The first-round pick isn't everything, but it will be the only thing when the baseball draft begins Monday night.
The remaining rounds of the draft will take place Tuesday and Wednesday.
"I think all the picks are important, obviously," Phillies scouting director Marti Wolever said Sunday. "Sometimes we get fixated on the first-rounder. I think of Michael Bourn in the fourth round [in 2003], who led the National League in stolen bases [for Houston] last year and was a big piece in our getting Brad Lidge."
The other rounds are important, but the Phillies' first-round success with second baseman Chase Utley and pitchers Cole Hamels and Kyle Drabek has been vital in the building of the current team.
The Phils did not have a first-round pick in three of the previous seven drafts, and they used two of the first-rounders on Joe Savery and Anthony Hewitt, both of whom have struggled on their hopeful treks through the minor leagues.
Miss on too many first-round selections and it's possible the Phillies' recent good times could shift the other way.
Unlike a year ago, the Phillies have a first-round selection Monday, the 27th overall pick.
What will they do with it? Wolever lives by the cliché that you take the best player available regardless of position.
Wolever obviously wasn't going to tip his hand on the eve of the draft, but it's easy to speculate about who might be around when the Phillies make their selection sometime after 9 p.m.
The scouting director said last week that the team had "significant interest" in Austin Wilson, a high school outfielder from Southern California. The biggest question about Wilson is whether he'll sign or accept a scholarship to Stanford. The belief is that Wilson will be a difficult sign because he comes from a well-educated family. Both his mother and his father have a master's degree from Stanford.
In its final mock draft, Baseball America has the Phillies selecting Stetson Allie, a righthanded pitcher from St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio. Once projected as a top-10 selection, the magazine said his stock has slipped this season because of control issues.
A local product of interest is Jesse Biddle, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound pitcher from Germantown Friends. He has a scholarship to the University of Oregon and is projected by Baseball America to go in the first three rounds. Wolever didn't rule out selecting Biddle in the first round.
"We really like Jess and he's thrown outstanding for us," Wolever said. "He continues to get better and has a tremendous work ethic. And above and beyond, ability-wise, he certainly warrants consideration from us in the first round."
Another local prospect expected to go early in the draft is Sean Coyle, a shortstop from Germantown Academy who has a scholarship to the University of North Carolina.
Wolever also described Cam Bedrosian as a potential first-round pick for the Phillies. The son of former Phillies Cy Young Award winner Steve Bedrosian, Bedrosian is a righthanded high school pitcher from Georgia with a scholarship to LSU.
"Bedrosian's son has a great arm," Wolever said. "Very live arm. We saw him a lot last summer in a lot of high school showcases. We saw him this spring and he has a great feel for pitching and he should be a pretty good pick in the draft."
After losing catching prospects Lou Marson, Jason Jaramillo and Travis d'Arnaud in trades over the last two years, the Phillies will be looking for help at that position at some point in the draft. Wolever said he doesn't expect any of the projected first-round catchers - Bryce Harper, Yasmani Grandal or Justin O'Conner – to slip to the 27th pick. Harper is expected to be the first overall pick by Washington.
Wolever said the Phillies also could use help with lefthanded pitching and middle infielders.
"We're going to take the best player available early, and as we go through the draft if two guys are equal, we'll certainly make that maybe a little bit more of a priority contingent upon the player and his ability at that time," Wolever said.