The new 5-round format of the MLB draft wrapped up this past week and the Phillies added 4 new players to the organization. The days of the 40 round marathon drafts are over and the impact of this will be a storyline to watch going forward. As it is, the new talent that the Phillies added will find their spot in the organization and we will see what is to come of these players, but let’s break down their potential:
1st Round- Mick Abel (RHP)
A right-handed pitcher out of high school is a familiar sight for the Phillies to target in the draft, but Abel has the potential to be a really solid pick. He has a 6’5 frame that is still being filled out but has exciting raw power as his fastball comes in at or around the triple digits. His slider seems to be his money pitch and his control over it is extremely impressive. Abel is still yet to turn 19, so he is still growing into his body but he is a guy who was expected to climb up draft boards in this year’s canceled high-school season. It will no doubt be a few years before we see Abel step to the big leagues as the talent he has faced so far is a bit of a concern, but he is a solid prospect that the Phillies have to look forward to.
3rd Round- Casey Martin (SS)
Versatility is the first word that comes to mind when you look at Casey Martin. He is being labeled as a short-stop for the time being but could very well end up playing second-base or centerfield in the long-run. Martin has all the tools to be a legitimate MLB starter, but he has yet to put these tools fully together.
Casey hits with impressive power to both sides of the field, which was shown by his 30 home runs in college. In addition to his power, Martin shows impressive speed and great arm strength in the field. After his freshman year at Arkansas, it was expected that he would be a 1st-round pick but questions about his approach at the plate were the biggest red flag that caused him to slide. If he reels in this over-aggressive style in the batter’s box and develops in the minors, he could find a real role in the Majors. Going into the draft as the 38th ranked prospect according to Baseball America and 30th according to MLB.com, it is a pick that has a lot of potential with very little of the risk to go with it.
4th Round- Carson Ragsdale
Coming out of the University of South Florida, Carson Ragsdale is not easy to miss. Standing 6’8 and 225 pounds, Ragsdale has pitched both as a starter and in the bullpen in his time in college. His fastball is solid, coming in between 91 and 95 mph and he has a reliable curveball as well. But beyond these 2 pitches is where Carson struggles. He has a change-up but it is still developing and after losing a season to Tommy John and then another to the pandemic, it is very questionable how much development has occurred.
Ragsdale is most likely going to end up finding his place as a reliever as his greatest asset is his strikeout potential. In the 4 appearances he made before the season was put on hold, Ragsdale threw 37 strikeouts in just 19 innings of work. The Phillies are taking a bit of a risk with this pick as he does lack the 3rd pitch at this point, but they are banking on his upside that he clearly has.
5th Round- Baron Radcliff (OF)
Fair or not, Radcliff is already drawing comparisons to Philly great Ryan Howard. Both were drafted in the 5th round at age 21, have a powerful lefty swing, stand 6 foot 4 feet tall, and even have a very similar stance. Radcliff radiates confidence when he steps in the batter’s box and has the power to back it up. One particular home run he hit this year flew an impressive 470 feet before finally coming back down to earth. His ability with the glove is not his calling card, but he projects as a corner outfielder. There are not many guys in this draft class or even in the minors who you can list above Radcliff for their raw power. There are red flags that come along with him, such as the high strikeout rate and the fact that he only hit .236 in his 3 seasons of college ball, but if he can develop on the power he already has it would be nice to see this stance back in Citizens Bank Park again.
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Lifelong Philly Sports fan and current college student at Alvernia University. Writes about Sixers and Phillies and Co-Host of Pick Swap Podcast
Twitter: @Sean_Barnard1 and @PickSwapPod