It's easier to draw rave reviews in the draft when you're picking at the top and so far that's what the Phillies have gotten.
By this point, you probably know that the selection of high school outfielder Mickey Moniak first overall was about not only his talent and upside but also the associated price tag. By not having to give Moniak the maximum signing bonus, the Phillies afforded themselves flexibility to nab a player in the second round who has a college commitment and likely needs a signing bonus larger than his draft slot calls for.
ESPN's Keith Law, who follows the draft and its prospect as closely as anyone, likes what the Phils did in the second round, where they drafted high school right-hander Kevin Gowdy 42nd overall.
"Gowdy is a very projectable pitcher who already sits 89-93 (mph) with a sometimes-plus breaking ball and feel for a changeup," Law wrote in an ESPN Insider post. "I don't think he has a staff ace's ceiling, but I like his chances to develop into something just a little below that, especially given the projection remaining and the easy delivery."
Gowdy, like Moniak, had committed to UCLA.
The Phillies are also likely to go over-slot with their third-round pick, high school shortstop/third baseman Cole Stobbe. Some thought Stobbe (pronounced Stow-bee) would go in the first round, and it could be that he fell because of teams' uncertainty that he'd sign.
Of Stobbe, Law wrote: "The Omaha high school shortstop will move to third base and has good feel to hit, but also a swing that won't produce much power, which is why he felt just outside my top 100."
A good feel to hit and a lack of power were attributes also associated with Moniak. But you have to remember that these are not finished products. As players grow into their bodies and better learn the finer points of hitting, power can develop.
Other notes from Law on Phillies draftees:
• 4th-round LHP JoJo Romero: Built more like a reliever
• 5th-round LHP Cole Irvin: Average fastball and changeup; velocity has not stood out
• 6th-round CF David Martinelli: Speed to play center, arm strength to play right field; little power and plenty of whiffs