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Phillies draft high school outfielder with top pick

The Phillies have their first-round draft pick. Now they have to sign him.

The Phillies have their first-round draft pick. Now they have to sign him.

With the 24th overall pick in the first round of the MLB first-year player draft, the Phillies selected high school shortstop/outfielder Anthony Hewitt. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound athlete from the Salisbury School (Conn.) is viewed as a future outfielder in order to develop his power stroke.

But he has a scholarship to Vanderbilt and there are concerns about his signability.

"I don't know what it would take," Hewitt, 19, told the Hartford Courant before the draft. "I just know it would have to be a life-changing amount for me and my family."

Hewitt worked out with the Phillies prior to the draft after leading Salisbury to a 20-0 regular-season record and the Western New England Prep Baseball League championship. Out of the leadoff hole, Hewitt batted .496 with eight homers and 23 RBI.

Although he went to school in Connecticut, Hewitt hails from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Phillies area scout Gene Schall said Hewitt is an "explosive-type player with excellent athletic abilities. He has a quick bat that can drive the ball to all fields and has the potential to be a tape measure-type home run hitter. Physically he compares to a younger Ron Gant."

In the compensatory round, the Phillies selected Zach Collier with the 34th overall pick. Also considered raw like Hewitt, Collier is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound, left-handed high school outfielder from Chino Hills, Calif.

The Phillies have five more early-round picks (51, 72, 102, 110 and 136).

Earlier, Tampa Bay selected Georgia high school shortstop Tim Beckham with the No. 1 overall pick. Beckham is the fourth No. 1 selection in the 10-year history of the Rays.