At first glance, Kelly Dugan is just a name.
Ranked by Baseball America as the 76th best player in the state of California (not the nation), making Dugan the 75th overall selection in last night's 2009 amateur draft might come off as a head-scratcher.
Even with a glutton of outfielders in the system, the Phillies nabbed Dugan — a switch-hitting centerfielder from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks — in the second round.
Seattle held the Phillies' first-round pick (No. 27) as a result of the Raul Ibanez signing.
"He was our best option at this point in time," Phillies scouting director Marti Wolever said. "We had him very high on our board, we didn't know if he would be available."
While it might come as a surprise to some, Dugan's high school coach, Tom Dill, wasn't fazed a bit.
"He is a great player," Dill told the Daily News. "He is one of those special guys that comes around every once in a while."
Dill would know. Two years ago, the Florida Marlins selected another one of Dill's players — Mike Stanton — in the second round, 76th overall. He has two more players — Chris Dickerson (Cincinnati) and Brendan Ryan (St.Louis) — playing in the majors.
While the two players are completely different, Dill thinks that Dugan is more polished coming out of Notre Dame than Stanton was 2 years ago.
"I've had a lot of good players come through here," Dill said. "Kelly has stood apart. He hits for average, hits for power, he is fast and has a strong arm.
"He is a hard worker. He is the type of player that goes and hits at home in the batting cage for hours. Kelly has played a lot more baseball than Mike but he runs better, has a stronger arm, and hits more for average than Mike.
"Being a switch-hitter, you don't realize the full benefits in high school because we don't see a lot of lefties."
Dugan hit .379 in his senior season, and led the team with 35 RBI, 13 doubles and eight homers in just 95 at-bats.
But Dill said when looking at the numbers, it's important to keep in mind that southern California is a baseball hotbed.
"We don't face your typical high school pitchers," he said. "The numbers don't tell it all. He did equally as well as last year [hit .438 in 2008] but didn't get nearly as much to hit."
Dill said that the Marlins, who are obviously familiar with his program, were looking to take Dugan in the range from the second to fourth rounds. The Yankees also werehot on the trail.
Dugan's ability to attack pitchers from both sides of the plate and his personality traits made him an attractive choice.
"The breaking balls are always going to be coming at him instead of away from him," Wolever said. "He has the chance to hit from both sides with power. He has a great swing with a great approach.
"But his make-up is what separates him. It was a pretty unanimous decision in our draft room."
Dugan, 18, was unavailable for comment late last night. He is in Boston with his father, Hollywood director Dennis Dugan, working on the latest Adam Sandler film. Dennis Dugan has worked with Sandler frequently. He might be best known for playing the golf commissioner Doug Thompson in Sandler's 1996 hit, "Happy Gilmore."
The 6-3, 205-pound Dugan has committed to Pepperdine University in the fall, but the Phillies are confident they will be able to reach a deal with him by the Aug.15 signing deadline.
"We had a chance to meet him last weekend, he came to [Philadelphia] for a workout," Wolever said. "We think we can get this done. His family came here and they were very cordial and receptive."
"He is pretty excited, he was pumped up," Dill said. "My guess is that getting selected in the second round is a pretty big gesture."