Philadelphia Phillies: 10 Best Draft Picks in Team History
The Phillies are well known for their roster moves during the offseason and near the trade deadline. Ruben Amaro Jr. is often able to pull off big moves to improve the team and the Phillies have taken heat for not developing players.
This criticism should be looked at again, however.
The Phillies have drafted and developed some very talented players over the years. Here is a list of 10 of the top draft picks in team history.
10: Pat Burrell
Burrell was selected by the Phillies in the first round of the 1998 draft. After being called up in 2000, Burrell spent nine seasons with Philadelphia. During this stretch, Burrell racked up 251 home runs and 827 RBI's.
Defensively he took a lot of criticism because of his speed and lack of range in the field. However Burrell often found himself among the league leaders in outfield assists, throwing out 102 runners while with the Phillies.
Burrell also played an important role in the 2008 World Series run. During the postseason, he blasted three home runs while driving in eight en route to the title.
9: Randy Wolf
Wolf was picked by the Phillies in the second round of the 1997 draft. He began his tenure with the team in 1999, going 6-9 in his rookie season.
Wolf was able to turn this around quickly, though. In the next four seasons, Wolf won at least 10 games. He quickly became a hit with the fans with the infamous "Wolf Pack" being a regular sight at any game that Wolf started.
Overall during his time in Philadelphia Wolf compiled a record of 69-60 with 971 strikeouts.
8: Greg Luzinkski
"The Bull" was selected in the first round of the 1968 draft. He made his big league debut in 1970 and went on to play 11 seasons with the Phillies.
During his time with the Phillies, the four-time All-Star hit .281 with 811 RBI and 223 home runs. His two best seasons came in 1975 and 1977. In '75, Luzinski hit .300 with 34 home runs and 120 RBI. In '77, he hit .309 with 39 home runs and 130 RBI. In both these seasons he finished second in MVP voting.
Luzinski was also a part of the 1980 World Series team.
7: Domonic Brown
Brown was selected in the 20th round of the 2006 draft. It is too early in his career to look at too many stats, but Brown is certainly showing signs of promise for the Phillies for years to come.
Since being called up in 2011 Brown has become the everyday starter in right field for the Phillies. After a hot start to the 2011 season, he hit a cold streak as of late. However after a two-home-run night against the Marlins, Brown could be snapping back to his usual form.
One criticism of Brown is that he is a very streaky hitter. He struggled during the Winter League and hit a cold streak in which his batting average fell over 50 points. Brown is still young, however, and has plenty of time to completely lock down his swing.
Brown is described as being a five-tool player. If he can develop as predicted, he could move up this list in a few years.
6: Scott Rolen
Rolen was selected in the second round of the 1993 draft.
During his seven seasons in Philly, Rolen hit .281, compiling 880 hits. While he was a good contact hitter and had a good on-base percentage with the Phillies, he was best known for his defense.
During the prime of his career, Rolen was one of the most sure-handed players at the hot corner in baseball. After committing 24 errors in his rookie season, Rolen went on to have a .960 fielding percentage or better the next five years with the Phillies.
He won three Gold Gloves during this stretch.
5: Jimmy Rollins
J-Roll was selected in the second round of the 1993 draft.
In 12 seasons with the Phillies so far, Rollins has become an icon of the team, an outspoken team captain and, above all, a very talented player.
Rollins has made three All-Star games in his career. He was best known for his speed early in his career, stealing 40 bases or more four times. His speed has been affected lately by nagging injuries which have slowed down his base stealing.
His best season came in 2007 when he played all 162 games of the season. Rollins hit .296 with 30 home runs, 20 triples, 38 doubles and drove in 94 runs. He also stole 41 bases this season.
These numbers were good enough to earn Rollins NL MVP honors.
Rollins is also a sure-handed fielder at shortstop. Three times throughout his career he has been awarded the Gold Glove award at shortstop.
4: Ryan Howard
Howard was drafted in the fifth round of the 2001 draft and quickly stormed his way through the Phillies minor league system and into the big leagues.
Howard won the Rookie of the Year award in 2005 when he hit .288 with 22 home runs and 63 RBI in just 88 games.
As if this wasn't impressive enough, Howard decided to explode in 2006.
During that season, Howard hit .313 with 58 home runs while driving in 149. Howard won the NL MVP award and also the Silver Slugger award.
Over the next three seasons, Howard belted 45 or more home runs a year and drove in at least 130 runs.
While his home run totals are down slightly over the last two seasons, Howard is on pace to drive in over 130 runs again in 2011.
3: Chase Utley
Utley was selected by the Phillies in the first round of the 2000 draft.
Alongside Rollins, Utley has become another face of the Phillies.
Utley's career really took off in 2005 when he hit .291 with 28 home runs and 105 RBI. After 2005, Utley has never hit less than 30 home runs and driven in less than 100 runs when he played 130 games or more.
Utley was voted to five consecutive All-Star teams from 2006-2010 and won the Silver Slugger award four consecutive years from 2006-2009.
Ironically, despite his .982 career fielding percentage, Utley has yet to win a Gold Glove at second base.
2: Cole Hamels
The Phillies selected Hamels in the first round of the 2002 draft.
After going 9-8 in his rookie season, Hamels has gone on to win 10 games or more in every season since then. He has a lifetime ERA of 3.46 and has 69 wins. He was voted to the 2007 All-Star game during a year when he posted a 15-5 record with 177 strikeouts.
Hamels best performance came during the 2008 postseason. In four starts, Hamels was 4-0, allowing just seven earned runs in 35 innings pitched. His performance earned him the World Series MVP honors.
1: Mike Schmidt
Schmidt was picked in the second round of the 1971 draft by the Phillies.
Where can you even begin with Schmidt?
He spent his entire 18-year career with the Phillies. In these 18 seasons, Schmidt batted .267 with 1,595 runs batted in and 548 home runs. He was a 12-time All-Star game selection, six-time Silver Slugger award winner and a two-time MVP winner.
Schmidt's best season was arguably in 1980 when the Phillies won the World Series. In that year, Schmidt belted 48 home runs and drove in a total of 121 runs.
In all but two seasons Schmidt hit 30 home runs or more and drove in 100 runs or more nine times.
During the 1980 postseason, Schmidt had 13 hits in 11 games, including two home runs during the World Series.
As if Schmidt wasn't good enough on offense, he was a great fielder as well. Schmidt was awarded the Gold Glove award 10 times throughout his career.