Phils draft pair of locals in Warren, Sullivan

U. of Tennessee lefty goes in 14th round; Delaware HS righty taken in 28th

Phils draft pair of locals in Warren, Sullivan

PHILADELPHIA -- Bill Sullivan grew up going to Clearwater, Fla., to watch the Phillies play in Spring Training. He could be headed to Clearwater in the near future.

The Phillies selected a couple players with local connections in the 2017 Draft. They picked University of Tennessee left-hander Zach Warren, who is from Vineland, N.J., in the 14th round and Sullivan, who is a right-hander from St. Mark's High School in Wilmington, Del., in the 28th round.

"I'm a huge Phillies fan," Sullivan said in a telephone interview Wednesday night. "The Phillies have been a big part of my life."

Sullivan, who is 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, went 3-3 with a 1.26 ERA in 50 innings as a senior. He allowed 25 hits, 15 walks and struck out 73. His fastball hits 93 mph.

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The Phillies are hopeful they will be able to sign Sullivan, who has committed to play at the University of Delaware. Sullivan said he remains undecided. But there is no question the Phillies liked what they saw at a workout this past Saturday at Citizens Bank Park.

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"He's a young projectable high school pitcher," Phillies amateur scouting director Johnny Almaraz said. "He's got a really loose arm. We liked his size, his frame, his projectability. He's going to throw hard one day. He's got an average Major League fastball right now, so we thought it was a very good pick."

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Warren pitched well on Team USA's college national team in 2016, which is why he entered the 2017 college season ranked highly on prospects lists. But Warren went 2-5 with a 6.31 ERA in 18 appearances (11 starts) and his stock tumbled. He struck out 34 and walked 29 in 51 1/3 innings.

"His numbers weren't very good, but he was a very, very impressive pitcher on Team USA for us," Almaraz said. "We scouted Team USA pretty hard last year."

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That team included Louisville first baseman Brendan McKay (selected fourth overall by Tampa Bay), Vanderbilt right-hander Kyle Wright (fifth overall by Atlanta) and North Carolina right-hander J.B. Bukauskas (15th overall by Houston).

"He had really good stuff," Almaraz said about Warren. "His ability is there. His stuff is there. His line as far as his stats weren't very good, but we valued his past history, and we think we can get him back to where he needs to be."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.