Phillies

MLB draft history: Notable 5th-round picks

MLB draft history: Notable 5th-round picks

The 2020 MLB draft will last just five rounds this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, meaning the Phillies' only picks on Day 2 of the draft are 87th, 116th and 146th.

That final pick, 146th overall, comes in Round 5, where the Phillies once drafted Ryan Howard and Rhys Hoskins. Those two players alone give the Phillies a richer draft history in the fifth round than in the third or fourth. (More here on the best players to come from the third round and fourth round.)

The Phils also selected Mickey Morandini and Mike Maddux in the fifth round. It's where they selected Cole Irvin, who's currently on the 40-man roster, and Michael Taylor, who was used in the trade to Toronto for Roy Halladay.

Howard was the best player selected in the fifth round in 2001, a round that also produced C.J. Wilson, Jim Johnson, Ryan Raburn and Skip Schumaker.

Hoskins is the only fifth-rounder from 2014 who has played 100 games in the majors.

Jake Arrieta was a fifth-rounder in 2007, selected by the Orioles.

The Phillies' first-year manager, Joe Girardi, was a fifth-round pick in 1986. There were two fifth-rounders of note in that draft: Girardi and Pat Hentgen.

And one of the five best players in baseball right now, Mookie Betts, was a fifth-round pick in 2011.

Here are the other notable fifth-rounders in MLB history:

Tier 1

Tim Rainers
Lou Whitaker
Jack Morris
Ryan Howard
Mookie Betts

Tier 2

Dwight Evans
Dave Stieb
Pat Hentgen
Jake Arrieta
Javier Vazquez
John Franco

Tier 3

Michael Young
John Valentin
Bret Boone
Brad Penny

Other notable 5th-rounders in MLB history:

Chris Archer, C.J. Wilson, Ryan Klesko, Jeff Samardzija, Mike Timlin, Dave Cash, Greg Gagne, Mickey Tettleton, J.T. Snow, Ray Durham, Max Muncy, Chris Taylor, Brandon Belt, Aubrey Huff, Lenny Harris, Ben Francisco, Steve Cishek, Ross Stripling, Daniel Hudson, J.D. Davis, Alex Avila, Charlie O'Brien, Brian Schneider, Pat Listach, Willie Upshaw, Chris Davis, Doug Mientkiewicz, Garett Atkins, Joe Crede, Mallex Smith, Cavan Biggio, Steve Buechele, Phil Gosselin, Steve Sparks, Jim Johnson, Bobby Jenks, Jake McGee.

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Phillies Talk podcast: Could we see front-office shakeup if Phils miss playoffs?

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Phillies Talk podcast: Could we see front-office shakeup if Phils miss playoffs?

If the Phillies miss the playoffs again, even in a shortened season, could we see a front-office shakeup? What would it mean for GM Matt Klentak? Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman discussed on Friday's Phillies Talk podcast.

• Are Phils even capable of going on a hot streak with this bullpen?

• Starting pitching has also stumbled some, blowing four multi-run leads.

• How much more money has J.T. Realmuto made himself with his ridiculous start?

• The excellence of Harper and Realmuto has been wasted so far.

• The impact of Alec Bohm on Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery and Phillies' infield.

• Factors that will play into Realmuto's free-agent decision.

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Who is the best player in the NL East?

Who is the best player in the NL East?

Calling the NL East loaded would be an understatement.

The division has the top two starting pitchers in the National League in Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom, whom the Phillies face tonight. Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler ... so many upper echelon arms in the division.

Among position players, the Braves have two perennial MVP candidates in Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña Jr. 

The Nationals have one in Juan Soto. (The division thanked the Angels for signing away Anthony Rendon.) 

The Phillies have a former MVP in Bryce Harper and one of the best all-around players in baseball in J.T. Realmuto. 

The Mets have two exciting newcomers in Pete Alonso, who hit 53 homers as a rookie last season, and Jeff McNeil, who has hit .319 in 882 plate appearances since debuting in 2018.

Who is the best player in the NL East?

Jim Salisbury (Phillies insider)

There's no right or wrong answer to this question. You could go with Freeman, Acuña Jr., Soto, Realmuto, Harper, Scherzer or deGrom and not be wrong. If I were building a team long term, I'd go with Acuña or Soto. If I needed to win a game right now, I'd go with deGrom. That kind of stinks for the Phillies because they have to face him Friday night. In an era of small parks, tiny strike zones, rock hard bats and baseballs that fly like Titleists, he has won the National League Cy Young Award the last two seasons. He regularly racks up 200 innings and 240-plus strikeouts. I'm figuring that most of my colleagues will go with offense; I'll go with something that stops offense — starting pitching — and someone who does it well.

Ricky Bottalico (Phillies Pre/Postgame Live analyst)

No-brainer: Soto. A perfect home run swing. Doesn't strike out a lot. He missed the beginning of the season but doesn't look even a little impacted by the time off. He's hitting .414 with five home runs and 10 RBIs in only eight games. He's 21 years old with a long career ahead. 

Corey Seidman (Phillies writer, Pre/Postgame Live analyst)

Even though Freeman is still probably the more feared hitter, I'm going with Acuña, who I'd have slightly ahead of Soto and Freeman for his five-tool skill set. Acuña can do it all — hit close to .300, hit for power, run, field, throw. Last season he hit 41 homers, drove in 101 runs and led the NL with 37 stolen bases and 127 runs scored. He hits righties and lefties alike. 

He's also not even 23 years old yet, and he's on one of the best contracts in all of baseball — an eight-year, $100 million contract that pays him just $1 million in 2020.

I do think Freeman and Soto are slightly better overall hitters — Freeman because the guy just exudes clutch and Soto because his plate selection is at the very highest level. But the gap is not large enough to ignore the other ways Acuña offers more overall value.

Michael Barkann (Phillies Pre/Postgame Live host)

Not going with deGrom, Freeman, Acuña Jr. or even Soto. Call me a homer ("you're a freakin' homer!") but Harper is the man. He entered Thursday night with numbers that would translate to 50 homers and 125 RBIs over a full season. He's put up MVP-type numbers so far this season, then there's his defense and leadership. Number 3 is the answer.

Casey Feeney (Phillies producer)

In my mind, there are seven players worthy of consideration: Harper, Soto, Scherzer, deGrom, Alonso, Freeman and Acuña Jr.

Because of their everyday impact, I’m inclined to go with a position player over a pitcher. Perhaps there is bias from watching him everyday, but I would take Harper ahead of the other position players mentioned.

Freeman and Soto are better pure hitters than Harper. Acuña Jr is a more electric athlete and might have the highest ceiling of any player in baseball. But Harper strikes me as the most complete package of the group. He’s also being asked to carry an otherwise incomplete roster to a greater degree than the other hitters mentioned.

Sean Kane (Phillies Pre/Postgame Live producer)

There are so many great players in the NL East — several Cy Young caliber pitchers and MVP-worthy position players. But Freeman is the best player in the division. He’s certainly the guy I would pick first for my team. His skills speak for themselves. He’s one of the best all-around hitters in baseball, he plays a tremendous first base and he’s a better baserunner than he gets credit for. Most importantly, he sets the standard for the team that sets the standard in the NL East. He is the unquestioned leader of the Braves, both on the field and in the clubhouse. He always plays hard and he always makes the right play. If you’re interested in winning baseball games, Freddie Freeman is your guy.

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