When the other scouts left, Marti Wolever and Mike Ledna stuck around the Salisbury School in Connecticut early last month. The Phillies' contingent wanted to see more of Anthony Hewitt.
The scouts wanted to see him swing a wood bat.
"We drifted down and said, 'Would you mind doing this?' " said Wolever, the team's director of scouting. "They said, 'No problem,' and pulled the cage out and took batting practice for Mike and myself."
The scouts said Hewitt was impressive - even when they asked him to bat from the left side, something he had not done. And after another workout confirmed the good feelings Monday at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies drafted the 19-year-old with the 24th overall pick in yesterday's first-year player draft.
Hewitt was the first of six high school players taken by the Phillies with their top seven picks. Next came two 17-year-old, lefthanded outfielders from California: Zach Collier with the 34th pick and Anthony Gose with the 51st.
Later in the second round, the Phillies picked North Jersey's Jason Knapp, a pitcher at North Hunterdon Regional High who also is 17.
With the 102d pick, the Phillies drafted college product Vance Worley, a righthander, for the second time. The Long Beach State junior was selected by the Phillies in the 20th round of the 2005 draft.
The Phillies wanted to stockpile talent in this draft, especially with seven picks in the top 136. The trend toward younger, raw talent was no surprise.
General manager Pat Gillick, assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle and Wolever have always been attracted to high-ceiling, athletic high schoolers. Wolever conceded that it could take up to four or five years for the picks to reach the majors.
"This is why you scout," he said. "These are the kind of players we grew up liking and wanting in the organization. Because when these guys hit - and not all of them do - you're not talking about an average major-league player. You're talking about a well-above-average player. And to me, that's what you win championships with."
Hewitt is a 6-foot-1, 195-pound shortstop from Brooklyn, N.Y. He hit .536 as the leadoff hitter for Salisbury (20-0) and smacked eight home runs with 19 RBIs as a senior. Scouting reports have him perhaps moving to the outfield so he can focus more on developing his power stroke, but Wolever said the Phillies have found a spot for him.
The team worked out Hewitt at third base when he visited Philadelphia, and Wolever said it seemed like a natural fit. The player agreed.
"I felt comfortable at third base," Hewitt said in a conference call with reporters. "I took some ground balls when I worked out with the Phillies. I felt good. I wouldn't mind it at all."
Hewitt has a full scholarship to Vanderbilt in hand, so the Phillies will move quickly to try to sign him. The 24th pick in last year's draft received a signing bonus of $1.25 million.
Hewitt said he wanted to get a deal done, "hopefully in the next few weeks. I don't want to drag the process out too long."
Collier was another player the Phillies identified early and targeted. He could end up as a corner outfielder, said Wolever, who compared Collier to Angels outfielder Garret Anderson.