Phils' top Draft pick signs, arrives in city

Phils' top Draft pick signs, arrives in city

PHILADELPHIA -- Kelly Dugan joked that he hopes his baseball career isn't as rocky as his first trip to Philadelphia.

The Phillies are hopeful, too.

They made Dugan their top pick in this year's First-Year Player Draft, a second-round pick selected 75th overall. He signed a contract with the Phillies late Saturday night, and is scheduled to play for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies later this month.

Dugan signed his term agreement late last week in Boston, where his father Dennis Dugan is directing the movie "Grown Ups," which stars Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade and Kevin James. Dugan and his family were scheduled to take a 10 a.m. ET flight Saturday from Boston to Philadelphia to take his physical, sign his contract and meet some Phillies players and coaches before Saturday night's game against the Red Sox.

Except the plane broke.

The next plane left at 2:30 p.m. and flew to Philadelphia, except it couldn't land because of poor weather. It returned to Boston. The third plane left around 9 p.m., and arrived on schedule, except the bags. They arrived on later flight.

But Dugan, a switch-hitting outfielder the Phillies think could develop some power, took it in stride. He hung with Phils hitting coach Milt Thompson behind the batting cage before Sunday afternoon's series finale against the Red Sox. He went to a news conference and put on a Phillies jersey. He talked with Phillies TV broadcasters Tom McCarthy and Chris Wheeler during the second inning.

Dugan is excited to get going.

He grew up in Sherman Oaks, Calif., a son of a director who made such films as "Happy Gilmore," "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," "Big Daddy" and "You Don't Mess with the Zohan." Dugan appeared in "Big Daddy" as Alexander Hamilton in a scene during a school play.

He has known Sandler and other Hollywood stars for years, but Hollywood wasn't in Kelly's blood.

"How do you like it?" Dennis asked his son the second day he was on the "Big Daddy" set.

"The first day was a lot of fun," Kelly replied. "But I don't know how Adam does this."

"It's hard being an actor," Kelly said. "It's kind of frustrating. It just takes so long in between each take. There's so much to set up for the shots in the movies. So I never really went that route. I just wanted to play sports."

Dennis tells a story how Kelly learned to switch-hit after he got hit in the face hitting right-handed as an 8-year-old. Dugan didn't want to hit from the right side anymore, so he started to hit from the left side.

It stuck.

"I wish we could find the kid who hit him and thank him," Dennis said.

Phillies assistant general manager Benny Looper might like to thank him, too, if Dugan projects into the player Looker thinks he can be.

"I think several things impressed me," Looper said. "A lot of it isn't wasn't I saw, but what I know abou this character. His personality. His work ethic. What we were able to see was the athleticism and the tools. The run tool. The throw tool. He's a switch-hitter. He's got a good looking swing."

Acting? A commercial spot a few years down the road wouldn't be bad, but Dugan is all about baseball today.

"I always just loved it," Dugan said. "I just love working out really hard and trying to maximize everything I can do. I love being competitive."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.