FOR THE FIRST time since 1998, the Phillies will have the first pick in the amateur draft.

The general feeling among the people with the stopwatches and the radar guns is that there is no consensus No. 1 overall pick. So while there may not be a Bryce Harper or David Price, there is plenty of talent for the Phils to choose. What's immeasurable is how stable these kids are between the ears and what sort of fate awaits them.

Top players 

* Mickey Moniak, CF, La Costa Canyon H.S. (Calif.): Listed at 6-3, 180 pounds . . . Bats left and hit .471 with six homers, 44 RBI and 12 triples in 102 at-bats . . . Scouted heavily by Phillies . . . Committed to UCLA, but almost surely would forgo college if picked first.

* A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida: A 6-7, 230-pound junior with a fastball in the upper 90s. His last name is pronounced "puck" . . . Is 2-3 with a 3.21 ERA for the No. 1-ranked Gators . . . Should get a start this weekend against Florida State in the super regionals. Saturday and Sunday's games are at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.

* Kyle Lewis, CF, Mercer: A 6-4, 210-pound junior who was Baseball America's player of the year . . . Hit 20 home runs and had 72 RBI while hitting .395 . . . Drew a school-record 66 walks in 61 games for a .535 on-base percentage . . . Had zero errors in 145 chances . . . Mercer's season is over.

* Nick Senzel, 3B, Tennessee: A 6-1, 205-pounder who hit .352 with eight homers and 59 RBI in the SEC, the nation's top baseball conference . . . Also stole 25 bases in 29 attempts . . . Was all-conference defensive third baseman . . . Last name is pronounced sen-ZELL . . . Tennessee's season is over.

* Blake Rutherford, CF, Chaminade Prep (Calif.): If Moniak isn't the top HS bat in the draft, Rutherford is . . . Also bats lefthanded and also is committed to UCLA . . . Turned 19 on May 2, so he would be eligible to be re-drafted in two years as opposed to the three that governs most high schoolers.

* Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat H.S. (N.J.): A 6-6, 220-pounder who doesn't turn 18 until Aug. 23 . . . Fastball already is mid-90s . . . Entered spring as Baseball America's No. 1 draft prospect. Stock has slipped following a season that included a 19-strikeout perfect game, a suspension for violating a transfer rule and getting knocked around in a playoff game . . . Changed his commitment just this week from Vanderbilt to Chipola junior college, as first reported by the Atlantic City Press, in order to possibly re-enter the draft next season.


The value of the No. 1 overall pick is a shade over $9 million, but the Phillies may not be spending that on this selection. Last year, Arizona signed SS Dansby Swanson for $6.5 million. The Phillies have $13.4 million in draft bonus money to hand out, second only to Cincinnati's $13.9 million.

Draft format

The first two rounds, plus compensation picks, will be made on Thursday (7 p.m., MLB Network). The Phillies have the first overall pick and the first pick in the second round, No. 42 overall.

On Friday, starting at 12:30 p.m., it's rounds 3-10. On Saturday, at noon, it's 11-40. Neither of the final two days is televised.


The only other time the Phillies had the No. 1 overall pick was in 1998 when they chose Pat Burrell, from the University of Miami. Burrell hit 251 homers for the Phils, fourth-most in team history, and was a key member of the 2008 championship team.

The top five that year were Burrell, Mark Mulder (103 career wins), Corey Patterson (.252 batting average in 12 seasons), Jeff Austin (38 career games played) and J.D. Drew (decent career after spurning the Phillies in 1997 as the No. 2 overall pick).