June 9, 2007
The First-Year Player Draft is over. The Phillies selected 52 players and now the process shifts to getting them signed. The breakdown by positions: 31 pitchers, six catchers, eight infielders and seven outfielders. (The complete list can be found in the draft story on the home page of this site).
Under a change in the draft rules, players have to sign by August 15 or they reenter next year’s draft. In past years, clubs could negotiate until a couple days before the next draft. That’s changed now.
While Marti Wolever (Driector, Scouting) and his regional supervisors manned the draft center in Citizens Bank Park, Phillies area scouts were poised to begin negotiations as soon as a player was selected.
Once a scout gets a player under contract, he then contacts Lee McDaniel (Assistant Director, Minor League Operations/Florida) at his Carpenter Field office. The scout will arrange air transportation and get the Tampa arrival times to McDaniel, who has three gentlemen prepped for airport runs.
Most of the players will be housed at the Buena Vista Hotel on Route 19, about a half-mile from Carpenter Field. Players are fed twice at Carpenter Field, breakfast and lunch. Dinner costs $5.00 at Lenny’s Restaurant, an establishment that serves only breakfast and lunch. The restaurant opens in the evening just for the Phillies.
Transportation to and from the hotel? A few will have cars, some will walk and others will ride bicycles.
Steve Noworyta, Director of Minor Leagues, and his staff take over once the players have reported. A mini-camp is scheduled to begin on Sunday night when the instructional staff meets the new Phillies.
Physicals will occupy part of Monday and Tuesday mornings at the Paul Owens Clubhouse, the center of the four-diamond Carpenter Field complex. The rest of those days and the rest of the week will be workouts.
Over 40 players, who didn’t make the Ottawa, Reading, Clearwater or Lakewood clubs out of spring training, have been working at Carpenter Field in extended spring training. The new recruits will join that group.
Photographs will be taken of all the new players a week from today. On Sunday, June 17, the players assigned to the Williamsport roster (Short-Season New York-Penn League) will fly to Philadelphia and bus to Williamsport. The NYP League season starts June 19.
The other players will be assigned to the Phillies team that will complete in the Gulf Coast League. Games begin June 19 at Carpenter Field. All games are played in the afternoon when the sun is good and hot. Baseball scouts and seagulls will outnumber spectators at these games.
Generally, college players will be sent to Williamsport and high school players will stay in Clearwater.
No matter which roster, all share the same dream…getting to the major leagues.
Dallas Green made a side trip from Thursday’s draft in Orlando to Clearwater to watch free agent reliever Joe Mesa throw yesterday morning at Bright House Networks Field.
Mesa was consistently 90-91 on the radar gun and was able to get it up to 93 when Green asked Jose to reach back.
Green then conversed with Pat Gillick, Ruben Amaro and Mike Arbuckle back in Philly.
Relief pitching is a premium commodity and the Phillies continue to search to add depth and experience to the bullpen.