After years of being "one player away," the Philadelphia Phillies are now much further than that from contending for a championship.
Since the 2008 World Series, each successive playoff failure has left Phillies fans with the feeling that if the Phillies only had one more difference-maker, they would have won another title.
In 2009, the Phillies returned to the World Series where they had 37-year-old Pedro Martinez start (and lose) two games, including the Series clincher against the New York Yankees. They were clearly a pitcher short.
In 2010, the Phillies wheezed out in the National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants. The pitching was much better, but the Phillies hit .216 as a team. That team was definitely a hitter (or three) short.
In 2011, Hunter Pence was brought in at the deadline to address Philadelphia's offensive woes. It was not enough, though, as the Phillies were shut out in a home elimination game by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Then in 2012, everybody got hurt.
This season, the Phillies appear to be on a slow boat to nowhere. Unlike past seasons, there is no credible way to suggest that the team is "one player away" from getting back to the top of the mountain.
The Phillies have the 16th pick in the upcoming 2013 Major League Baseball Draft. Who might the Phillies grab?
Bleacher Report's Mike Rosenbaum and Adam Wells recently posted a dual/dueling mock draft. Rosenbaum had the Phillies taking high school shortstop J.P. Crawford. Wells went with junior college shortstop Tim Anderson at No. 16.
Law also linked the Phillies to being interested in right-handed high school pitcher Devin Williams, high school shortstop Travis Demeritte and the aforementioned Anderson.
Chris Crawford's most recent mock for MLB.com has the Phillies taking left-handed hitting high school first baseman Dominic Smith. Bleacher Report's Rosenbaum had Smith ranked 16th in his recent top 100 pre-draft rankings.
SI.com's Dave Perkin likes towering high school lefty Trey Ball as the Phillies "will need to rebuild" their "once vaunted starting staff."
The fact that so many experts have the Phillies drafting a shortstop or a pitcher reflects the franchise's reality.
While the Phillies have those positions covered now, they are manned by aging, expensive stars who probably will not be playing for the Phillies beyond 2016 when these prospects figure to be ready for the major league level.
Check back with Bleacher Report regularly for the latest 2013 MLB draft updates.