The Phillies' first of two third-round picks, the 89th selection overall, was a fascinating one for a couple of reasons.
One is the name: Cord Sandberg.
The other is his game: It might be football. He has a scholarship to play quarterback at Mississippi State.
Sandberg is not related to Phillies third-base coach Ryne Sandberg, a 20th-round back in 1978 who went on to have a Hall of Fame career with the Chicago Cubs.
Cord Sandberg impressed the Phillies during a workout at the Carpenter Complex during spring training and Ryne Sandberg met the kid that day. Like Cord, Ryne Sandberg had a scholarship to play quarterback in college, but signed with the Phillies instead.
The challenge for the Phillies will be signing Sandberg, although they have reportedly agreed to terms. Sandberg told The Bradenton Herald he will forgo college for a $775,000 signing bonus plus the equivalent of a four-year scholarship. The slot value for the 89th pick in the draft is just under $600,000.
Sandberg, 18, was the 40th-ranked prospect by Baseball America, which was 31 spots higher than Andrew Knapp, the player the Phillies selectyed in the second round Tuesday night. The Phillies have just over $6 million to sign the players they select in the first 10 rounds of the draft.
The left-handed hitting Sandberg is 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds. He has been compared to Josh Hamilton, according to the scouting report at mlb.com.
With their other third-round pick, the Phillies selected Jan Hernandez, a shortstop from the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. Hernandez, 18, is 6-1, 194 pounds and some people believe he projects more as a third baseman.
Phillies assistent general manager Marti Wolever said he was going after position players and offense in this draft and he used all four of his top 100 picks on position players.