For the first time since 1998, the Phillies will pick first in the draft.
The rebuilding organization clinched the No. 1 overall section in June's draft on Saturday night when the Cincinnati Reds, the majors' second-worst team, beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-1. The Phillies fell to 62-98 after losing the first game of their doubleheader against the Miami Marlins on Saturday.
Although the 2016 draft class does not feature a slam-dunk top choice, it will certainly not hurt the Phillies' rebuild to have their pick of the litter. The top pick also comes with the largest signing bonus pools with which to work for the draft and the next international signing period that begins July 2.
The draft is said to be top-heavy on pitching prospects. Righthander Riley Pint, of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Kansas, and lefthander Jason Groome, of Barnegat, N.J., are considered the top high school arms. Florida lefthander A.J. Puk and Oklahoma righthander Alec Hansen are among the top collegiate pitchers.
This will be the first No. 1 overall pick for incoming Phillies president Andy MacPhail. In his previous stops leading the Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles, the highest his team drafted was second. That was with the Cubs in 2001, when they selected Mark Prior two picks before the Phillies drafted Gavin Floyd.