Alec Bohm got his first in-person look at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday.
"Definitely a hitter-friendly park," he said. "I like it."
A week after the Phillies selected him third overall in the draft, Bohm is signed and ready to begin his pro career. The 6-5 third baseman from Wichita State University took a round of batting practice with the Phillies before Tuesday night's game and will head off to Clearwater in the morning.
The Phillies will try to introduce Bohm (rhymes with home) to the pro game the same way they did with outfielder Adam Haseley, last year's first-round pick. Haseley also came out of the college ranks, the University of Virginia.
"Probably something similar," scouting director Johnny Almaraz said. "Spend a little time in the Gulf Coast League, get some at-bats, then go over to Williamsport and get multiple at-bats there and hopefully finish up in Lakewood. Ultimately, (director of player development) Joe Jordan will have that plan once he gets to Clearwater."
Bohm, 21, established himself as a potential first-rounder by hitting .351 (second best in the league) with five homers and 20 RBIs in the Cape Cod League last summer. He built on that and hit .339 with a .436 on-base percentage and 16 homers as a junior at Wichita State this season. Phillies officials want to build around hitters with power and plate discipline and Bohm has those qualities (see story). He had 39 walks and struck out just 28 times this season.
"Striking out, I kind of see it as a waste," he said. "I hate striking out."
Bohm hails from Nebraska, the same state that produced beloved Phillies Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn.
"I've heard of him, but don't know much about him," Bohm said.
Bohm will have plenty of time to read about His Whiteness on those long minor-league bus rides.
The Phillies signed Bohm for $5.85 million, under the slot value of $6.9 million assigned to the No. 3 pick. The Phillies used the extra signing bonus allotment to help sign high school shortstop Logan Simmons (sixth round) and high school catcher Logan O'Hoppe (23rd round) to over-slot deals. The Phils are close to signing high school pitcher Dominic Pipkin (ninth round).