Inside the Draft
June 8, 2007
As time and life march one, changes take place. There’s been quite a change from the first summer draft in baseball and yesterday’s event.
The first one took place in 1965. All the clubs were in the ballroom of the Commodore Hotel in New York City. Teams sat around round tables and make their selections.
The Phillies’ first selection ever was RHP Mike Adamson from San Diego, CA. We couldn’t sign him and he was re-drafted two years later by the Orioles. His big league career amounted to 11 appearances over parts of three seasons.
Of the 33 players the Phillies selected, three made it to the majors, Larry Hisle, Billy Champion and Terry Harmon.
For the first time, the draft was televised yesterday from the Milk House at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando. The draft took place on the floor of the gymnasium with fans observing from seating areas on both sides of the upper level.
There was no ESPN 38 years ago, no MLB.com, no computers, no big screen TVs to display photos and video of the top draft picks and fans were allowed in the Commodore Hotel. Agents didn’t even exist and the signability of a prospect wasn’t as big as it is now.
The role of a baseball scout has also changed. Back then, a scout was more than a person who evaluated players and made projections, not an easy job. Prior to the draft, scouts were also salesmen. They schmoozed mom, dad, brothers and sisters of a prospect to try and gain an edge when it was time to sit down in the living room with a check book.
Salesmanship is still important today but if a certain player is drafted by another club, that salesmanship goes out the window.
Major League Baseball requested three persons for each club’s station yesterday. Robin Roberts, Dallas Green and Lee McDaniel (Assistant Director, Minor League Operations/Florida) represented the Phillies.
Among the others in the room were Frank Howard, Willie Horton, Al Kaline, Tommy Lasorda, Don Zimmer, Dave Winfield, Chet Lemon, Frank Robinson and a handful of Phillies Alumni, Bobby Dernier, Rico Brogna, Rob Ducey and Bob Walk.
The Phillies have been searching to add depth to their bullpen since the end of the last season. The commodity is rare; those that have quality won’t give it up, unless a team wants to overwhelm somebody.
As has been mentioned, the Phillies have some interest in Troy Percival and Jose Mesa, two veterans who are out there.
Until Brett Myers and Tom Gordon return, the Phillies will need to hang in there and search under every stone for more bullpen depth.
Just check yesterday’s results. There were six games lost in the bullpen, Mets (Phillies swept New York by getting to the bullpen each game), Nationals (one run in the 9th), Blue Jays (two runs in the 9th), Astros (three runs in the 9th), Dodgers (five runs in the 9th) and White Sox (nine runs in last two innings).