Chuck Hixson of Scout.com wrote about the Phillies 2009 draft possibilities. They’re not promising. While the execution of the piece is off (you’re always taking a chance no matter when you draft), the crux is correct: The Phillies will have a difficult time finding impact players in the draft because they don’t pick until the 80th overall pick.
For those scoring at home, by signing Type A free agent Raul Ibanez, the Phillies lost their first round draft pick. And by not offering Pat Burrell arbitration, they lost a possible first-round pick.
So now the Phils start at No. 80. It doesn’t quite help the future of the franchise, which will need to be thought about once 2012 rolls around. That’s why the 2009 draft is important – a player or two from that draft could be major league ready by 2012. If anything, the Phillies will have to think about opening their draft with college-graduated players who can work through the system quickly. They won’t have to think about signing above slot – they paid draftees much more in 2008 than ever (like with first rounder Anthony Hewitt), breaking slot a few times. So while the ’09 strategy seems to be conservative in setup, the Phils will need to think aggressively when their time comes, or else the future will have yet more glaring holes.