2016 Draft Prospect Preview: Outfielders

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Kyle Martin found success as a Phillie minor-leaguer with Lakewood in 2015 – Courtesy Baseball Betsy

Continuing on with our draft prospect preview series, it’s time to take a look at some of the outfielders the Phillies could be selecting. With many of the top prospects being pitchers, our focus will be more on who the Phillies could select Round 2, where the Phillies have the No. 42 overall pick.

Kyle Lewis
R/R, 6’4 195, 7/13/95, Mercer

Kyle Lewis has one of the biggest bats in the draft, and it may be big enough for the Phillies to select first overall. Lewis swings quick and hard, generating true plus power. His swing has some extra moving parts, but he gets his bat on the ball well enough. When leaving the box, his speed is fringy but it gets better as Lewis gets going.

Lewis plays center right now for Mercer, but a future in right field is more likely. With his solid glove, speed, and arm, he can be a reliable defender if nothing else.

Lewis’s stock resides in his big power and it could make him a power threat from right field for years to come.

Taylor Trammell
L/L, 6’2 195, 9/13/97, Mount Paran Christian (Ga.) HS

Trammell is the definition of high school draft prospects; a lot of upside, a lot of risk. Trammell’s standout tool is his speed, which grades out as plus to plus-plus. That speed should him be a plus fielder, although his arm raises doubts on whether or not he can stay in center.

The risk lies in Trammell’s bat, as it is underdeveloped thanks to him being a two-sport athlete for most of high school. His pitch recognition has suffered from that, and he struggles with off-speed pitches. Trammell does have good bat speed, but it won’t be used to its full potential until his approach improves.

Trammell sits at No. 31 on MLB Pipeline and No. 32 on Baseball America’s draft rankings, but his uncertainty at the plate may cause him to fall. He could conceivably fall far enough for the Phillies to take a risk on in the second round.

Ryan Boldt
L/R, 6’2 212, 11/22/94, Nebraska

Boldt was one of the better outfielders in the 2013 draft coming out of high school, but an injury his senior year led him to fall to the 22nd the round. The Red Sox did everything they could to try and get him to sign, but Boldt was adamant about fulfilling his commitment to the University of Nebraska.

The Cornhusker shows above-average speed in center field, however his arm is not outstanding. Boldt looks to fit either in left or center field at the pro level.

Physically, Boldt has the prototypical build of a baseball player at 6’2 and looking even bigger than his listed 212 pounds. Despite his frame, Boldt has yet to take full advantage of it and his swing is more suited for line drives. He does cover the strike zone well even though his swing is somewhat long.

Boldt could be a good project for the Phillies; at his best, Boldt could be a four-tool outfielder if he hones some power in his swing. At present, Boldt is a solid defensive outfielder with some hitting either as a fringey starter or a solid fourth outfielder.

William Benson
L/L, 6’6 220, 6/16/98, The Westminster (Ga.) Schools

Benson is a big, powerful lefty out of a private Georgia high school who draws comps to Jason Heyward thanks to his size and location. His defense is similar, with plenty of range and strong arm. Benson profiles out in right field well with the requisite arm strength.

If you give Benson a fastball, his strength and quick swing will absolutely demolish the pitch. Benson’s swing gives scouts goo-goo eyes and can project out to above-average power.

However, Benson struggles with off-speed pitches. Also, Benson’s swing favors his pull side which can lead to struggles on the oustide of the plate.

Overall, Benson has the raw tools at the plate to be dominant at the plate with above-average power. However, it will take some refining at the pro level for Benson to fully tap into his power and use it across the entire plate.

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