The Phillies had to wait out 71 picks before it was their turn again in the 2020 MLB draft, but they came away with a player who many felt should have gone earlier.
With their third-round pick (87th overall), the Phils drafted shortstop Casey Martin, a right-handed hitter from the University of Arkansas.
Martin was the 38th-ranked prospect overall in the 2020 draft by Baseball America. He was rated 30th by MLB.com.
Casey Martin looked like a first round pick after his freshman year at Arkansas. He has slid because of hit tool questions, but at this point this is a pretty massive get for the Phillies. Big tools with some risk to go with it.
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) June 11, 2020
Martin (5-11/175) hit 30 home runs in 684 plate appearances for the Razorbacks.
"The tools are very explosive. There's a power and speed combination with this player that doesn't exist with a lot of other players," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin, who has faced Martin plenty. "He gets down the line in under four seconds routinely, and the power to both sides of the field is very noticeable."
"The thing I like about Casey the most is the position versatility."
He was drafted as a shortstop but could end up at second base or in center field.
Here is a piece of Baseball America's scouting report on the 21-year-old Martin:
"Martin is perhaps the most toolsy college infielder in the 2020 class, with plus speed, arm strength, raw power and a chance for plus defense at shortstop as well. Typically, a college shortstop with that tool set goes among the top 10 picks.
"What holds Martin back is his ability to make the most of those tools, with an overly aggressive approach at the plate and less consistency than teams would like in the field. There are significant questions about the quality of Martin's hit tool and his approach."
Casey Martin touched them all old-school style for the 2nd straight game, #5 Arkansas won their 8th straight SEC game.
Read more on the Razorbacks victory over Kentucky here: https://t.co/JvatVDZAtK #WPS
(VIDEO: SEC Network) pic.twitter.com/zI4Y5JEcHD
— Chris Hudgison (@ChrisHudgison) May 4, 2019
The slot value of this Phillies pick is $689,300.
Earlier in the draft, the Phillies selected right-hander Mick Abel, the top high school pitcher in the draft, 15th overall.
The Phillies did not have a second-round pick, forfeiting it with the Zack Wheeler signing. Seven teams in all did not have a second-round selection.
After the fifth round, all teams have the same access to undrafted amateur free agents and can pay each player a maximum of $20,000.
Last year, the slot values of sixth-round picks ranged from $237,000 to $301,600. The lowest slot value for a 10th-round pick was $142,200.
This is a massive step down financially for players who otherwise would have been drafted, so many kids will choose not to sign for $20,000 and instead go the junior college route, testing the draft again next summer.
Plenty of very good players are discovered after the fifth round each year. Here are the notable post-fifth-round picks in Phillies history.
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