After drafting LSU's Aaron Nola with the 7th overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, the Phillies were hoping to make it clear they were looking for "now stuff." Players who are capable of making an impact soon, whose turnaround time isn't going to leave the fanbase twiddling their thumbs -- these, according to assistant general manager Marti Wolever, are Philadelphia's targets.
They continued to be advocates of that message on the second day of the draft. Seven of the eight Philadelphia draftees are college-experienced, and six of the eight are at least 21 years old.
"I think there's more of a risk with high school guys, just because they're farther away," Wolever said. "They haven't matured physically, mentally. Most of them haven't faced any adversity so they don't know how to deal with that when that happens."
Day 2 saw the Phillies pick up four more pitchers, three positions players, and one two-way player in Aaron Brown.
Brown, Philadelphia's third-round selection, was terrific as a left-hander in Pepperdine's rotation this season, using a three-pitch mix well.
MLB.com's scouting report says, "He'll throw his fastball in the 90-92 mph range with some sink when he can keep it down in the zone. His slider will flash above-average, and he has the makings of a potentially Major-League-average changeup."
But many teams also liked Brown as an outfielder. He might have the athleticism to succeed as a center fielder, and has some raw power as a left-handed bat.
"I think if he stayed on the mound he could be a back-of-the-rotation starter," Wolever said. "In center he's an above-average center fielder with a good bat."
In the 2013 draft, Brown was selected as a Draft-eligible sophomore in the 30th round, but he opted to return to Pepperdine for his junior year. Brown's 2.07 ERA and 12-1 record this season were only rivaled by his .310 batting average to go along with his team-high 12 home runs and 47 RBIs.
Brown is one of eight players in the country to hit a home run in a game where he also recorded a win on the mound, and he is the only player to do so four times this season.
Pepperdine is set to face No. 7 TCU in NCAA Super Regional action this weekend, with Brown projected to hit seventh in the order.
The pitching probables have yet to be announced for the weekend, but Brown will likely get the nod to start in either Game 2 or, if it is required, Game 3.
Erik Bacharach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.