We're going to veer just a little off course this week for our minor-league report and take a look at scouting director Marti Wolever's first nine drafts since taking over that role from former Phillies assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle in 2002.
Wolever has actually been an integral part of the team's amateur scouting department since 1992, when he was brought on board by Arbuckle, and he was the driving force behind the team's fifth-round selection of first baseman Ryan Howard in 2001.
The baseball draft is much less publicized, but every bit as important, as the NFL and NBA drafts. It is also drastically different because it can last as many as 50 rounds.
So how many picks does a team need to hit on for a draft to be considered a success?
"We were talking about that just the other day," Wolever said. "Paul Owens used to sit with us in the 1990s and tell us if we got two players from every draft we had done our job."
Owens, of course, is the former Phillies farm director, general manager, and manager whose front-office legacy in Philadelphia is unmatched even by Hall of Famer Pat Gillick. Owens died in 2003.
"We've kind of lived that motto," Wolever said. "If we get two out of every draft, we feel like we've done a pretty good job."
With that in mind, let's examine some of the Phillies' hits and misses since 2002.
The Phillies made 48 selections that year, but hit on only one. It was such a successful hit, however, that this draft can still be considered a great one.
With their first pick, the 17th overall, the Phillies selected lefthander Cole Hamels. He already has a World Series championship ring and trophies for being the 2008 NLCS and World Series MVP. Hamels, 27, appears to be just reaching his prime, and it's not unreasonable to think that a Cy Young Award could be in his future.
The Phillies thought they also had a righthander to complement Hamels when they took Zach Segovia in the second round, but he appeared in just one game for the Phillies and nine in the big leagues.
Reliever Scott Mathieson, a 17th-round selection, is the only other player still in the farm system.
After signing Jim Thome and David Bell, the Phillies did not have a pick until the third round, but they still managed to draft a future all-star in centerfielder Michael Bourn, who was taken in the fourth round.
Bourn, of course, made the all-star team with Houston after being the key player in the trade that brought the Phillies closer Brad Lidge. It doesn't matter what Lidge does from this point forward because his perfect 2008 season is perhaps the biggest reason the Phillies have a second World Series title.
The Phillies also got a major-league contributor with the seventh-round selection of Kyle Kendrick.
Their first pick was University of Texas infielder Tim Moss in the third round, and his career ended unceremoniously at double-A Reading in 2006.
The team's biggest mistake, however, was releasing 20th-round pick Brad Ziegler in 2004. The righthanded reliever has gone on to post a 2.45 ERA in 203 games with Oakland.
The Phillies' top four picks from this draft all eventually became trade bait. Third-round selection J.A. Happ was the only player to make a significant contribution with the Phillies, but his biggest value was as part of the three-player package that brought righthander Roy Oswalt to the Phillies at the trade deadline last season.
First-round pick Greg Golson was traded to Texas for John Mayberry Jr. and is now in the New York Yankees' farm system. Neither player has been able to stick in the big leagues.
Fourth-round pick Lou Marson is an outstanding defensive catcher with Cleveland, and was used in the package that brought Cliff Lee to Philadelphia at the 2009 trade deadline.
The Phillies did not have a first-round pick, but they did use their first overall selection - Archbishop Carroll High School product Mike Costanzo - in the package that brought them Lidge. Costanzo, an infielder, was a second-round pick who has bounced around in recent years but has never made it to the big leagues. He is with Carolina, the Cincinnati Reds' double-A team.
Matt Maloney, the Phillies' third-round pick, was used to acquire Kyle Lohse from Cincinnati at the trade deadline in 2007. Lohse helped the Phillies win their first of four straight division titles. Maloney has had little impact with the Reds.
Tenth-rounder Josh Outman, a lefthanded pitcher, was used in the trade package that brought the Phillies Joe Blanton from Oakland in 2008. Outman remains a prospect and was recently promoted to the big leagues with the A's.
Vance Worley was selected out of high school in the 20th round, but did not sign.
This has a chance to be the Phillies' best draft under Wolever. First-round pick Kyle Drabek was the centerpiece in the Roy Halladay trade, and 20th-round selection Domonic Brown is now manager Charlie Manuel's primary rightfielder and has star potential. Infielder Adrian Cardenas, a supplemental first-round pick, was used in the Blanton trade and still has a chance to be an impact player in the big leagues.
Second-round selection Drew Carpenter was removed from the 40-man roster in spring training, but he has reemerged as a prospect in a relief role this season at triple-A Lehigh Valley. Third-rounder Jason Donald was used in the Lee deal with Cleveland and is back in triple A after getting big-league time last season.
The Phillies also took Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper in the 15th round of this draft, but he obviously did not sign.
Catcher Travis d'Arnaud, a supplemental first-round pick, and fifth-round pick Michael Taylor, an outfielder, helped the big-league squad by being part of the Halladay trade with Toronto. D'Arnaud remains a top prospect for the Blue Jays. He is hitting .305 at double-A New Hampshire. Taylor, who was immediately traded to Oakland, recently returned from a calf injury and is with the A's triple-A team in Sacramento.
The best remaining prospect in the farm system is righthander Justin DeFratus, an 11th-round pick who is 3-0 with five saves and a 2.36 ERA at double-A Reading. Sixth-rounder Matt Rizzotti is one of the best pure hitters in the system, but he may not have a future in the National League because of his defensive flaws.
First-round pick Joe Savery is unlikely to make it to the big leagues as a hitter or pitcher, and second-rounder Travis Mattair has also been a disappointment.
This already has been a productive draft because the Phillies used second-round pick Anthony Gose to get Oswalt from Houston and third-round pick Jason Knapp in the Lee trade. Gose, immediately traded to Toronto, remains a top prospect for the Blue Jays, while Knapp's progress has been derailed by shoulder surgery.
Worley, a third-round selection, and Michael Stutes, an 11th-round pick, have already made big-league contributions. Plenty of potential big-leaguers from this draft are still in the system.
With no first-round pick, the Phillies made California high school outfielder Kelly Dugan their first selection in the second round. Dugan's progress has been disappointing. He is expected to begin playing at single-A Williamsport later this month after spending the spring in extended spring training.
The highest-rated prospect from the draft is Jonathan Singleton, who is the youngest player in the Florida State League. The Phillies moved Singleton from first base to left field at the start of this season, but after struggling some at the plate he has been moved back to first base.
It's way too soon to formulate an opinion, but the four pitchers at single-A Lakewood - first-rounder Jesse Biddle, seventh-rounder David Buchanan, 10th-rounder Mario Hollands, and 11th-rounder Garett Claypool - have all performed well.