and have a Phillies profile:
- Braxton Davidson: He’s a big left-handed hitting prep outfielder from North Carolina with major power.
- Michael Cederoth: The lanky San Diego State right-hander rolls it up there close to 100 mph and has a hard slider and changeup (and some control issues, so the Phils will love that).
- Alex Jackson: He’s a right-handed-hitting catcher/outfielder from SoCal with loads of pop.
- Trea Turner: The N.C. State shortstop/third baseman has the type of skills that could make him a speedier, right-handed-hitting Chase Utley.
In case you’re wondering, the last time the Phillies had a No. 7 pick, it was 1986 and they drafted one Brad Brink. And if you’re asking, “Who is Brad Brink?” … yeah, that didn’t go so well.
Sometimes what’s in the box is Gwyneth Paltrow’s head.