Results tagged ‘ Phillies ’

Ready for the 2009 MLB Draft

I’ve been preparing for our coverage of the MLB Draft: June 9-11 – so I wanted to take you inside my books and share some research with you.


Texas Rangers:  Over the past 3 years, 8 of their first 12 picks have been pitchers.  In 2007 – the club had 5 first round picks and drafted 4 pitchers including Tommy Hunter.  8 players taken by the Rangers in the past 5 years have made it to the show.  Travis Metcalf was selected 321st overall – his first MLB hit was a home run off of Tom Gorzellany.


New York Yankees:  In the 2005 draft – one of the best classes in history – the Yankees chose Carl Henry at #17 – ahead of Red Sox draftees Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Clay Buchholz, and Michael Bowden – all of whom have played in the majors.  Henry is out of baseball. 


Florida Marlins: 9 draft picks over the past 5 years have made it to the majors.  The 2005 draft featured 5 first round picks and the organization chose 5 pitchers.  Chris Volstad led that group (#16) – Ryan Tucker pitched in 13 games for Florida in 2008.  Gaby Sanchez went in the 4th round and earned a September call-up last season. 


Cleveland Indians: Expect this organization to change their draft philosophy and take a risk on some power armed high school kids with bigger upside than some college pitchers – also, a need for speed at the big league level should lead them to not just focus on power bats in the draft.  The Indians did draft Tim Lincecum in the 42nd round of the 2005.  That was the year the club also drafted Trevor Crowe in the first round and Jensen Lewis (David Price’s college roommate at Vanderbilt) in the 3rd round.


Arizona Diamondbacks: The club has 7 of the Draft’s first 66 picks.  For reference: The Brewers had 6 of the first 62 picks last year.  The Moneyball draft of 2002 for the A’s consisted of 8 selections in the first 68 spots which produced Nick Swisher (#16), Joe Blanton (#24), and Mark Teahen (#39).  Arizona currently has 4 of their top picks on their roster: Daniel Schlereth (2008 – was called up as I’m typing) Scherzer (2006), Upton (2005), Drew (2004).  Of 15 of their last first and second round picks, 12 have been pitchers and 10 of those were college arms. 


St. Louis Cardinals: 8 of their picks from the 2004-2006 drafts have played in the bigs.


New York Mets:  Their top picks between 2000 and 2004 are no longer with the organization, but have all played in the majors.  Billy Traber – part of the Roberto Alomar deal.  Aaron Heilman – part of JJ Putz trade.  Scott Kazmir (Victor Zambrano) – Lastings Milledge: traded in 2007.  Phillip Humber – involved in the deal for Johan Santana.


Philadelphia Phillies: Top pick from 1990-2004, overall pick is in parentheses, players who made it to the bigs are in bold.

Mike Lieberthal (3) – Tyler Green (10) – Chad McConnell (13 – OF, Creighton University) – Wayne Gomes (13) – Carlton Loewer (23) – Reggie Taylor (14) – Adam Eaton (11) – JD Drew (2) – Pat Burrell (1) – Brett Myers (12) – Chase Utley (15) – Gavin Floyd (4) – Cole Hamels (17) – Tim Moss (85 – no 1st or 2nd round pick) – Greg Golson (21)


Make sure to check out the Draft page – and the coverage on MLB Network and – I’ll be hosting the post-draft show LIVE on Day 1 with Jonathan Mayo (our Mel Kiper, just without hair) – and will be hosting Day 3 of the draft (1130am-330pm)


Video Draft links – Top 5 Outfielders:

Top 5 College Pitchers:

Top 5 Prep Pitchers:

Top 5 Corner Infielders:


 “Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”- Benjamin Disraeli (former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom)

Hot Dogs on the “Broadway” Grill

No matter how many salads I ate for lunch, one bite of a hot dog and my body forgot that salad faster than the Cardinals got swept in the 2004 World Series.  Being a minor league broadcaster for 2 seasons right out of college had me waking up in places like Altoona, Erie, and Binghamton while my friends toured Amsterdam, London, and Paris – but I wouldn’t have traded one of those hot dogs for a slice of brie followed by steak frites near the Louvre.   During a homestand, I’d go to the grocery store in Reading, Pa – pick up a salad for 18 cents a pound (kidding – but something absurdly inexpensive) – and eat it in the press box at First Energy Stadium before the guys came out for BP.  So at this point, I’m feeling good about myself – I may have even gone for a run in the morning – but after the salad, came a soda (usually a mountain due to make it to the pregame show).  That soda came with me down to the field to hang around the cage and absorb all the baseball knowledge I was blessed to be exposed to.  In 2005, our manager was Steve Swisher – Cubs All-Star catcher in 1976 – and now better known as Nick’s dad.  Swish was a no-nonsense manager, but at the same time, always willing to talk – the right way to handle a rundown, which pitchers responded the best to his mound visits,  and of course he was quick to talk about Nick and the rest of his family.  His mother grew very ill that summer – Nick was very close to his grandmother – which made some folks avoid him, but it brought the two of us closer since just being there to listen truly builds a friendship.


So – the Mountain Dew is long gone and that taste was replaced by a few pieces of Double Bubble – and after hanging by the cage, doing a pregame interview with one of the players (Papelbon’s cow milking rivalry story will be told another time – just remind me), catching up with a few fans and trying to explain how the pitching would improve, I headed up the steps to the Broadway Charlie Wagner Press Box (a full blog on Charlie coming this season – he was Ted Williams roommate on the road with the Red Sox).  Working in a press box is like working in a pizza shop in the sense that all you smell in a pizza shop is the pizza – all you smell in the press box is hot dogs.  Berkshire Hot Dogs are right up there with Hebrew National, but after eating at least 1 per night at every home game between the 2004 and the all-star break of 2005, I called it quits.  I went cold turkey on hot dogs.  Actually, I went grilled chicken.  And thanks to our scoreboard operations gentleman John Magala – the homemade hot pepper mustard made that chicken make me forget all about the doggies, but I still couldn’t escape the smell.  I took hot dogs off my menu for almost 2 years, until Mom grilled them up (nice and burnt, the way they should be) – and who can turn down a meal from Mom. 


The days of 2 Mountain Dews plus hot dogs at the ballpark are over – which is a good thing.  This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy the press meals across the country – and it’s not to say that I don’t miss Charlie’s press box in Reading – it’s just that when I go back to Reading once a summer now, I enjoy hamburgers, Manny’s fries, funnel cake, and DIET Coke. 


From the Phillies 7-1 victory over the Nationals on Tuesday night – the Pedro Feliz HR call of ShronkDaddy will live all season as we honor all those close to Justin Shronk who passed away earlier this month.



“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.” – John Wooden