This is the fourth time in the last five seasons that the Phillies have picked in the top 10 of the draft. Aaron Nola (2014) has developed into a top end starting pitcher who is beginning to flash CY Young ability, while both Cornelius Randolph (2015) and Mickey Moniak (2016) have struggled to live up to their potential. It’s too early to make a definitive statement on the latter two players at just 20 years old, but their uninspiring play has put a little extra pressure on the front office to deliver a sure fire prospect this time around.
Matt Klentak seems to believe that player to be Alec Bohm, a 21-year old third baseman from Wichita State. He’s a 6’5” 240 pound behemoth whose advanced plate discipline and effortless power allowed him to dominate college pitching. Bohm has an extremely polished approach at the plate and he’s not afraid to hit to all fields. Top that off with the ability to put the ball in play that eludes most power hitters and there’s little doubt as to whether or not his bat will translate to the big leagues.
Here are his numbers at the plate as a junior:
He hits for average, gets on base, hits for power, and doesn’t strikeout much — what more could you want? If Bohm is able to reach his full potential he can have .300, 30 HR, & 100 RBI type production in the middle of the Phillies lineup for a decade.
The question mark comes on the defensive side. He played third base in college but there are concerns as to whether he can stick there in the majors. Scouts cite his lack of quickness and range as a problem, but for 6’5” 240 his arm is what will ultimately decide his fate. Some observers believe that his arm is fine and will grow stronger, while others argue that it “barely passes” for third base. He certainly has the tools to stick at the hot corner if he can put it all together, but that’s far from a given.
A move to first base may make the most sense for a prospect like Bohm, who certainly has the hit tool and power that is required from the position. If he doesn’t show promise or development at third early in his minor league career then anticipate a permanent switch across the diamond.
Overall, he’s one of the safer prospects available in the draft, and assuming he develops at a normal rate, he could find himself in Phillie pinstripes as early as August 2019. While it wasn’t necessarily stated publicly, the team was up front in their desire to add a player from the college ranks who can theoretically contribute within a year or two—similar to the way Aaron Nola found himself pitching in the big leagues one season after he was drafted. This selection underscores their desire to be competitive by 2019 and Bohm’s development will be a key variable in the success of this rebuild.