Phillies Take Virginia CF Adam Haseley with the 8th Pick
Mickey Moniak, Cornelius Randolph, Aaron Nola, J.P. Crawford, Shane Watson, Mitch Gueller, Larry Greene Jr., Jesse Biddle, Anthony Hewitt, Zach Collier, Joe Savery, Travis d’Arnaud, Kyle Drabek, Adrian Cardenas, Greg Golson, Cole Hamels, Gavin Floyd. The thing those 17 names have in common is that they were taken in the first round of the draft by the Phillies in the 17 years between when the Phillies selected a hitter out of college (the last was Chase Utley out of UCLA in 2000). In that time period the Phillies have been one of the worst drafting teams in the majors. There are some hits, but a lot of guys who couldn’t hit. In Adam Haseley the Phillies have the guy we always wanted them to take. He combines high level hitting ability in one of the best conferences in college as well as the scouting reports to back it up.
On the scouting side here is what the internet had to say about him.
Haseley has a winner’s pedigree, having helped Orlando’s First Academy to a 2014 NHSI title, then keying Virginia’s 2015 College World Series championship with a five-inning start in the CWS Finals. Haseley was considered a bit more of a prospect on the mound out of high school but prefers hitting and has hit his way into the first round as a junior, breaking out with more power than he’s ever shown before. Scouts still peg him as an average power hitter and knock his rotational swing, but his performance has demonstrated improved feel for hitting and an ability to make his average power play. He ranked among the national leaders in slugging, batting, hits and total bases in early May. An above-average hitter, Haseley has shown the ability to hit the ball out to all fields, controls the strike zone and has an advanced approach. He hits plenty of line drives but also has learned to loft the ball, producing more home runs. He’s also an above-average runner underway who grades out as an average defender in center field. Haseley could stick there as a pro but may slide to a corner, where his average, accurate arm could tick up as he gives up pitching. He’s an upper-80s lefthander and tremendous competitor on the mound who is ready to stop pulling double-duty and focus on hitting. Physically and in his overall game, Haseley fits a similar profile as former Expos outfielder Brad Wilkerson.Baseball America
Haseley is an above average runner with great instincts in center field and he profiles as an above average defender there despite lacking true high end speed. Scouts consider him likely to hit as Haseley has terrific breaking ball recognition, tracks pitches well and has a quick, whippy bat. He’s hitting for an unexpected amount of wrist-driven power this season but scouts are skeptical about its pro ball sustainability.Fangraphs
Haseley has improved his stock by leaps and bounds with his performance at the plate this year, and he profiles as a true center fielder in pro ball.ESPN
The Phillies got solid value too with Haseley coming in at 8, 8, and 6 on those respective boards. As for the hitting track record, Haseley had a breakout year in the ACC hitting .390/.491/.659 with 14 HRs, 44 BB, and 21 K in 58 games as a junior. Haseley was a two way player who pitched 65.1 innings this year. If anything, scouts expect him to get better as he no longer has to focus on pitching (by all accounts Haseley dislike pitching). He isn’t a star level player, but he should be a good center fielder (or right fielder if he has to move because of one of the Phillies other outfielders) and he should move fairly quickly. I think Haseley is one of the safer players at the top of the draft and if there is any more upside the Phillies could have gotten themselves a steal.
What does this mean for the second round tonight? The Phillies are unlikely to save any meaningful amount of money on Haseley, given that he went about where he should have. If the Phillies are to be believed, and if they want to follow the strengths of the draft then expect pitching to come tonight and into tomorrow. Whether that pitching is high school or college will depend on how the board shapes out.