Exhibit A: Raul Ibanez. Back in 1992, he had to sit for 36 rounds until he finally heard his name called by the Mariners. He was in the bigs four years later. And now he has the last laugh on all 1,005 players selected before him: Ibanez leads the National League in runs scored and RBIs, and is second in home runs and OPS (on-base-plus-slugging percentage).
Then there's slugger Ryan Howard, the 2005 NL Rookie of the Year and '06 NL MVP -- and a fifth-round selection (140th overall) in the '01 Draft.
"We work hard, and you see enough history on the players from summers before," Phillies scouting director Marti Wolever said Monday, asked about finding elite talent in later rounds. "Yes, I think there's a few of those guys in there [this year]."
The Draft will conclud Thursday with the 31st through 50th rounds, beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET.
MLB.com's coverage will include a live pick-by-pick audio stream, expert commentary and the exclusive Draft Tracker, a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player, featuring statistics, scouting reports and video highlights.
Fans will not only be able to follow along every minute of the way online, but they'll be able to interact directly with Draft-eligible players and MLB.com Draft experts, among others.
Phillies -- Top five selections
|75||CF||Kelly Dugan||Notre Dame HS|
|106||CF||Kyrell Hudson||Evergreen HS|
|137||2B||Adam Buschini||Cal Poly San Luis Obispo|
|167||LHP||Matthew Way||Washington St U|
|197||RHP||Steven Inch||Vauxhall HS|
|Complete Phillies Draft results >|
The Draft Tracker will also feature the addition of Twitter, and the participation of "tweeters" such as MLB.com Draft expert @JonathanMayoB3, who will also be serving as on-air talent for all three days of the Draft; and reporter @LisaWinstonMLB, who will be writing the up-to-the-minute coverage for MLB.com.
In addition, MLB.com has created a Twitter account devoted to the Draft, where you can stay updated on every piece of info as it becomes available (@MLBDraft).
The Phils' roster is loaded with superb finds from past Drafts. Indeed, their key late-inning arms are late-round selections: Scott Eyre (ninth round, 248th overall, 1991), J.C. Romero (21st round, 633rd overall, '97) and Ryan Madson (ninth round, 254th overall, '98).
Center fielder Shane Victorino, the Flyin' Hawaiian, wasn't flyin' up anybody's draft boards in 1999. He went in the sixth round, 194th overall, but reached the Majors four years later. Five years after that, he won a Gold Glove Award and was a key cog in Philadelphia's World Series run.
And veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer -- who was drafted in 1984, during Ronald Reagan's first term and before fellow Phillies southpaw Antonio Bastardo was born - was a sixth-round (135th overall) pick. Twenty-five years later and with 250 wins to his name, Moyer is the 11th-winningest lefty in Major League history.
So while the Phillies already chose two gifted young center fielders on Day 1 -- nabbing Kelly Dugan at No. 75 and Kyrell Hudson at No. 106 -- if the past is a guide, the picks of Days 2 and 3 could become the stars of tomorrow.
David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.