Long before the regional supervisors and the national cross-checkers and the special assistants and the scouting director and the general manager put their eyeballs on Adam Haseley, there was Paul Murphy.
Murphy, a Delaware resident and former third baseman in the Baltimore Orioles' system, is a Phillies area scout responsible for covering much of the Mid-Atlantic region, including Virginia.
Murphy first started keeping a book on Haseley, an outfielder/pitcher from the University of Virginia, three years ago. Last week, the Phillies selected Haseley with the eighth overall pick in the draft.
Haseley, 21, officially became a Phillie on Wednesday when he signed his first professional contract (see story). He received a $5.1 million signing bonus and will begin his pro career at Williamsport in the New York-Penn League after a brief orientation at the Phillies' complex in Clearwater.
So, what type of player are the Phillies getting in Haseley?
No one knows him better than Murphy.
"Over three years, I'd seen him 35 to 40 times between Virginia and summer ball and, really, his trajectory was upward from his freshman year," Murphy said. "You're getting a great makeup kid from a good college baseball program. It's very exciting. I think he's going to be a good Phillie for a long time."
The left-handed hitting Haseley, 6-1, 195 pounds, is a contact machine with growing power and the ability to control the strike zone, an important quality that is being stressed by second-year Phillies general manager Matt Klentak. He walked 44 times and struck out just 21 while hitting .390 with a .491 on-base percentage for the Cavaliers in 2017. He hit 14 homers — up from six as a sophomore — and added 16 doubles in 58 games. He also went 7-1 with a 3.58 ERA in 11 starts on the mound, but will only play outfield as a professional.
"The fact that he pitches and last offseason was the first time he trained as a hitter really leads you to believe that his best days are ahead of him if he just concentrates on hitting," Murphy said. "He made a big jump this season with his power numbers. He's got some projection left to his body, a chance to get bigger and stronger."
Haseley enjoyed pitching, but he's eager to focus on being a position player.
"Just from a health perspective, it will be a lot easier to recover, especially days after pitching," he said after stroking a bunch of line drives around Citizens Bank Park during batting practice Wednesday afternoon. "I'm usually pretty sore the day after. From a strength perspective, I'll be able to do different lifts that will help my overall strength."
Murphy first started thinking of Haseley as a potential first-rounder last summer.
"I saw him at Orleans in the Cape Cod League last year," Murphy said. "I've been doing the Cape league for 12 or 13 years and I saw him hit a baseball where people don't hit it in a game. He hit it about 440 feet just right of center field and it was an eye-opener. When people do something on a baseball field that you haven't seen, as a scout you certainly wake up and pay attention. That was probably the night I started considering him more seriously."
Murphy used Atlanta outfielder Nick Markakis as a loose comparison for Haseley.
"That kind of guy," Murphy said. "But I wouldn't limit him because I don't know that he's going to be the same player you see today. For a college junior he has a chance to get a lot bigger and stronger and a chance to keep improving.
"Sometimes you take a college player and that's what he is; you're not going to get anything better. But with [giving up] pitching and the body, he has a chance to keep maturing and become a better player than he is today and he's already a pretty good player for me."
Scouting director Johnny Almaraz summed up Haseley.
"Adam is a very dynamic player," Almaraz said. "He's a very exciting outfielder. He can play all three outfield positions. I believe offensively he's going to hit anywhere from 20 to 25 home runs and be somebody who's going to hit in the middle of the order."