Major League Baseball's amateur draft can be like a game of chess.
Sometimes it's like playing against an amateur. The checkmates come early and often, and in baseball terms, you find yourself drafting several players with plenty of upside that, for some reason or another, other teams have skipped over.
Other times, the draft can feel like a game of chess against a Grandmaster. Every move leads to a dead end and the result is always disappointing.
There is supposed to exist a commonality between each of these games: The first couple of moves are supposed to be simple to make, especially in today's game.
In chess, each player has his or her own strategy, but the first move is the simplest. The same could be said for most clubs' approach to the draft. In the first round, there is plenty of talent to be had. If you're picking in the first round, there is a pretty decent chance that you're drafting a very talented player.
However, sometimes, those "can't miss" prospects turn into huge busts and lost causes for teams. When teams draft players in the first couple of rounds, they're supposed to develop into MLB regulars. Sure enough, that doesn't always happen, and when "can't miss" prospects turn into "swing and a miss" prospects, it is a major disappoint.
For numerous reasons, the Philadelphia Phillies had plenty of those "swing and a miss" prospects throughout their history, and if they had chosen a little more wisely, it is certainly interesting to imagine what the history of this franchise could have looked like.
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