Matt Klentak is entering his 5th season as the general manager of the Phillies and he is still waiting for his first winning season. That's not all that uncommon, is it? Bob Brookover of The Inquirer has your answer:
You can chop off one of your hands and and still count the number of GMs who remain employed without posting a winning record during their first five seasons in the job during this century. The list: Dayton Moore in Kansas City, Rick Hahn with the White Sox, A.J. Preller in San Diego, and Mike Hill in Miami.
Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA rankings give the Phillies 77 wins this season, so Klentak better hope those dudes are big, fat liars.
Klentak's boss (boss's boss?) John Middleton said in 2017, “We're gonna get that trophy back or I'm gonna die trying.” If the Phillies fail to produce a winning season in 2020 with a payroll north of $200 million, one year after Middleton overruled Klentak to fire the hitting coach and the manager, the only thing getting put to rest is Klentak's job as GM.
If Klentak is unemployed after this season, poor drafting will play a big role.
Before burying Matt here, it is important to recognize just how long it takes to form any type of concrete opinion on a draft selection, let alone entire draft classes. That's especially true when it comes to high school picks. It took five years for Jimmy Rollins to play his first full season at the age of 22. Mickey Moniak was drafted four years ago and he is still just 21.
And consider this:
68 players from the 2016 draft have reached the big leagues, but only five of those were high schoolers. Mickey Moniak was selected #1 overall in the 2016 draft, but he still is only 21.
Only eight players (Adam Haseley is one of them) from the 2017 draft have reached the majors, just one from the 2018 draft, and no players from the 2019 draft are big leaguers yet.
That could all change by this time next year when Moniak completes a full season at triple-A, Haseley completes his first full major league season, and Bohm and Howard potentially make their big league debuts.
However, one would hope that at this point of the rebuild the Phillies would have one of the top farm systems in baseball with young talent lurking around every corner of the Carpenter Complex. Instead, the Phillies have a farm system that Baseball America ranked as the fifth worst in baseball.
Because they failed to draft well, they have been forced to try to pay their way out of it. That's how you have a team with a $200 million payroll that is expected by most to be just mediocre.
What should your team look like after a rebuild? Let's ask the 2008 Phillies, who filled their roster with homegrown talent.
Draft picks on 2008 Phillies:
Jimmy Rollins (#46, 2nd round in 1996)
Pat Burrell (#1 in 1998)
Brett Myers (#12 in 1999)
Chase Utley (#15 in 2000)
Ryan Howard (#140, 2nd round in 2001)
Cole Hamels (#17 in 2002)
The Phillies hit on their first round picks in four out of five drafts from 1998 to 2002 with an average pick number of 9.8. They drafted six core pieces in the seven drafts from 1996 to 2002 with an average of the 10th best pick.
Let's compare that to Matt Klentak's four drafts from 2016 to 2019:
Mickey Moniak 2016 (#1 in 2016)
Adam Haseley 2017 (#8 in 2017)
Spencer Howard (#45, 2nd round in 2017)
Alec Bohm 2018 (#3 in 2018)
Bryson Stott 2019 (#14 in 2019)
*Aaron Nola (2014 1st round, 7th overall), Rhys Hoskins (2014 5th round, 142nd overall), Scott Kingery (2015 2nd round, 48th overall) were all selected under Ruben Amaro, Jr.
The Phillies average draft position in the last four drafts was 6.5. That is over 3 picks before those from the '96 - '02 drafts which produced six core players in seven drafts. It's hard to imagine the current front office coming close to that, but they can at least come close if they hit on Bohm and Howard and get some productivity from Moniak and Haseley.
If not, this year's draft may be Matt Klentak's last.
Before you go, here's some draft trivia for ya. In the drafts from 2003 through 2012, the Phillies' average first round pick was a hair shy of 27 (26.8 to be exact), they had no first round pick in two drafts, and in 2003 they had no first or second rounders.comments powered by Disqus